Cats tend to be very expressive in nature. If you do pay attention to your cat’s actions, you are going to realize a few things. As a cat owner, it is up to you to try and understand your cat’s body language. This way, you will be able to meet his needs and also enjoy great companionship. Below, we are going to look at cat body language meanings when he is lying down.
Cat body language lying down. Understanding this.
Whether your cat is asleep or not, the way he lays down should tell you quite a lot. Now, in most instances, your cat may lie down by the window. This presents him with an opportunity to watch the surroundings outside. Well, you will have to focus on his entire body language to be able to determine what he means.
Cat body language lying down on their back
Sometimes, your cat will roll on his back. This could be playful but at the same time, some cats exhibit this behavior when they are agitated. If your cat is lying on his back with his claws out, he is definitely angry.
Why do cats lie on their backs?
There are different reasons why cats roll on their backs. While we can say it is a defensive position, it could also mean other things. In order to understand your cat’s body language when he is lying down, you need to observe him closely. Cats lie on their backs for the following reasons:
Your cat could be lying or rolling on his back could indicate that your cat is genuinely happy. Contrary to aggressive or defensive, your cat will expose his belly in a playful manner. Even though cats do not enjoy belly rubs, some cats will actually expose their bellies to show that he trusts you and that he is happy.
This is commonly witnessed in multi-cat homes. A cat lying down on his back may also indicate that your cat is submissive and afraid. For instance, if you are running a multi-cat, of course, they have already identified their alpha. If your kitty is afraid of the alpha, or about to get into a fight and he rolls on his back, it is a sign of submissiveness.
Besides, it is also a sure sign that your cat is willing to be the most defenseless with you. He trusts you and feels safe as well. It is a way to showcase his vulnerability.
When the mating season comes, it is also common to find your female cat lying down. Watch out for other signs that your kitty is in heat. These signs might include spraying and vocalization. Don’t worry as you will be able to tell the difference between when your kitty is happy or in need of a mate.
In the case your cat is lying down on his back while growling, you should keep off. He is probably in a defensive position and he could hurt you if you reach out. Usually, he will do this when he is about to get into a fight with another cat or pet.
Relaxed cat body language lying down
You will be able to tell when your cat is relaxed by the way he lays down. When your cat is at peace, he could stretch his body out, or curled. Also, your cat might lay with his paws tucked nicely underneath his body.
At this position, your cat is calm and, it shows that he trusts you. If you go on to observe his eyes and ears, you can also tell that he is relaxed. He will have half-closed eyes and upright ears while lying down in this position.
In addition, a relaxed kitty, when your cat is happy, you will notice. For instance, a happy kitty might be sitting down or lying down. You will realize that once again, he has heavy eyes and upright ears in both positions.
He might also lie down on his side with legs spread out. At this position, your cat is content and you may actually pet him.
Cat sleeping positions and their meanings
Did you know that you can also be able to recognize a stressed or happy cat through their sleeping positions? Well, if you observe your kitty really well, you will learn a few things about him, even when he is asleep. Below, we are going to look at the meaning of several cat sleeping positions;
Sleeping on the side is the most comfortable position for cats. You will observe your cat sleeping on the side with his limbs stretched out. It means that he is comfortable and relaxed in this environment. He knows that he is safe from any kind of danger.
At this position, your cat is probably in his deepest sleep. Well, most cats who are already confident in their homes will sleep on the side with paws resting on the ground or curled up. Other cats adopt this as their everyday sleeping position.
Most cats fall asleep in this position, especially during the day. He will form a rectangular shape with his body resembling a loaf and hence this name. Your cat will tuck all his limbs underneath his body while leaving his head and body in an upright position.
Unlike the side-sleeper, the cat loaf position means that your cat is alert even in his sleep. It happens when your cat feels threatened and cannot fall asleep completely. In most scenarios, a new cat will definitely use this position until he develops complete trust in you and the household members.
In other cases, your cat will have his elbows out, while still adopting this sleeping position. It does not necessarily mean that your cat is really in danger. However, it is natural for him to feel defensive when there is a potential danger. For instance, if you have kids in your house, you will observe this position multiple times. It could be as a result of the noise and commotion going on in the house. Usually, your cat is not in deep sleep when he is in this position.
Lying down in enclosed spaces
Understanding cat body language especially when he is lying down is vital. You will be able to tell what he is feeling. Cats love falling asleep in enclosed spaces. Well, he perceives the enclosed spaces as safety zones. He will completely fall asleep.
It could be a certain corner in the house, or even on the laundry baskets. Understand that cats are comfortable sleeping in dark tiny places. It is even a good thing for him as he will retain his body heat. Sleeping in enclosed areas will increase the sense of security for your cat.
Curled up kitty
Cats enjoy sleeping in a curled up position. At this sleeping position, your cat will resemble a ball of far. Almost every cat owner has witnessed their cats in this sleeping position. He will tuck his paws as well as tail underneath his body. His head and neck will be curled to the middle of his entire body.
Also, this position will help your kitty retain his body heat.
Well, just as the name suggests, your cat can also adopt the contortionist position. He will stretch his limbs out in the opposite direction as his head. This hilarious sleeping position does not have any particular motive.
Do not be concerned as your cat is not necessarily hurting himself. He has a flexible spine and thus the ability to lie down in this position. It is probably just a comfortable position.
Understand that cats sleep in the most comfortable places they can find. However, he might also need to lie down when he is still awake. As we have discussed in the first section of this article, you can be able to tell his emotional status by the way he lies down. Besides, a sick cat will have issues with lying down comfortably. Therefore, it is vital for you to observe him in order to tell whether he is really sick.
Cat body language lying down when sick
There are so many signs and symptoms to look for when you suspect that your kitty is ill. Based on the illness that you are dealing with, the way he lies down could also mean that he is not feeling well. For instance, watch out for the way he positions his paws when lying down.
Even though cats love lying down on their stomachs, having his paws together could indicate that he is ill. Usually, it is a sign of breathing and respiratory issues. You may want to keep an eye on your kitty and determine if he has breathing problems.
You will, however, need to observe other signs and symptoms to determine whether he is sick. For instance, watch his litter box habits as well as his vocalization. Should he show any signs of discomfort when lying down, you may need to visit your vet for a close examination.
In conclusion, cat body language when lying down should give you an insight into his mood and overall emotional status. You can be able to tell when he is relaxed, angry, focused or even happy. In other cases, your cat might be in the need to mate and thus lies down on his back to expose his belly.
It takes some time before your cat gets accustomed to you and your house. If you pay attention to his overall behavior, you will be able to learn everything about him. The first thing you should do is establish trust with your kitty so that he can settle in comfortably. He might choose weird places to lie down when he wants to relax and this should not worry you.
As we have discussed above, cats depend on their body language to communicate with us. It is, however, our responsibility to determine what they are trying to tell us.