Cat Sleeping Positions: What Do They Tell You
Cats are odd sometimes but maybe thats why we love them so much.
unpredictability and downright silliness of a cats character are perhaps what makes them the most popular four-legged companion pet in the world.
Unusual behavior and entertaining antics have practically become the cats middle name, to the point that theyve become the unintentional face of the internet meme-verse.
Your Cat Is In Estrus And She Wants To Mate
Your female cat may be laying on her back because she is in heat and ready to mate especially if there are male cats around. Other signs signifying that your cat is in heat include loud vocalizations like yowling as well as a desire to go outside. If this is so, avoid touching your cats belly as she may become agitated and may bite or scratch you. Spayed cats do not go into heat so if your spayed cat suddenly lays on her back it may indicate other reasons.
Why Do Cats Sleep On Their Backs 11 Possible Explanations
December 5, 2019 –
If youre like me and have got at least one cat who sometimes sleeps on his back, chances are you think its one of the most adorable things in the world.
I really genuinely think of all the quirky cat behaviours there are, this just may be my favourite.
Its hard to resist smiling when you see a cat laying on its back, whether its sprawled out and stretching like Michelangelos, The Creation of Adam, lying on its back flatly with all four paws neatly tucked in, is flat on its back but has paws stuck out like its falling from the sky, or some other ridiculous way.
Theyre so stinkin cute when they do this its hard to resist walking over to a cat for a little pet, and of course if your cat lets you, that oh-so-satisfying soft belly rub.
I mean honestly, I dont even think a dog person could resist one of these adorable moves to elicit affection, if thats what its all about after all.
Obviously, we dont know for certain.
Cats have been studied quite a lot in science, but the down low on why specific behaviours that have no real importance, like lying and falling asleep on their backs, is definitely not one of those things researchers have gotten around to in depth.
But when it comes to quirky cute cat things of lesser importance, scientists rightly avoid the topic until more important research has been done first.
Theyre Just Chilling And Stretching
We all enjoy a good stretch from time to time, and cats are no different. If you catch your cat stretched out on their back, they might be doing exactly that stretching out.
If this is the case, they probably dont want you coming over and stroking them. They arent inviting you to play, rub their tummy, or anything else. If they stretched out and had a yawn, and are now just in a stretched position without paying you any attention, this is most likely the case.
I would only go over and give my cat some attention if he made eye contact with me. If hes totally oblivious that Im in the room I just leave him to it. No one really wants to be disturbed when theyre stretching out and relaxing.
Could My Cat Be Lying On Its Back Because Of A Medical Issue
The short answer to this question is yes. Once again, we are talking about cats here. For the most part, anyone who chooses to become a cat parent has to accept that in the mind of a feline, we humans are there to serve them.
Their desires and levels of comfort are always going to be their primary motivation for everything they choose to do. It kind of sucks, but we all knew what we were getting into when we welcomed the little furry divas into our homes.
The Differences Between Male And Female Cats Laying On Their Backs
There are a lot of differences between how male and female cats behave. There are some subtle differences when it comes to laying on their backs too.
The main difference is that female cats will often lay on their backs and be a lot more affectionate when they are in heat and ready to mate. This isnt the case with male cats.
Female cats are more likely to roll on to their backs in a defensive position when they feel threatened too. Male cats prefer a more upright position and will try to fight another Tom and wrestle them to the ground to establish a dominant position.
Two instances you shouldnt come across around the home, but interesting and something to be aware of.
Cat Sleeping/cuddling With You
If your cat sleeps or cuddles with you – you are in luck! This means they love you very much. But dont worry! Even if your furry friend does not cuddle with you, they still do love you. But this is an exciting sign that your cat feels comfortable enough with you to put their defenses down while asleep. Cats are not usually known for being extra cuddly. But each one of us is unique and special! This sleeping position might also mean that your cat needs a little extra love and attention.
Your Cat Prefers To Sleep On Your Chest
A second popular spot for your cat to sleep is your chest. One explanation for this is that a cat may be drawn to the sounds of your body. They may lay on your chest because theyre comforted by the sounds of your rhythmic heartbeat and your steady breath.
Dr. Satchu confirms this theory. Cats likely find some benefit to our very slow and calm respiratory patterns while we sleep, she says. This is when we are at our most calm and most cats tend to echo those same sentiments, even though they get to sleep for a good 18 hours each day!
