On your lap, on your couch, on your fridge – you name it, cats will sleep on it. With expert skill and enviable commitment, cats can seemingly get comfortable and start snoozing just about anywhere.
Baffled by your feline friend’s sleep habits? You’ve come to the right place. Read on for a guide to the funniest (and cutest!) cat sleeping positions, as well as tips for helping your pet enjoy sweet dreams.
6 Interesting Facts About Cat Sleep
In addition to their unusual sleep positions, cats have a number of bedtime habits. Let’s go over a few we found particularly interesting.
The average cat sleeps 15-20 hours a day. They don’t call them catnaps for nothing. Kittens and senior cats tend to sleep more than adult cats, but our feline friends in general are clocking in way more hours of shuteye than we ever will.
Cats yawn when they’re tired. Cats, they’re just like us! Don’t worry, your little fluff isn’t just perpetually bored with you. Cats yawn for a variety of reasons, including drowsiness.
… And they also snore. Snoring in cats is common. Some flat-faced breeds are more prone to snoring, and certain cat sleep positions can cause louder snores. (However, snoring can also signal a respiratory or nasal condition, so consult your veterinarian about any suspicious sleep noises.)
If your cat sleeps on you, it could be a sign of affection. And/or you could just be very warm and soft. The experts aren’t totally sure about this one – and the cats are keeping quiet – but we’re choosing to believe the sweeter theory here.
Some cats benefit from melatonin. Similar to humans, melatonin can help our feline friends relax and enjoy better sleep. Always use melatonin designed specifically for cats, and consult your veterinarian before introducing any supplement.
Cats (might) dream. While we can’t confirm what they dream about, sleeping cats do experience rapid eye movement (REM), the same sleep stage humans enter when dreaming.
18 Funny and Adorable Cat Sleeping Positions
How? Why? Where?! From goofy to gravity defying, these 18 different cat sleeping positions are equal parts awkward and adorable.
Raise your paws if you love catnaps! While in this aggressively cute cat sleep position, your kitty will raise both paws to frame their face. (You, of course, will squeal and grab your phone.)
The Sleep Mask
Another paw-tastic sleeping cat position, the Sleep Mask is the kitty equivalent of a “do not disturb” sign. While sleeping in any position, your cat will cover one or both eyes with his paws, adding a little extra shade (literally and figuratively).
The Power Nap
The Power Nap is a power move. While this nap can technically be performed anywhere on a human, the more inconvenient, the better. For a classic Power Nap, your cat might choose to snooze on your head; for a more subtle show of dominance, they’ll curl up on your lap while you work on deadline.
The Window Wink
Windowsills offer two very interesting cat perks: birds and warm sunlight. It’s no wonder we frequently find our feline friends enjoying a few winks by the window.
The Sun Stretcher
A close relative of the Window Wink, the Sun Stretcher is all about catching those rays. While sleeping on the floor, your cat will periodically move mid-nap to follow the sun’s splash across the room, splaying any way necessary to soak up the most warmth.
Why do cats like to sleep in cardboard boxes so much? Confined spaces make cats feel safe, warm, and protected. This is especially true if said cardboard box was used to ship a high-end cat bed to your home.
The Sink Snuggle
Like a box, a sink offers a cozy, private nook for a sleepy kitty. Is the porcelain hard? Yes. Damp? Sure. Waterfall potential? Indeed – but if we know anything about cats, it’s that they like to keep us guessing.
The Big Spoon
Talk about a spoonful of sugar! For this classic cat sleep position, your kitty will crescent-curl around another creature – preferably another pet, but a stuffed animal is also extremely adorable.
The Little Spoon
Cuddle up, buttercups! While performing the Little Spoon, your snuggler becomes the snugglee.
The Bed Bandit
If you regularly wake up pushed to the side of your queen-sized bed with a sore neck, you’re already familiar with the Bed Bandit. For this sleeping cat position, your snoozy kitty will stretch out to their maximum length, then painstakingly arrange their limbs across your mattress until you can’t sleep.
The Bed Bandit, Part 2
The Bed Bandit can also be performed in beds belonging to other pets – ideally large, sleepy dogs with sad eyes.
This iconic sleeping cat position is both practical and precious. When curled up tight, cats maximize their body heat while protecting vital organs from possible predators.
The Belly Barer
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Belly Barer, where a cat lies on their back and exposes their entire abdomen without a care in the world. This vulnerable position could signal that your cat feels extremely relaxed and safe.
The Laundry Lounge
You see a basket of clean laundry. Your cat sees a warm, fluffy bed that’s annoyingly free of fur.
Beloved across the internet, #loafcats are a true treat to spot in the wild. When loafing, a cat will lie on their stomach while tucking their legs and tail close to their body, resembling a neat little loaf of bread.
While sleeping in the Contortionist position, your cat may no longer resemble a cat. The only real criteria for this pose is that it looks incredibly uncomfortable and anatomically impossible – bonus point for any/all limbs tucked behind the head.
The Sitting Snooze
When you’re a cat, you have to be prepared to nap whenever the mood strikes. While in this upright posture, your cat will appear to be awake – but upon closer inspection, they fell asleep while sitting straight up.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … just your cat. For the Superman position, a cat will lie on their stomach with their legs outstretched and face down, similar to the Man of Steel’s signature flying posture. Like the Belly Barer, the Superman leaves a cat especially vulnerable to predators, so your feline friend likely feels comfortable when in this super-heroic sleeping position.
5 Tips to Help Your Cat Sleep Better
Silly cat sleep positions are fun, but in all seriousness, it’s important for cats to enjoy quality shuteye. As a pet parent, here are a few things you can do to help ensure your feline friend stays happy, healthy, and well rested.
Provide plenty of playtime. A good exercise routine leads to good sleep, so it’s important to provide your cat with plenty of engaging toys – as well as daily one-on-one play sessions – to prepare them for naptime.
Exercise your cat’s brain. In addition to physical exercise, your cat needs to work their mental muscles. Enrichment toys such as food puzzles and mazes ensure their brains are ready for rest.
Feed a proper diet. Like humans, cats need to eat a balanced diet and appropriate portions to stay healthy. Better nutrition leads to better everything – including sleep.
Create a welcoming sleep environment. It’s hard to sleep when you feel annoyed, uncomfortable, or unsafe. Ensure your cat has a safe, private space to relax. Every pet is different, but many cats enjoy sleeping in cat condos, which provide elevated perches to observe, unwind, and rest.
Check in with your veterinarian. When you’re a cat, there’s no position too strange for sleeping. However, if your cat begins sleeping in different positions or in different places, consult your veterinarian. Changing sleeping habits can signal an underlying health condition or pain.