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7 Cat Sitting Positions And Their Meaning Explained

7 Cat Sitting Positions And Their Meaning Explained

Every cat owner often witnesses strange positions while their pets are sitting, sleeping, playing, or stalking prey. 

The way they contort their body and the positions we can see them in are sometimes quite hilarious!

But have you ever thought about what these strange positions could mean?

Did you know that the position in which your cat sits can actually tell you something about its state and emotions? It sounds a bit unusual, but I believe you are intrigued!

Let’s find out what are the hidden meanings behind your kitty’s sitting position.

1. Normal Sitting Position

cat sitting in normal position

What exactly is the normal, or standard sitting position for felines?

The most common sitting position is when the cat sits on its hind legs, while the front legs are extended. In this position, the cat’s ears are usually straightforward.

A cat sitting like this is maximally relaxed. She feels comfortable and doesn’t find threats in her environment. So there is no reason for her to be alert or ready to attack.

You will see this sitting position most often when the cat is near you, in her home, on her territory, without the need to show dominance.

2. Cat Loaf

Just as its name suggests, this is a position where a cat sits in the shape of a loaf of bread.

Just look at this adorable cat sitting like this in the video below!

Her claws are tucked away while sitting in a loaf. Cats fold their paws like this when they feel completely safe and don’t have the urge to be prepared to run away!

This position is also super cozy, so your cat is obviously comfortable and content. 

Another potential meaning behind this sitting position is that your kitten is trying to keep herself warm.

3. Showing The Stomach

The position where your cat sits in the way her stomach is exposed is probably the rarest one you’ll see your cat in.

If you look up the cat petting chart, you’ll find how many cats don’t like it when their humans rub their stomachs.

This happens because the hair follicles on the cat’s belly are hypersensitive to touch, therefore, petting there can be overstimulating for felines, as National Geographic points out.

So, this sitting position might even be the one that some owners will never see! 

Sitting like this means that your cat is sure you’re protecting her and she has nothing to be worried about.

She trusts you so much that she lets you touch the most vulnerable part of her body.

So, if you have seen your cat sitting like this, you should be honored!

4. Bottom-up Position

cat sitting in bottom up position

This is what the bottom-up position looks like: Your cat is stretching her back legs, her head is down, her forelegs bent, and her rear quarters are raised, as well as her tail.

What does this weird sitting position mean? Most likely, this indicates that your cat is in heat, and she is letting her potential mates know that.

Susan Little [1] explains that cats will go in heat repeatedly during a breeding season, unless interrupted by pregnancy or illness.

Of course, if you don’t want your pet to reproduce, and see her going into heat again, the best would be to spay her. You should consult your veterinarian for more details about this procedure.

Interesting Read: When Is It Too Late To Spay A Cat?

5. Sitting With Tail Hanging Down

All of you have probably seen this sitting position in your pets quite often.

This is when your cat is sitting on a higher surface, like your kitchen counter, or windowsill. 

Her tail is hanging down, while her legs are tucked underneath them. What does this position indicate?

Most likely, your cat is feeling calm and confident. She’s just enjoying being the owner of her territory.

She’s completely in control and there aren’t any threats in her surroundings.

6. The Tucked Position

cat sitting with legs tucked

Have you ever seen your cat sitting with her legs tucked tightly underneath her? While sitting like this, she might also have her tail wrapped around her entire body.

This sitting position most likely means that your cat is stressed or nervous. She’s trying to comfort herself, and this is why she looks tucked in.

Cats can become stressed due to many things, such as new people or pets, loud noises like thunderstorms, some changes in their environment, but also over things that are so silly to us, like balloons.

You shouldn’t ignore this act that might indicate anxiety and stress in your cat. Maybe it will go away soon, but if it doesn’t, and you notice other symptoms of these bad emotions in your cat, you should act as soon as possible.

First, try to discover what’s exactly causing your cat to feel scared and anxious. You might also need to talk to a veterinarian about the best way to help your cat.

7. Sitting Like A Human

This is the most charming sitting position of them all.

Just look at the video below showing this adorable cat sitting like a human!

So, this position means that your cat is sitting on her bottom, having her body upright, and her back legs stretched out. 

Why would our furry friends sit like us? There are a couple of reasons for this. Your cat might be stretching, or she simply assumed this position to groom herself.

Since cats are so flexible, this sitting position might also be relaxing and comfortable for them. You shouldn’t worry, since, if this was an uncomfortable position for your cat to sit in – she will change it immediately, since she knows how to treat herself.

Another potential explanation for this is that your cat is simply mimicking your behavior. Some cats might adapt to their owners’ routines so much that they even start to behave like them!

So adorable, right?

Wrapping It Up

Cat owners can find a variety of ways to learn more about the condition and emotions of their pets. When you live with a cat for a long time, you slowly recognize how it feels just by its body movements and positions.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned some useful information about cat-sitting positions and their meanings. 

Most of you will recognize all these positions in your pets. It is very interesting but also useful to determine whether your cat is relaxed, tense, or perhaps imitating you – just by observing the way she sits.

You may also be interested in learning more about cats’ sleeping positions when sick. See you there!

[1] Little SE. Female Reproduction. The Cat. 2012:1195–227. DOI, Retrieved June 29, 2023.

Read Next: 6 Reasons For Cats Standing On Hind Legs