Another Reason That Has To Do With Humans: Cats May Sometimes Sleep On Their Backs To Lure Humans Into Petting Them & Giving Belly Rubs
Again, who can resist? Especially if you know yours is the type of cat who likes a gentle stroke on the belly when he or shes on his or her back for a nap, its honestly one of the most warm, happy feelings I get, and Im sure the same is true for you.
Since theyre so vulnerable in that position, if they also let you stroke their extremely sensitive, vulnerable belly, well is there a higher complement that could possibly be given to a human?
Three cats I know do this because often after sleeping for some time in this position, theyll give a little meow, as if to say, What are you waiting for, pet me? and if I dont come over and give them a cuddle, theyll wait a while and mew again.
If I pet them, they purr and roll, or just stay in the same position, comfortably enjoying belly and chest rubs.
I do find that sometimes cats in this position prefer chest and head pets, but either way its definitely petting the ones I know want if they sleep on their backs and start with a meow, or meow after some time to point out my lack of affection.
Kittens Who No Longer Need Moms Help To Eliminate Will Be Groomed When They Sleep On Their Backs; Cats Sleeping Like That May Be Asking You To Groom Them
A different excerpt from the same Quora post explains how moms deal with cats who are old enough to no longer need stimulation to help them go to the bathroom:
Those kittens, when at the stage of using a litter box and no longer needing stimulation help to eliminate, would love to continue the ritual.
At this stage, Mom cat essentially does what I do, Often just licking their face and chest. She no longer will lick the potty area and just make it about grooming.
Older cats, that got the _full_ transitioning can most likely use this language to ask to be touched/groomed/petted. Whatever laying on their backs would get them as kittens.
Thus, after the mamma cat knows her kitten is fully able to go to the bathroom and clean him or herself, when a kitten rolls over on his or her back, she will lick their face and chest instead of helping them with the washroom.
These types of kittens, who are weaned past this point and fully transitioned, likely have a new understanding of what it means to be on their back that they want grooming, which the closest equivalent we humans do is probably petting them.
Why Do Cats Arch Their Backs
The cat’s arching back is actually part of his complex body-language system. Not only does he arch his back as a form of stretching “sleepy” muscles after a nap, the arched back is also a form of showing that the cat is feeling threatened. In the latter case, the arched back is usually accompanied by his hair standing out all over his body, especially on his tail. He may even turn sideways to present an even more impressive profile to scare away a threatening animal. His arch is able to get so high because his spine contains nearly 60 vertebrae which fit together loosely, giving him that incredible flexibility.
Why Do Cats Knead
That loud purring followed by the sharpening of claws on some soft spot of your body is called “milk-treading.” When you relax and sit quietly, you’re giving your cat the same signal he got from his mother when he was a kitten – that his mother was ready to let him suckle. A nursing kitten instinctively uses his paws to draw out the milk, gently pushing on his mother’s stomach to increase the milk flow. When older cats behave this way, it’s a good sign that they’re happy, content, and probably recalling their kittenhood.
Do Pregnant Cats Lay On Their Backs
When your cat is pregnant, they may or may not lay on their backs. Some of it depends on how far along they are in the pregnancy and the cat itself. When a cat has a giant belly full of kitties, theyre less likely to lay on their backs. It wont be comfortable.
Super pregnant cats, you will typically notice lay on their sides. Thats probably the most comfortable position for them. Laying on their backs will put a lot of extra weight on their insides, making it harder to breathe or be generally uncomfortable.
Pregnant cats can also have a sense of protectiveness when it comes to their unborn kitties. Since being on their backs is more of a vulnerable position, they may not want to allow easy access to their belly full of kitties.
You certainly can expect some extra love and affection from your newly pregnant kitty, though. A lot of pregnant cats love snuggles and cuddles from their humans.
Is There A Specific Type Of Stomach Ailment That Could Cause My Cat To Lay On Its Back
Gastritis is a condition that is common among the feline population. Gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed.
Gastritis is painful and can make it very difficult for a cat to find a comfortable position. Gastritis makes it hard for cats to lay or sit on their stomachs for extended periods of time, which is why cats choose to lay on their backs when they are dealing with gastritis.
Besides laying on their back, how can I tell if my cat has gastritis?
First and foremost, it is important to note that most cats do not prefer to sleep on their backs, as it is not a normal position for them.
