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Cats love to sleep a lot and can spend up to 20 hours a day snoozing away. So, it makes sense to wonder about cat sleeping positions and habits.

There’s no better feeling than your fluff snuggling up to you, but do you know why they are doing this? What about when they contort their body to fall asleep in odd positions? Is that normal or a symptom of a more significant issue?

Find out everything you need to know about your pet’s sleeping practices below.

How Long Should Cats Sleep?

You might be wondering how long cats sleep and if it’s normal for your cat to sleep all day.

The average time that your cat needs to sleep is between 12 to 18 hours a day. However, cats can sleep more in winter, with up to 20 hours spent snoozing. These longer sleeping hours are also true for kittens and older cats.

But why do cats sleep so much? These long hours of rest preserve the energy meant for hunting and chasing their meals. And, while they no longer need to hunt for their next meal, old habits die hard.

However, if you notice your cat sleeping longer than 20 hours a day, it could be a symptom of a health issue like depression. If you see that your cat is sluggish or fatigued during waking hours, that could also be a symptom of illness. In both instances, we’d recommend a vet visit.

Your Cat’s Sleeping Positions

You can tell a lot about your sleeping cat’s position. You can find out critical information about their behavior when awake by keeping an eye on how they’re laying or curled up. For example, your cat’s sleeping positions when sick are much different from when they are relaxed and happy.

Relaxed and Comfortable

A comfortable cat will often sleep in a position where their feet are tucked. This is often called the ‘cat loaf’ position. The fact that their claws are tucked away means that your pet is relaxed and at ease.

However, if your pet seems ill or injured, the loaf position may indicate that it’s time to take them to the vet.

A cat sprawled out on their side also indicates a relaxed kitty. You’ll often see them basking in the sun in this position. You may also find them cooling down in the shade or on tiles in this position when the weather is hot.


One of the most common cat sleeping positions is curled up. But why do cats sleep in a ball? Some of the main reasons are to keep themselves warm and essentially to protect themselves when they were out in the wild.

When your pet feels safe in its environment and loves affection, you may also notice your cats sleeping by your feet. While your pet may often accompany you in bed for warmth and comfort, a lot of the reasons why cats sleep next to their owners have to do with trust too.

Sleeping next to you also puts them in the prime place to protect you while you sleep — which is always nice. You’ll know your pet is on guard when your cat sleeps with you, on top of you, sleep by the door, or with their back to you as well.

Do Not Disturb

Cats cover their face when they sleep mainly to communicate that they do not want attention right now. Think of their paw as a makeshift sleeping mask used to block out excessive light.

A similar position to this is sleeping with their face down. This is another position that helps block out light. Your pet may also sleep this way to politely tell you to leave them alone.

Laying belly up means that they’ve let their guard down and feel comfortable and safe with you. So, while their stomach is in prime position for rubs, it’s best not to disturb them in such a vulnerable position — or you may suffer the wrath of your pet’s nails.

Seemingly Uncomfortable

You may have seen your pet fall in love with playing in boxes. They also enjoy sleeping in boxes too — no matter the size. While boxes may not seem comfortable to us humans, the enclosed space helps your pet keep themselves safe. A box helps them keep an eye out for predators from each angle while providing a hiding space if needed.

Cats also have a unique talent for contorting their bodies in the oddest positions. They may be sound asleep with their limbs poking in different positions and their head twisted at an odd angle. But while that may seem uncomfortable to you, the vital thing to remember is that cats are very flexible and not in pain.

Cat Sleeping Habits

Cats have a few sleeping habits. Some of them might even seem a little strange. It might leave you wondering about things like, ‘Why does my cat sleep with me and not my husband?’ So, here are a few extra cat sleeping position meanings and habits.

Why Does My Cat Sleep at My Feet?

Why do cats sleep at your feet? Sleeping at your feet is another way for your feline to be close to you and have cuddles.

Sleeping at your feet also allows your pet to give and get some warmth from you. It is not uncommon for them to move from your feet to other parts of your body too, like your chest or legs. While they are cuddling you, they may also look for the warmest spot on your body.

Why Do Cats Yawn?

Why do cats yawn? Typically cats yawn when they’ve just woken up or are feeling relaxed and trying to fall asleep. Your pet may also be yawning to help regulate their body heat. However, excessive yawning can also be a symptom of medical issues like oral ulcers and periodontal diseases.

Do Cats Dream?

If you notice your cat twitching in their sleep, it may be something as small as your cat dreaming or muscle spasms. However, other reasons your pet may be twitching may also be linked to medical problems related to skin problems or seizures.