Cat Sleeping Positions When Sick And What They Mean

A dozing kitten is definitely lovely, but it might also suggest a problem sometimes. As a result, it’s critical for pet parents to grasp frequent ill cat sleeping postures.

Like people, cats will sleep more and have less energy when they are unwell than when they are fit and healthy. Lethargy, on the other hand, might be an indication of illness or despair. When a cat is unwell, sleeping postures might assist discover any underlying disorders or feelings of pain.

Cat Sleeping Positions When Sick

1. Sleeping On Your Stomach

Sleeping On Your Stomach

If your cat is feeling cold, he or she will sleep on your upper body parts. As our bodies generate heat, resting on our chests is analogous to a cat curling up next to a heater or in a sunny place in your home. Because cats are drawn to warmth, this isn’t a sure indicator that your cat is sick.

2. They Are Sleeping On Their Side

They Are Sleeping On Their Side

In general, a cat sleeping on its side represents a peaceful and content kitten. It usually means your cat has a normal body temperature. Cats normally do not sleep in this manner when they are ill because they hide when they are in agony.

3. Cat Loaf Position

Cat Loaf Position

The cat loaf position is when cats lie on their stomach with their paws and tails tucked under their belly. This posture is normal for short naps and is usually an indication that your cat is enjoying a good night’s sleep. It might, however, suggest pain in your cat’s paws sometimes. 

4. Sleeping On Their Backs

Sleeping On Their Backs

It’s typically not a problem if you have an affectionate cat who sleeps on its back at night. In fact, letting its paw pads and tummy be exposed may indicate that your cat is safe and trusts you. If your cat, on the other hand, sleeps flat on its back, it may be indicating that it feels threatened or vulnerable. 

5. Sleeping Cat In The Foetal Position

Sleeping Cat In The Foetal Position

Because the cat’s body is curled up as closely as possible, this is one of the most comfortable resting positions for it. This keeps your cat warm by tucking their paws and ears close to their bodies, where they lose the majority of their body heat.

6. Position Like Cat Meatloaf

The cat meatloaf stance is a variant of the loaf position that unwell cats frequently adopt. This is a slumped stance with your cat’s back arched upwards and paws below its body. If your cat is in the meatloaf position, he or she very certainly needs medical treatment.

7. Prayer Like Position

Prayer Like Position

The prayer posture occurs when a cat’s chest is near to the ground and its back legs are in the air. Although cats will not sleep in this position, it can suggest illness and should be avoided. The primary cause of this aberrant posture is feline peritonitis. Cats suffering from peritonitis are more inclined to sleep curled up in order to protect their stomach.

8. One Eye Open When Sleeping

One Eye Open When Sleeping

Your cat’s eyes might be open when napping. This may sound unusual to us, but cats in the wild are both predators and prey, and they must always be attentive, even while resting. They observe their surroundings, keeping an eye open while sleeping. 

9. Same Posture Sleeping Position

If you find your cat sleeping in the same posture all the time, this might indicate that he or she is ill. If your cat is regularly curled up in a ball in a warm place, it might mean that they are always chilly and they always have a low body temperature. There is no reason to be alarmed if your cat curls up during one nap and sleeps stretched out the next.

10. Sharing A Bed With Other Cats

If you have several cats, seeing them curled up together is quite sweet. Cats raised in the same home frequently create an unshakable relationship. They will slumber and groom one another.

It is not unusual to find two cats sleeping together. However, if one cat is awake while the other sleep, this might signal an underlying issue. It might imply that the sleeping kitten is requesting the other to keep an eye on them.

Other Signs of Cat Illness

Activity Levels Have Dropped

Lethargy in cats is frequently an indication of a problem. Your cat resting more frequently, being less active, or has less overall energy. Low energy is frequently caused by fevers, infections, or general illness. Other causes of your cat’s low energy levels might include discomfort rather than tiredness. 

Changed Grooming Behaviour

When self-grooming ceases among cats, it indicates that something is amiss. A lack of grooming is frequently caused by your cat being agitated. It might, however, be an indication of something more catastrophic.

When senior cats cease grooming, they may develop arthritis. This is when their joints swell and stiffen, and contorting their bodies into the strange postures required to clean themselves all over may cause agony. 

Changes in Appetite

Because unwell cats may eat more or less than usual, or be more or less thirsty than usual, any change in appetite or thirst should be taken seriously. Cats with dental issues may appear to be finicky eaters. Cats with metabolic illnesses such as diabetes mellitus or hyperthyroidism may have a voracious appetite and excessive thirst.

Cats suffering from liver or renal illness usually lose their appetite while increasing their thirst. Anorectic cats are more likely to get a urinary tract infection.

Vocalisation That Is Excessive

Excessive vocalisation, on the other hand, is a red flag. Your cat’s excessive meowing might be their method of communicating that they are ill or in discomfort. You could also notice your cat hissing at you and other family members or purring strangely.

Messy Coat and Shedding

Unhappy cats do not groom themselves well. As a result, a dirty or oily coat, fur mats, or clumps of loose hair are common. In certain circumstances, you will notice a difference in the sheen of the coat or an increase in the amount of dandruff.

Excessive grooming might be a reaction to a skin disease like allergies, a parasite like fleas, mites, or ringworm, discomforts like arthritis or a bladder problem, or a stress response. 

Litter Box Problems

There are several litter box troubles that might arise, as well as a long list of probable medical disorders or injuries behind these issues.

Personality Transitions

Every cat has a distinct and endearing personality. Some are bold and loud, while others are frightened; some prefer to hide beneath lap cats and are quite docile, while others can be more independent and violent if mishandled. If a normally confident cat is suddenly hiding more, reacting more to loud noises, and becoming more frightened, they are most likely stressed out by a change in its surroundings or unwell. 

Is There Anything Else Odd Going On In Your Cat?

In a healthy cat, excessive salivation, any discharge from the nose, foul breath, debris in the ears or strange odour from other regions of the body are not typical. Vomiting, especially of clear frothy fluid, is grounds for concern.

Pale eyes, skin or gums may indicate anaemia, whereas a yellow hue denotes jaundice and a bluish tint indicates an oxygen deficiency. Even a few hours’ delay in receiving treatment for certain conditions can be deadly.

Check Out: Why Do Cats Get In Your Face While You Sleep?

Frequently Asked Questions

Breathing problems, such as panting, shallow breathing or mouth breathing might indicate an airway or lung illness. Cats suffering from respiratory problems typically sleep with their heads and necks extended. As a result, such cats are unable to sleep in a regular position.

The Bottom Line On Cat Sleeping Positions When Sick

Cat sleeping postures while unwell, on the other hand, do not change significantly from ordinary cat resting habits. Meatloaf posture is the exception; if your cat is ever slumped, it’s usually because they’re sick.

Keeping this in mind, the frequency of certain sleeping positions, as well as other changes in cat behaviour and body language, can inform us if our cats are in discomfort. These factors are meaningless on their own, but when combined, they can help you evaluate whether or not your cat is content.

LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who Is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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