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6 Cat Sitting Positions Meaning + Other Cat Poses

6 Cat Sitting Positions Meaning + Other Cat Poses

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We all want to know how to read our cat’s body language, and understand what our pet needs just by the way they are sitting or the look in our cat’s eyes.

Meow by meow, you’ll get there. Pay attention to your cat’s daily habits (as they do to us!), and you will soon identify patterns.

When your cat is happy and relaxed, their body will be relaxed.

When your cat is worried, they will sit in a crouched position. Its muscles will be tensed, body tightened, head lowered, tail tucked in or by the side of the body, and ears may be slightly tilted to sides.

Angry cats will sit or lay down to the floor, with a flat body, their ears flattened to their head. The cat’s tail and limbs will be close to their body; you can see the tension all over their body and face, pupils may even be dilated.

Many of the most common cat sitting positions are signs that they are relaxed and comfortable. Cats are very flexible and can sit in many different ways, but they always choose comfort above all else.

This article reveals what each sitting position means.

The reason behind different cat sitting positions may vary, but if they are happy then they will always be relaxed and comfortable. Cats express their emotions through actions.

There are additional cat poses explained below, in order to help you understand your cat’s behavior even more clearly.

6 Cat Sitting Positions Meaning

Every cat owner wants to understand their cat’s behavior, and a good way to start is by understanding cat body language. Let’s learn how to identify the meaning behind various cat sitting positions.

Cats sit in different positions, however, they are almost all comfortable positions. They always look cute, but do you know what your cat sitting positions meaning?

Read on to find your answers.

Most common positions:

1. Sphinx Sitting Position

a beautiful cat lying on a sponge

This sitting position is one of the most common ones. This is a position where a cat sits on all four legs, body along the ground, with their front paws stretched out in front.

When a cat is sitting and their body is relaxed, their tail is loose on the ground, their mouth closed, and their eyes and ears in their normal position; this means that they are happy.

This is a happy and relaxed pose.

2. Cream Bun Pose

This is a similar position to the sphinx sitting position; all paws on the ground but the cat is sitting upright with their body straightened and looking very regal.

The perfect cream bun position is when the tail wraps around the paws, surrounding the cat.

Cats often sit in this position; even if your cat has a pretty silly personality, they will at some point sit like this and you will think, “wow, my cat matured over night!”

3. The Belly Up Position

This is not the usual lying on their back position. Rather, this is when the cat sits/lies with its belly up, front paws pointed in one direction, and back legs in the other.

Looking like the letter S, this is a playful position that relaxed cats take. Remember, whenever cats expose their belly to us, they are showing vulnerability and this means they trust us.

This sitting position also means it’s time to cuddle. This could be a good sign that you can rub your cat’s belly and hear those happy purrs.

Do not rub their belly too much, because cats have their limits and can become over-stimulated. So don’t be surprised if your cat pounces on you after you rub their belly!

4. Loaf Of Bread

the cat sits with its paws bent

The loaf position is my personal favorite cat sitting position. The cat loaf is even trending on Instagram and TikTok.

Most cats choose to sit in this loaf position at some point, with their paws and tail tucked in underneath their body. It is called loaf position since many cats sitting in the loaf position  really do look like a loaf of bread.

The only sight better than a cat sitting in the loaf position, is a cat sitting in the loaf position in a cardboard box. We all know that cats prefer boxes over cat beds.

Cats love to loaf in their favorite spots; the bed, the furniture, a table, or your lap. This sitting position is a clear sign of trust, because a cat in this position, with legs tucked away, is not ready to attack, or defend themselves from danger.

This means that your cat trusts you and believes you will protect them.

Another reason for loafing is to maintain their body temperature. This is a great way to maintain their body heat without movement. Cats like to be warm, and this sitting position protects their vital organs.

However, if loafing continues and lasts for a long period of time, you might want to check with the vet if your cat is hurting in any way.

Since cats are great at hiding their pain, sitting in a loaf position may be an attempt to make them feel comfortable if they are hurting.

Cat loaf can also mean when a cat is sitting in a way that reminds some pet owners of a meatloaf…

The meatloaf position is just like the bread loaf position, except your cat’s nose is touching the floor and the front paws are sticking out a little bit.

Related: 10 Cat Sleeping Positions When Sick: Understand Your Feline

5. Cat Sploot

This is what we call a frog-like sitting position. Cats are really funny creatures, and they do a lot of adorable stuff. A cat sploot is when your cat sits on its belly with its hindlegs stretched out behind them (looking like a frog).

There are three versions for this position; classic sploot, side sploot, and full sploot.

The classic sploot is when one of the cat’s hind legs stays bent near the body, and the other is stretched behind.

The side sploot, either to the left or to the right side, is when one hind leg is tucked in, and the other is stretched out to the side. The cat is usually lying on its hip.

