Cat Sleeping Positions when Sick
Cats love to sleep! An average cat sleeps about 15 hours a day while lazy and older felines sleep for up to 20 hours. They also love sleeping in many different positions that most consider uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, lethargy is a sign of depression and sickness. Like humans, felines sleep more often and have low energy when ill. Their sleeping positions will communicate any underlying issues or discomfort.
So what are the cat sleeping positions when sick? These include curled up in a ball, flat on their back, lying flat on their stomach, cat loaf position, cat meatloaf position, lying on their side, sleeping with an open eye, and many more.
This article will discuss each cat sleeping position that shows signs of illness.
12 Cat Sleeping Positions when Sick
Here are the sick cat sleeping positions:
1. Curled up in a ball
This position is the sleeping position that cats do most often. It’s among the coziest positions a cat sleeps in a while its body curls up as tightly as possible.
By doing so, your cat easily retains warmth while tucking its ears and paws closer to its bodies, where most of the heat gets lost.
But sometimes, it can be a sign of emotion. In this case, you will notice them sleep-curling as a response to stress or pain.
When your cat curls up in a ball at odd times, check their litter box first and ensure they don’t have any health problems. If your cat is healthy, try to figure out the cause of your pet’s stress.
2. Flat on their back
Many owners believe this is the classic sleeping position for felines that is comfortable. Perhaps they need a belly rub, right? Well, this is usually true.
However, your cat may lay outstretched on their back since they’re very warm. So this position enables your cat to lose heat and cool down. That’s why you’ll often see your cat lying on its back in the sun.
Typically, this shouldn’t worry you. But if your cat’s body temperature rises higher and can’t cool itself down, it may develop heatstroke, a type of hyperthermia. This can increase your cat’s breathing and heart rate leading to coma and even death.
Besides that, a cat with heatstroke will have red gums. They may pant to cool their temperatures and become very tired. Such a cat is likely to suffer from diarrhea and sickness.
Watch over your cat. Provide them with plenty of water to help them cool down whenever they get hot. You can also stroke them gently using a wet towel. Lower your home’s temperature. Please schedule an emergency appointment with your veterinarian in case of sickness and diarrhoea.
3. Lying flat on stomach
The classic sleeping position of sick cats is when they lay down on their stomachs with all four legs extended forward and the head tucked to one side or between their front paws.
Typically, this is not a comfortable position for them. Veterinarians suggest that laying on their stomachs can make felines feel trapped and panicked, which doesn’t help alleviate any aches or pains.
In one study conducted by the University of Edinburgh, researchers examined cats sick with kidney disease. They found that those felines were less likely to sleep on their stomachs than healthy cats until the final stage of the disease arrived when they had difficulty moving about and would lay wherever they were most comfortable, including on their backs.
While your feline lies flat on their back, ensure you check out for signs of temperature increase. Help them to cool down when they get too warm to prevent heatstroke.
4. Cat Loaf Position
Cats who are sick usually sleep in a cat loaf, which is when they lie on their sides with the tummy facing up. They curl their tails around them to keep themselves warm and sometimes with one paw over their head.
If you’re not sure if your pet is sleeping, you can look at their face to see if they’re still conscious. Their eyes will be half-opened and their mouths hanging down sideways.
This position is often associated with deep sleep, so you shouldn’t disturb them or cause movement when they are in this state. If your cat sleeps in this way, it’s possible that they’re very tired after hunting, playing, or experiencing some injury. So this position will enable them to heal more quickly and wake up refreshed.
Sometimes, healthy cats will sleep in this position because it’s the best way to keep themselves warm without expending too much energy. Cats are “energy efficient” predators, so they conserve their energy whenever possible, which is why they do not need to eat constantly.
5. Curled-Up Sleep Position
When cats are sick, they often sleep in a curled-up position with their head tucked into their chests and front paws tight against the tummy. This sleeping position is very similar to kittens take when they’re cold or scared.
They curl up to stay warm and protect their “vital organs”: their heart, stomach, lungs, and liver-kidney. If your cat sleeps curled into a ball, it’s probably because they’re cold or stressed.
When cats are sick or hurt, they don’t know how to take care of themselves, so they may freak out when you touch them. If you need to move them, be gentle and ensure that they breathe correctly. That’s because sometimes cats who are puffed up become unable to take in oxygen easily.
To soothe your cat, it’s also important for you to tell them that everything will be alright. Don’t panic when approaching your furry friend while they’re sleeping, and be mindful of their trust in you.
6. Cat Meatloaf Position
If your cat is sick, they’re most likely to sleep in the Meatloaf Position. This is when they’re curled up, but their legs are outstretched instead of tucked into their chest or stomachs. Their ear flattens downwards, and their tails wrap around them along with their paws. It’s almost like a human child sleeping in a fetal position.