Again, I can not express enough the need for cat parents to take their furball to the vet if you notice they are sleeping on their backs regularly and there is a change in their regular behavior or routine.
Some other symptoms of gastritis pet parents need to look for include, but are not limited to:
- They appear to be depressed
- They appear to be lethargic
- They are drinking more water than usual
- They appear to be eating less
- They all of a sudden begin to vomit
- The vomit produced is bloody
What Should You Do When Maine Coons Roll Onto Their Backs
Perhaps it might be easier to mention what you shouldnt do, but Ill come on to that later. If you notice your cat has rolled onto its back and is looking at you when you walk into your room, you should give it some attention.
However, it needs to be the right type of attention. Make sure she knows that youve noticed her by looking at her and praising her.
Although she wont have a clue what youre saying, of course, she will recognize your actions as being ple ased .
If you feel compelled to stroke her, just restrict this to her head. If you venture too far from this safe-area you are entering dangerous territory .
Another option that you have so you can demonstrate your affection back to her would be to get down to her level .
Then, talk to her and maybe if you have some, give her a little treat. This way, youre giving something back and the affection is reciprocated.
How Can You Tell If You Have A Maine Coon Mix
The breed has a large, muscular frame, broad chest, and long torso. Their body is rectangular in shape. A Maine Coon tabby mix or a Maine Coon shorthair mix would have a slightly smaller frame and a shorter torso. Therefore, one of the most typical signs of a mixed coon would be slightly smaller body dimensions.
They Are Happy And Relaxed
For the most part, when a cat is stretched out on their backs it means theyre happy. A lot of cats will welcome a little tummy rub and will wriggle around reaching out and grabbing at things.
Its a definite sign that they feel safe and secure where theyre at when theyre on their backs. This is the position where cats are most vulnerable, so its a positive sign. Its rare a cat will sleep like this, but when they do its really cool to see.
Why Does Your Cat Roll On Her Back When She Sees You
Your cat may be rolling on her back each time she sees you because she wants to get your attention. This may usually take place each time you arrive home from work. Your cat may also roll on her back when she sees you as her way of telling you that she is comfortable and that she loves you.
If you notice your cat in this position, be sure to give her attention and shower her with cuddles. Your cat may also be rolling on her back because she feels itchy in the backside and she may be rubbing her back against the floor or carpet.
If In The Sun: Cats May Sleep On Their Backs To Warm Their Bellies & Maximize Surface Area Sun Rays Hit
Not much cats love more than lying and sleeping in the sun. To be honest, I cant blame them, I quite like sitting in the sun myself, whether its hot or cold outside. Theres something about soaking up those rays and vitamin D thats just plain nice.
Why not gather as much as you can when youre sunbathing as a feline? Maybe a cats sleeping on his or her back in part to help soak up those rays to heat their bellies or to maximize the surface area on their body thats sitting in the sun.
One of my cats sure likes sleeping on his backs more often when hes been hanging out in a sun spot on the ground and decides to switch positions before extending his nap. What about yours?
Cat Sleeping With Eyes Open
Cats appearing to sleep with one eye open is a common occurrence. Your cat is genuinely sleeping. Cats have a transparent third eyelid that closes.
The purpose of this is so a cat can stayalert. The cats peripheral vision will still capture potential threats.Equally, the cat can react faster upon waking up. The cat was not in a deepsleep and will thus not be groggy.
Sick cats often sleep with their eyes open. Cats with urinary infections will want to make a rapid trip to the litter box. Cats that struggle for breath will be concerned about falling asleep too deeply. Keeping the eyes open ensures the sleep never gets further than a light nap.
If your cat adopts a variety of sleeping positions, its likely to be fine. One sleeping position at all times can suggest that a cat is sick.
Cats Look For Security
In the wild, a cat will seek the safest place to rest in between hunts. In the home, that place is with you.
Cats are typically at the top of the food chain, but even still, they have to keep a watchful eye out for danger, explains Dr. Zay Satchu, the Chief Veterinary Officer at Bond Vet in NYC. Being around their humans, they can rest easier knowing there is some safety there.
Sleep is a vulnerable time, so your cat is indicating that he trusts you and feels content and secure with you. This behavior begins in kittenhood.
