Why Does My Cat Sleep On His Back: Cat Contortion Confusion Clarified

Cats sleep in many strange places because they like to feel secure, but why does your cat sleep on his back? Surely this position isn’t about feeling safer when they sleep or is it? If you had a dog, you’d know that an exposed belly means submission, but cats are slightly different. They will roll over to get ‘belly rubs’ only to attack you later. Is back sleeping a trap? Fortunately, not. However, it’s best if you leave that fuzzy belly alone. Your cat shows their underside as a sign of trust and faith in you. In a way, it is about safety. When your kitty sleeps with their back down and underbelly up, they are saying that they feel good and protected in your home. Your back-sleeper is saying they do not worry that you will harm them. Most importantly, they feel a hundred percent secure sleeping around you.

Why does my cat sleep on his back? Your cat sleeps on his back to show trust. The belly-up position is a danger to an animal in the wild, exposing it to attacks. When your cat sleeps with his paws up, he shows you that he doesn’t believe you are a threat, and he trusts that he is safe and secure. 

Why Does My Cat Sleep on His Back with His Legs Open

When your cat sleeps on his back, you may wonder why, but is there a difference between this and the open legs back position? The answer is yes, but only slightly. A cat on its back is displaying trust and their attachment to their owner. Attachment to owners by cats has been proved by a study conducted by the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.

If your cat is on his back with his legs open, it is in an even more vulnerable position. Those open legs expose as much belly as possible. Unlike a dog’s submission that shows they are bowing to your rulership; a cat is simply saying they trust that you won’t harm them.

A pet who trusts you enough to relax in this way is indicating that you have a great relationship. Not all cats choose to sleep like this, so don’t worry too much if yours doesn’t sleep on their back. Like humans, cats have different personalities, and they may be more nervous or less trusting by nature. Moreover, some cats aren’t comfortable on their backs.

Make sure your kitty sleeps well in a MeowFia Premium Felt Cat Bed Cave from Amazon. These cute and comfortable caves are soft and dark for perfect rest. Better still, this bed is handmade from a hundred percent Merino wool. Not only is this a safe sleeping spot, but it is eco-friendly and made from a renewable resource. Read the outstanding reviews by clicking here

Is It Normal For a Cat to Sleep On Its Back

Not every cat will sleep on his back like not every cat likes catnip. It’s perfectly normal to wonder and even worry about the behavior of your pets. Especially if you are a new pet owner and have more than one pet, it can be confusing.

Try to keep in mind that animals, like humans, have their own individual preferences and quirks. Some cats follow you everywhere, and others are content to watch you walk out of the room. Likewise, some cats want to sleep in the highest spot possible, and others enjoy chilling out on the floor.

All sleeping positions are normal for cats. Whether yours looks like an upside-down pretzel or a loaf, they are simply fine. The way they sleep shows their mood and personality and being on their back is normal. It is also normal for a cat to never sleep on its back.

What looks awful and uncomfortable or just weird to us can be super comfy for your pet. Humans are the same. Some kids sleep on their backs or in odd, contorted positions. People tend to move away from the more eccentric sleeping positions as we grow, but your cat never will.

Here is a video that shows cats sleeping in various positions:


Why Do Most Fat Cats Sleep On Their Backs

When your cat is overweight, he is more likely to sleep on his back. Fat cats aren’t merely more trusting. Any creature that has a weight problem will have several additional issues. At the College of Veterinary medicine University of Minnesota, cats could possibly develop osteoarthritis due to being overweight.

In humans, people who are overweight often have knee problems. A fat cat can also have issues with the joints in his legs. Moreover, carrying that bulk around every day puts extra pressure on their tender paw pads.

The muscles and joints are working harder to haul the weight. This will cause fatigue and even pain. Your fat cat sleeps upside down to relieve his legs.

Additionally, that extra weight pulls down in the middle of their body and distorts the spine. By lying flat on their backs, the spine is in a more normal position. It helps them to be more comfortable when they sleep like this.

If your cat is overweight, it is important to consult your veterinarian. Diet and exercise can help them live a long healthy life. Since overeating isn’t the only thing that can cause weight gain, regular checkups are necessary.

Cats can have thyroid problems and other issues. Only a professional vet can tell you what is wrong for certain. Your fat cat depends on you to take care of their needs, so when they start sleeping on their back, it could be an indication of pain you can help them relieve.

Cat Sleeping Positions Chart

Cats sleep in lots of various positions. Your cat may sleep on his back, but you’ll notice that he sleeps in many other positions as well. Most cats don’t choose only one way to sleep.

Different sleeping positions indicate various levels of comfort and rest. Some spots and styles of sleep are for a light nap, while others indicate deeper sleep. You can learn a lot about how your cat feels from the way they sleep. The list below shows you all the ways you might find an unconscious cat.