When cats are in this position, they usually conserve their energy and rest for the future. Even though they look like they’re sleeping deeply, you shouldn’t touch them while they rest because there’s a chance that your cat may be only pretending to sleep so that you won’t bother them.
Cats who sleep this way can wake up quickly if they sense danger. So it’s important to be mindful of their surroundings. The cat meatloaf is a position that provides security and comfort for felines which is why they take this form even when they’re not sick.
If your cat sleeps in this way, they probably feel quite safe and can easily react to anything that may approach them. This position is also quite popular for kittens who haven’t yet learned how to sleep properly on their own.
Cats are very intelligent creatures, so they will act differently from other pets, making it difficult to understand their behavior. Always be patient and think about whether your cat might want to be left alone while they sleep.
Remember that cats are very good at communicating and use the proper precautions if they feel ill, injured, or stressed out.
7. Lying on their Side Sleep Position
When cats are content, they’ll sleep on their side with their bodies straight. If your cat sleeps like this, it’s probably because they aren’t concerned about anything at the moment, so they don’t feel the need to curl up in a ball. When cats are relaxed, their breathing will be steady and slow, which is why you may see them “smile” when they’re sleeping.
Your cat may also sleep in this position when sick, which can look similar to the Meatloaf Position. This may be because your cat is too sick to curl upon itself.
But they’re not in a lot of pain, so they’re not sleeping on their backs either. However, if your cat sleeps like this all or most of the time, you should take them to see a vet immediately because there may be something wrong.
8. Sleeping with their Pet Parents
When your cat is ill or hurt, they will look for ways to feel comforted, especially if you’re near them at that time. The majority of cats will snuggle up next to you when they’re relaxed and purr loudly. If your cat sleeps with you, it’s because they’ve realized that you’re the safest person in their environment.
They may also feel safer sleeping next to their pet parents when sick or injured because these people know how to take care of them, and your cat knows you’ll make sure they’re okay. Your cat knows that you will provide them with the support and comfort they need, so this is why your furry friend feels safest when sleeping next to you.
9. Sleeping with an Open Eye
If your cat sleeps with one eye open, this usually means that they’re not having a peaceful rest. You may notice this because their eyes will squint, and the pupil expands while they sleep.
When your cat’s sleeping in this way, it’s because something is going on around them that makes them feel stressed about their environment. They’re probably attempting to conserve their energy, so they only sleep with one eye open.
Cats are very protective creatures, so when they feel uncomfortable or unsafe, they’ll make sure to stay alert and be able to respond quickly if necessary. It’s also likely that your cat may be sleeping with an open eye because of illness or pain, which can make them feel uncomfortable.
10. Sleeping with an Open Mouth
When your cat sleeps like this, they’re most likely relaxed but not without caution. You may notice that their tongue will be extended sometimes when sleeping in this way.
Their breathing may be shallow or rapid, depending on how much pain they’re experiencing. If your cat sleeps with their mouth open, this is a sign that they’re not as relaxed as usual.
If your cat’s breathing is shallow and the tongue sticks out, then it’s clear that something is going on that isn’t right. Your cat may have gone through several stressful moments throughout the day or night, which is why they feel like keeping their mouth open.
11. Praying Position
The praying position, also known as the fetal position, is when your cat curls up into a ball on its side with the head tucked underneath. Cats do this when they feel safe and comfortable (although it’s often difficult to tell because cats are extremely good at hiding injuries).
This may be why cats like sleeping in this way because they feel the safest when curled up in a ball with their tail extended and body closed off. They’ll also curl into a praying position when they’re pregnant or very hungry.
However, if your cat sleeps in this way regularly, then there may be something going on that you don’t know about. For example, cats will sleep in this position when they’re feeling ill or in extreme pain, so this is why it’s important to be aware of your pet’s behavior.
12. Always Sleeping in the same position
If your cat always sleeps in the same position, this may signify that they’re feeling uncomfortable or stressed about their environment.
Cats usually sleep in different positions throughout the day and night, so if they sleep in the same way every time, it’s likely because they’re not okay.
Cats will typically sleep alone at night, but if they sleep in the same position each time, it’s likely because they feel stressed or anxious about their environment. This is because your cat knows that you’ll come to their rescue if anything bad happens, so this is why they always sleep in the same position.
Cats are very mysterious creatures, and it can be difficult to tell what they’re thinking. However, if your cat sleeps in unique ways or behaves unusually, it’s most likely because they feel pain or sick.
It’s important to pay attention to your cat and their unwell cat sleeping positions when sick to be aware of what’s going on at all times. If you believe that your pet is ill or injured, it’s best to take them to the vet.
Kindly comment if you have any questions about cat sleeping positions that indicate they’re sick.