Cat Sleeping Positions When Sick: Everything You Need To Know

Cat Sleeping Positions When Sick. Cats are known for sleeping, and obtaining enough beauty sleep is a crucial necessity for them. While a dozing kitten is lovely, it might also signify potential danger. As a result, pet owners must be aware of frequent cat sleeping postures while unwell. Cats sleep about 12 to 16 hours each day on average. It might indicate a sick or melancholy cat if you see your cat sleeping in an odd posture more regularly. As a result, you should watch your cat’s sleeping habits, particularly if other symptoms of illness or suffering accompany it. The most typical sleeping postures of a sick cat and other discomfort signs are detailed in this article.

Cat Sleeping Positions When Sick

Cat is sleeping

1. Cat Curled Up in a Ball

Sleeping curled up in a ball is one of the coziest positions and common in colder months. Felines might curl up as tightly as possible and tuck their ears and paws close to their bodies to keep warm. As cats lose most heat through their footpads and ears, this position keeps them snug during cold weather. However, it can also indicate that your cat’s body temperature has dropped below 100 degrees Fahrenheit and could lead to hypothermia.

If your kitty is sleeping curled up in a tight ball with its eyes closed, ears pinned forward, or experiencing short and shallow breaths; it may be in pain.

If you determine that your cat is struggling to stay warm, you can adjust your thermostat to an appropriate temperature.

2. Sleeping On Your Chest

Many cat owners, like myself, feel flattered when their cat sleeps on their chest. I feel so loved and touched when a cat sleeps on my chest that my kitty wants to snuggle up with me. A cat lying on your chest, on the other hand, might be a dangerous sleeping posture.

Like curling up in a ball, sleeping on your chest might signal that your cat is chilly. Because our bodies produce heat, lying on our chest is similar to a cat curled up near a heater or in a sunny location in your house.

Because cats are attracted to warmth, this isn’t always an indication that your cat is struggling to stay warm, but if you fear your cat is a danger of hypothermia, check your home’s temperature and assist your cat in warming up. Otherwise, enjoy your kitty cuddles! 

3. Sleeping Flat on Their Back

 If you have an affectionate cat that’s loving during the day and then sleeps on its back, it’s usually no concern. It may suggest that your cat feels secure and trusts you by leaving its paw pads and belly exposed. On the other hand, if your cat is sleeping flat on its back, it can also indicate that it feels threatened or vulnerable. By lying in this way, the cat has both its claws and teeth ready to protect itself.

 If a cat displays warning signs like prolonged periods of hiding and aggression, it could suggest that it feels the need to be on high alert. It’s vital to visit your veterinarian for immediate treatment as it could point to medical illness, physical pain, or injuries.

4. She is sleeping flat in her stomach. 

Cats that sleep flat in the stomach are not planning to have a deep sleep, which may also indicate that they are sick or in pain. There are two variations to this sleeping position:

The loaf position 

Cats in a loaf position will tuck their paws and tail under their belly, which usually means they want to take a brief nap. They fold their feet and seats to keep themselves warm but keep their head upright to stay alert. However, if they are asleep, their heads may drop, which is the so-called collapsed loaf position. 

Sick cats do not usually sleep in a loaf position as they tend to curl up or hide in enclosed spaces. But some sick cats may also sleep like this since they want to stay alert. They tend to go for micro-naps instead of deep sleep.

Sleeping with paws outstretched

This sleeping position resembles the flying place where the cat’s paws are sprawled and not tucked. Sleeping in this position means a cat can quickly escape if she is threatened or attacked. It may also mean that a cat sleeps like this since she feels vulnerable due to an illness.

5. Cat Sleeping With Mouth Open

Unless anything is wrong, cats do not pant, breathe through their mouths, or sleep with their mouths open. If your cat has been sleeping with its mouth open, it might signify that its respiratory system is straining or has poor circulation. Get them to a vet as soon as possible since this is one of the most challenging sleeping postures.

6. Cat Sleeping With Chin on Floor

Cat Sleeping Positions

The meatloaf posture refers to your cat lying flat on its stomach with its chin on the floor.

It may seem charming at times, but this posture might indicate that they are either OK or in considerable pain. This is a typical posture for cats suffering from respiratory problems or lung problems.

If you’re worried, come near them (without disturbing them) and observe and listen to how they breathe. 

7. Sleeping on Their Side

Generally, a cat lying on its side suggests a relaxed and happy kitty. It is a vulnerable position and often indicates that your cat has an average body temperature. As cats tend to hide when they’re in pain, they usually don’t sleep this way when they’re unwell. However, there are exceptions, and side-sleeping is not always good. A cat lying stretched out on one side could indicate that it is having difficulty breathing or experiencing muscular pain. 

In this case, cats prefer this position over others that may pressure their lungs, like lying flat on their stomach or curled up in a ball. If your cat has breathing issues, you will hear them wheezing and breathing deeply. Other signs that you should be wary of include limping, panting, having trouble getting in their litter box, and refusing to run or climb. If your cat is constantly sleeping on its side with other symptoms, it’s best to arrange a vet appointment as soon as possible.

Other Signs of Sickness & Pain

Here are some crucial signs that your cat is unwell or in pain that you should be aware of. 

  • Change in Appetite
  • Increased Thirst
  • Excessive Vocalization
  • Personality Changes
  • Changes in Grooming Behavior
  • Litter Box Issues
  • Changes in Their Eyes


Cat Sleeping Positions When Sick. Cats have an array of sleeping positions that allow them to relax and flex their bodies and will only sleep in certain situations when they feel secure in their surroundings. However, they may also sleep in a certain way when they are sick, including sleeping flat on their back or side, in a curled or fetal position, and with one eye open. 


Why is the cat sleeping with tongue out?
Your pet’s body might be so relaxed that its jaw will release, similar to how a person’s mouth opens when sleeping. The tip of the tongue may be seen peeping out of the cat’s mouth in such cases. The way they show their buttocks is a symbol of trust.
What does it mean when a cat lays on your stomach?
They feel at ease and secure there. When the cat has its beloved and adored owner by her side, she knows she is safe and can finally sleep peacefully. Furthermore, your tummy proves to be the ideal location for a kitten to be warm, comfy and protected.
How do cats lay when sick?
Cat Sleeping Positions When Sick. Sick cats frequently lay in a slumped stance, silently. They may ignore their appearance. They might be purring, which cats do when they are pleased and when they are ill or in pain. A cat with trouble breathing may refuse to rest on his side and keep his head elevated.
Why do cats hide when they are sick?
When cats are unwell, they are known to hide. Why? Because they intuitively understand that a sick animal is a target in the wild. They are most likely attempting to defend themselves by “hiding” from any danger that may seek to exploit their vulnerable position. How to treat a sick cat without going to the vet Encourage your cat to consume a tasty, high-energy, highly digestible diet in small, frequent portions. Food that has been warmed to body warmth is generally more palatable. Hand-feeding some ill cats might encourage them to eat more. If there are any foods you should not provide, your veterinarian will tell you.
How to comfort a sick cat?
If yours is down, giving them some general comfort and pampering might feel better. If your cat’s symptoms do not improve or become more severe, you should seek advice from a veterinarian. Following their recommendations may assist your cat in recovering or enhancing its quality of life.
Do cats make a lot of noise when they are sick?
Cats may howl for no apparent cause, but this can be due to various factors ranging from discomfort to a rise in blood pressure that affects the brain. If they have suddenly gone blind, they will wail.

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