The full sploot is when your cat stretches both hindlegs out behind it, and we can see a full body stretch going on.

Cats enjoy stretching their body, so it is not surprising that they will find a way to stretch and sit at the same time!

Your cat may choose this sitting position because it likes to stretch, or perhaps the position cools them down (cats decrease their body temperature when stretching). It may be that splooting is simply comfortable for your cat.

6. Human Cat?

When your cat sits like a human, except for it being the most adorable thing, it is also their imitation of you.

Cats sometimes sit upright like we do with the back resting on something (usually the back of the couch), their hindlegs spread out in front of them, and their front legs at their sides or in between their back legs.

Your cat’s cute face and exposed belly is the most adorable sight, and there are also a couple of potential meanings behind this sitting position.

Cats imitate humans. They adapt to our living habits – we are like their favorite TV show!

You have probably already noticed, or if you are a new cat owner you will soon notice, that your cat uses the litter box at the same time you go to the bathroom.

Another reason for this position is that they trust us; this human-like sitting position reveals their belly and this is one of the most trusting things a cat can do.

Your cat shows you that they trust you and that they believe you will not hurt them in any way.

You might think that this sitting position is not that comfortable for cats, but it actually is.

Cats are pretty flexible and they love to find different ways to sit and lie down. These positions might look uncomfortable, but they must like them or they wouldn’t sit like this.

Do Cats Sleep In Sitting Positions?

the cat sits in the car and sleeps

Yes, they do. Cats often take catnaps in sitting positions. Especially the human-like sitting position.

You might often see cats sleeping in sitting positions, but this is not deep sleep

This nap probably won’t last longer than 20 minutes or so. They do this to stay ‘on guard’; it is their natural instinct to stay alert.

Adult cats nap for about 16 hours a day. 

Wild cats often sleep in sitting positions and with their eyes open, or half open.

Domestic cats sometimes also snooze with their eyes half open, even though there is no real danger around. This is just due to their natural instincts.

Catnaps are the cutest; your cat just floofing around getting some shut-eye. This is their way of getting some rest, but also being able to get up and fight at a moment’s notice.

Other Cat Poses

Here is an additional list of some other cat positions which can help you understand your cat and how they express their emotions.

– Happy Pose

a beautiful cat sitting on a tree

When a cat is happy, it is relaxed, so its body will be relaxed as well.

Your cat can sit upright or in the loaf position with their paws tucked in. Your cat’s head will be upright and your cat will be facing forward, maybe checking out what’s going on around them, but their body will be relaxed.

When your cat is sitting in a relaxed way like this, especially if they have their paws tucked in, it is a great sign.

This means your cat is happy and satisfied and, best of all, they trust you.

When your cat has its paws tucked in, they are showing a great deal of trust towards you. They feel safe, and do not feel the need to run away or protect themself in any way.

– Friendly Pose

Some cats are more affectionate than others, however once we get to know their body language more, we may discover that they are more friendly than they seem.

Cats show their love by slowly blinking at you. This is also something you as a cat owner can do.

Slowly blink, especially when you are meeting a new cat, to show that you mean no harm.

When cats are feeling friendly, they will show it. They will stand upright with their head pointing up and their back straight.

If they look like they are ready for playtime or cuddle time, that’s because they are.

Your cat’s fur will also be relaxed, which is a good sign that you can go and pet your feline friend. This is your chance to cuddle and snuggle them, and perhaps even pet their belly which you might not usually be allowed to do.

– Focused Pose

This position is the one that resembles wild cats the most. When we see our domestic little furry pet doing this, it is incredibly cute.

Your cat will have its entire body lowered down to the ground, like they are ready to hunt. Right before they jump or start running, their body wiggles.

Your cat’s ears will stand up straight because they are interested in something, and all their body parts are focusing on that thing.

Your cat’s eyes will be open and focused on whatever has captured their  attention, with pupils dilated. The pupils of a cat’s eyes are often dilated when they are excited or scared too.

– Playful Pose

the white cat sits on its side and looks up

All cats are playful at a young age, and some are playful even when they get older. People usually think that when they start playing with their cat, that this is their playful side.

That is true, but cats also have a playful position they take before you even start to pay attention to them.

Cats usually show you that they are ready to play by lying on their side (or back) and moving around, left and right.

Sometimes they meow while doing this, like they’re calling out for you to come and play. They lay on their back or their side, and move around in order to show you that they are playful and harmless.

– Satisfied Pose

Cats mostly express their satisfaction by stretching their body. They usually do this after a scary or anxious interaction.

Before stretching and being satisfied, if you pay close attention to your cat, you may see that they were curled up in a ball or crouched in a scared position.

Stretching is connected to satisfaction; it is known that cats use stretching as a way of releasing their tension.