Cat Sleep Positions

  1. Half Open Eyes or One Eye Open- This kitty isn’t sleeping well, and they don’t feel secure sleeping deeply. A cat who keeps his eyes open partway is only half asleep and waiting to spring into action. Cats can be both asleep and partially conscious, a skill that helps them survive in the wild.
  2. Cat in a Box or Small Space- When your cat chooses a small space where they are surrounded, it is a sign of concern for their sleep safety. Sometimes this is merely a personality trait, but it can also indicate that your pet has valid concerns about how safe they are while sleeping. This is also why mother cats often choose to give birth in small, enclosed spaces.
  3. Curled Up Cat- Kitties sleep curled up as a natural defense. However, sometimes they choose this position because it also helps conserve body heat. Cats like to be warm.
  4. Cats Up High- The higher a cat chooses to sleep, the higher they feel their status in the house. If you have multiple cats and a cat tree, you may notice that the dominant cat is most often sleeping on the highest platform. This is about status. Likewise, a cat who sleeps higher up than your bed thinks they are in charge of you.
  5. The Rail Sleeper- Kitties who choose chair-backs and sofa arms for their naps are doing their job by surveying the area. Even in sleep, these cats are ready to spring into defensive action.
  6. The Loaf- Paws tucked under a cats’ body means they are relaxed but ready for action. This is a comfortable but alert sleeping position. Typically loaf sleeping is more of a short-nap position than a full rest.
  7. Paws Over Face- The adorable paws over face sleeping position is actually a sign that the cat wants to block the light. Even if they have a dark place to sleep, some stubborn cats opt for a brighter spot because it is warm or safe, but they sleep better if their eyes don’t pick up so much light.
  8. The Weird Pretzel- Your cat isn’t the only one who sleeps like a manic puppeteer threw them in a corner. Felines who sleep in a strange position are at ease. Though it is hard to imagine, they are comfortable like this and are sleeping happily.
  9. Side Sleepers- A cat who is laid out on its side is not worried. They are happy and sleeping deeply in a comfortable position.
  10. Belly Up- If your cat sleeps on his back, this is a comfortable, trusting cat who couldn’t feel more secure. Some cats never do this because of their personality and comfort levels, so don’t feel offended f it never happens. However, you can take it as a compliment if your pet sleeps like this.

Why Do Cats Sometimes Sleep with Their Heads Upside Down

Outdoors and in the wild, you will rarely see an upside-down cat. Your cat sleeps on his back out of trust and security. Outside, cats will sleep upright in a more defensible position.

Even if your yard is perfectly safe, a cats’ instincts tell them they are more exposed in nature. The upside-down body or head is reserved for a secured environment where they have no worries. Like sleeping on their back, an upside-down head is all about trust and safety.

Cats with upside-down heads take longer to get up. You may also catch your kitty covering their head and ears. This has two effects.

First, sleeping like this shows you that they know they are safe with you around. By resting in a comfy position that takes longer to get out of, they feel good. Furthermore, it shows you they know it’s alright and doesn’t need to worry about attacks.

Secondly, sleeping with your head and ears upside down or covered can help you relax. It blocks light and pushes the ears partway closed. This is relaxing and helps keep out any external stimulus, even if it is sunny and loud.

I recommend a Kitty City, Large Cat Tunnel Bed from Amazon for your silly sleeper. Not only are these beds great for playing inside, but there’s lots of room to stretch out and nap. Plus, the insulated tube offers a dark, quiet place for resting. Best of all, these zip-together beds come with toys included so your pet can relax or go wild, depending on their mood. Get yours delivered fast by clicking here

Why Does My Cat Insist On Sleeping with Its Back To Me

There are so many weird cat sleeping positions. You may wonder why your cat sleeps on his back or why he insists on sleeping with his back to you. This facing-away position is a combination of two things your cat cares about deeply.

First, the ability to face away from you is something that cats do out of trust. They know you quite literally ‘have their backs,’ so they don’t need to watch what’s going on back there. Cherish this trust.

However, there’s another reason they face away from you that is equally sweet and endearing. You may feel snubbed, but nothing could be further from your cat’s mind. He is facing away to survey the territory and keep you safe.

You are behind the cat so he can protect you. He is using his keen eyes and other senses to make sure you are safe too. Although you don’t need his protection any more than you need the ‘snacks’ some cats bring to help you learn to hunt, his heart is in the right place.

Final Thoughts

If you are lucky enough to have a cat who sleeps on his back around you, now you know why. Our furry friends don’t have human words, and their behavior seems mysterious until you start to understand it. An exposed belly during sleep is the highest compliment your cat can give.

Similarly, when your cat parks in front of you and faces away, it may seem they are giving the cold shoulder. Far from ignoring you, that cat is saying something sweet. The cat knows you will protect their back. They think you are a good person and know they are safer with you in the spot they cannot see.

When your cat shows his tummy or faces away from you, it is all about love and trust. You have reached the pinnacle of feline affection and security, so be proud of your pet ownership skills.

Recent Posts