My cat is lying on their back, what does it mean?

Ginger cat sleep on back

Cats sleep in so many different positions! For example, they can sleep with one paw covering their face, in a ball, on their side, or on their belly. With that being said, it’s quite rare to see cats sleep on their back. If you are wondering why your cat does this and if it should concern you, Letsgetpet has got the answer.

Feeling of trust and the need to relax

It’s important to point out that cats are vulnerable when they sleep on their back. This is because all of their vital organs are found in their abdominal cavity. They will only sleep in certain positions if they feel safe and secure.

Unlike dogs, cats do not appreciate being petted on their belly when they are sleeping on their back. If you do this, it could cause your cat to become afraid or anxious. They could also react by scratching you or biting your hand to defend themself.

You cat can also decide to sleep on their back when they want to relax. This position allows their paws to be free, allowing them to fully stretch out to relieve muscle tension.

Body temperature regulation and submission

Cats do not have a lot of fur on their abdomen, and this where heat escapes from their body. To stay cool, your cat can decide to expose their belly. They might also prefer sleeping on their back when they are sleeping on something that is too cold.

Cats can also get into this position to show submission if they live with a dominant cat. Cats often live in a hierarchy when they share the same territory. The more dominant one will usually have a bigger space. They could have a tendency to attack and threaten. The dominated one will be more discrete in this case. They can sleep on their back to show their respect.

In these circumstances, you should be sure to keep the dominant cat under control if their provocations are frequent. Bring them to the bet because their aggression can hide a feeling of unease or a sickness.

It’s important to play with your cats to allow them to form a friendship. You should also feed them in different bowls. Learn to recognize signs of aggression (growling, ears folded backwards, hair standing upright) to stop them before they fight.

Cat sleep on back on carpet

Demands for grooming and mating

After their birth, kittens sleep on their back to allow their mother to groom them. They lose this habit once they become adults. However, if your cat is still young and their mother is away, they may get into this position to let you know they need to be groomed.

This position is also a way to tell you that they are hungry. When cats are still young, they sleep on their back to suckle. They can keep this behavior often after weaning. Some cats, while rare, continue to do this even after being weaned. You can, therefore, feed your cat if you notice that their belly is being exposed.

This position may also reflect a need for mating, particularly in females. In general, female cats sleep on their back when they are in heat. They are in their position to invite males to mate with them.

Should I be worried if my cats sleeps on their back?

If your cat like to sleep with their belly in the air, it should not worry you. However, it’s important to point out that your cat is sleeping in this position because of articulation problems, stress, or difficulties sleeping. This is generally the case when they start to do this suddenly and your cat is old.

Cats can get into this position to avoid pushing too much on their paws or straining their spine. It’s best to bring your cat to the vet to know if there is a problem if you notice a sudden change. Try to see if they have difficulties getting around.

Is your cat going out less and less? Are they reluctant to exert themself? The answers to these questions will allow you to have a better grasp of the situation. If your cat has a headache or a cold, they can also sleep on their back to feel better. This position promotes proper irrigation of the brain and better airflow through the respiratory tract. It also relieves stomach pain.

Your cat will prefer sleeping on their back to not apply pressure on their belly. In order to prevent this uncomfortable position for your cat, control the quality of quantity of food that you give them.

What are the meanings of other sleeping positions?

If your cat sleeps close to your, your cat appreciates your company. If they want to nap near your head, your lap, or your chest, it means that they are looking for warmth. This is also the case if your cat likes to sleep on a blanket or on other cats. There are many other positions cats can get into when sleeping that all have different meanings.

The ball, the sphinx and the superman pose

When your cat sleeps in a ball, they do not wish to be bothered during their nap. They can also get into this position to stay warm when it’s cold. They also do this to protect their organs in their abdominal cavity, because they do not feel safe.

If your cat sleeps like a sphynx, they are folding their paws and keeping their tail close to their body with their head held up. This position is often a way to ask for caresses. It shows a feeling of comfort and trust. If your cat stretches their belly with all of their of their legs stretched out (in a superman position), it means that they feel good in their environment.

The sphynx position does not allow them to defend themselves quickly in case of danger. This is also the case when your cat sleeps sideways, lying on their side with their legs curled up or stretched out. On the other hand, they could be on the lookout if they keep their eyes half-open while they sleep.

Sleeping with their paw on their face or snuggled in a box

Light and noise bothers cats when they are sleeping. To be able to sleep easier and to not be bothered during their nap, your cat can hide their face with their paw. Avoid touching them when they are in this position.

However, you can hug them if you notice that they are sleeping in a box. Cats prefers this setting to reduce heat loss and help keep their body warm. With that being said, they don’t provide real comfort. Instead, create a cosy nest to keep your cat comfortable. This also prevents them from crawling into your bed all the time.

If your cat has a habit of sleeping on top of the fridge or on a cat tree, it could mean they don’t feel safe in their environment. Height allows them to keep an eye on any possible danger and anticipate attacks. This also helps them react quickly if needed, especially if they sleep with their eyes slightly open. This position could mean that they fear you, another animal, or an individual in your home.