Cats are raised in litters, and when theyre very young until theyre about 12 weeks of age, sleeping usually means piling onto one another near mom, says Dr. Satchu. Its how they are raised during their peak socialization weeks and similar to other things they learn during this time, this translates into lifelong habits.
Your cat sleeps with you for comfort and security. After their mother, youre the next best thing.
Cat Sleeping Flat On Back
Leaving paw pads and belly exposed does not come naturally to cats. This suggests that your cat trusts you and feels secure.
This is not always the case. Cats roll onto their back when feeling threatened or vulnerable. This provides the cat with access to all four claws, in addition to teeth. If the cat needs to protect itself, it is easier to do so.
If your cat is affectionate during the day then sleeps on its back, it is no concern. The cat is demonstrating its trust in you. As long as you do not betray this trust, youll be fine.
If the cat is acting off in other ways, be mindful of this sleeping position. The main warning signs are uncharacteristic aggression and prolonged periods of hiding. This suggests that the cat feels the need to be on high alert at all times.
This vulnerability may be due to a medical illness or physical pain. Arthritis is another explanation here. If sleeping on its back, a cats legs will be in the air. While not ideal, this is preferable to placing weight on the joints.
What Does It Mean When Cats Sit And Stare At You
But if your cat is staring at you, its likely harmless. Cats are naturally curious creatures. When they care about you, that means theyll be interested in what youre doing. They might keep their gaze fixed on you as you sit and watch television, or while you make yourself a sandwich in the kitchen.
When Cats Sleep On Their Backs Its An Incredibly Vulnerable Position To Sleep; They Only Do This If They Feel Incredibly Safe
The fact that the belly is a vulnerable area on your cats body is often spoken about in vet-written articles around the web .
If a cats exposing one of his or her most vulnerable areas to you while literally being completely inattentive to the point where he or she is asleep, obviously while knowing that youre present, theres no doubt this cat feels incredibly safe around you.
They Just Want To Be Warm
Have you ever noticed how your cat loves to catch the first ray of sunlight in the morning? Whether its on the floor or in the window box, your cat is right there soaking it all up. This is because cats prefer resting in warm placesand who doesnt? When the sun sets and that warmth is gone, a cat could find some heat alongside a radiator, but its far comfier on top of you when youre in your favorite recliner or when youre snuggled beneath the bedcovers. So, these are the moments when your feline friend will most likely seek you out. I remember in my youth how my cat would nestle up against me in my bed; he felt safe with me and I felt safe with him. A wonderful feeling, indeed!
How To Tell Why Your Maine Coon Is Laying On Its Back
Over time, youll learn how to interpret your Maine Coons mood when its on its back. Youll know if it wants to play or be left alone. Youll find out if it likes its belly tickled or not.
Getting to know your Maine Coon and understanding its body language will to help ensure the two of you have a happy, healthy relationship. For a complete guide to cat body language, take a look here.
Love Nips And Making Biscuits
I am not talking about full bites, but those gentle little nips a cat gives you while you are petting her are signs of total love and devotion. They are usually accompanied by half-closed eyes and deep purring.
Some cats can get a little overly exuberant about them, but teach them to keep it gentle by saying ow and pulling away if the bite gets too intense. Gentle little nips are a high honor, and you are very special to your cat if you receive them. If you also get some kneading action along with the love bites, affectionately referred to as making biscuits, then you really are the cats meow!
Naptime = laptime! Via Giphy
Could A Digestive Issue Cause My Cat To Lay On His Back
Sometimes cats who are experiencing gastrointestinal tissue will lay on their back in an attempt to get a little relief. Once again, cats are no different from humans. We go out, we eat all sorts of things we know we shouldnt, and we pay for it later with gas and indigestion.
Hey, it is what it is. My cat is pretty healthy, and I know that she does not have any medical issues that I should be any cause for concern, so I basically let her pay the price for eating whatever it was that gratified her to the point that she was willing to sacrifice a little tummy upset for.
I would not suggest that people who have a cat who does have medical concerns take my relaxed approach when they see their cat sleeping on their backs more than a couple of times a week.
There may be something going on in their intestines or other areas of their digestive systems that might warrant a visit to the vet.
Understanding Cat Body Language
Cats are versatile creatures, and they have a lot of different movements! Nevertheless, there are some actions that house cats are liable to do when they’re around you. Although it may not seem like it, they are using their body to tell you something! Here are some of the most common phrases in the feline language.