This is a sign that your cat is now satisfied and content, and more importantly no longer anxious or stressed.

Sometimes, however, stretching just means stretching!

– Scared Pose

You’ve probably seen this pose, at least in memes or cat videos, as it can look pretty funny. Your cat will have its back arched upwards and their fur will stand up straight.

The funniest thing is that their tail will fluff up and become all ragged.

Cats stand in this position whenever they are afraid of something; it means they are ready to fight it or run away. They take this position to seem larger in size and more daunting.

– Curious Cat Pose

When your cat is curious their eyes will be wide open. Their ears will be tilted forward as they stare at the thing that has caught their attention.

When your cat is curious about something, their tail will be slightly curved. This is a sign that your cat is on its way to investigate.

You will often see your cat lurking around  being curious about you, or watching you from around the corner.

This is always funny and cute, to see your cat’s eyes behind the wall or the corner of the table.

– Anxious Cat Pose

You will immediately notice this one, because it is the saddest cat pose there is. Your cat’s head will be lowered down, and their ears will be pulled back like they’re glued to their head.

Your cat will probably curl into a ball, or stand against the wall or in a corner of the room, like they’re hiding from something. Their tail will be tucked underneath.

Cats can get anxious for various reasons including pain, discomfort, change in the environment or meeting new people or pets. They mostly get anxious when they have unpleasant interactions with other cats.

You should keep an eye on your cat when they come home from playing outside, because you never know what they have encountered and what happened outside.

Your cat might get into a fight with another cat and leave without a scratch on their body, however, anxiety can still be present.

If you notice some changes in your cat’s behavior, be sure to talk to the vet because anxiety can lead to bigger health problems if it is not dealt with promptly.

2 Cat Sleeping Positions That Resemble Sitting Positions

a beautiful yellow cat is sitting in the kitchen

Some cat sleeping positions are similar to cat sitting positions meaning that sometimes they are actually laying down and may go to sleep even though it seems to you like they are just sitting.

1. Contortionist

Similar to the belly up position, this is the weirdest sleeping position. Their body parts look like they’re made out of rubber!

There are different contortionist positions, but the general idea is that your cat’s body is in a weird position.

It usually looks like a cat forming the letter O, all stretched out with their front paws over their head, and back paws coming towards them.

Cats are highly flexible, and they move and change positions while sleeping. Their legs may be stretching all over, sticking out in any direction.

2. Superman Position

Number 2 is the Superman cat position. This is the one where your cat’s paws are all stretched out. Your cat is laying on its belly with their front paws stretched out in front, and hindlegs stretched out behind.

They can even be laying on their back with one front paw stretched out in front, looking like superman!.

If your cat sleeps like this, just know that they are extremely relaxed and will probably fall into a deep sleep like this.


a gray cat is sitting on the back of a couch

What does it mean when a cat sits with its paws tucked under its body?

They are relaxed. This means that your cat is comfortable and relaxed. Your cat feels no need to protect themselves or to run away.

What does cat sitting on back of couch mean?

This is due to the cat’s wild ancestry. Wild cats tend to sit up in trees or somewhere higher off the ground, in order to catch their prey. This allows them to see everything that is going on around them.

This is why our domestic cats like to sit in higher places as well; it’s all down to genetics.

Why does my cat sit on my chest?

Love. The answer is simple; love. Your cat is expressing their love for you. This is just one way of showing this to you.

Why do cats sit in weird positions?

Because they can. Jokes aside, cats are extremely flexible so their sitting positions may look weird to us, whereas to them, they are comfortable.

Why does my cat sit next to me?

Security. Cats crave security. They feel safe when they are near you, and this is good because they feel they can let their guard down a bit.

Why do cats sit on the edge of things?

The smell. Cats usually sit on the edge of a couch, laptops, books, because these things smell like you.

Why does my cat sit in a crouched position?

Discomfort. A cat sitting in a crouched position usually means discomfort of some kind. It may be fear, pain, aggression, or anxiety. Their body language will always tell you more about how your cat is feeling.

Why does my cat have a hunched back when sitting?

Pain or discomfort. If your cat is hunching over, that means they are most probably in pain.

If they are hunched over, sitting on all four paws, with a lowered head and either closed eyes or squinting. This is very different from normal healthy sitting, so be sure to talk to the vet for advice.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cats always look cute. There are many different cat sitting positions and many different meanings behind them. However, we can be sure that almost all of them are comfortable because cats love their comfort.

Your cat sits or sleeps next to you because they feel safe and secure enough to be in a vulnerable position near you.

There are different positions cats sit in, some are common and some less so. It is good to learn and be informed about your pets and their health.

This article is more of a fun nature than instructive, but it is still helpful. It is important to know how your cat feels at a certain time, and these cat sitting positions meaning explanations will surely help.

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