Why Do Cats Sleep With Their Heads Upside Down?

Last updated on December 12th, 2021

I have often seen my kitty sleep upside down, which is a wonderful sight for me! Sounds familiar, right?

Cats can be unpredictable and notorious at times, and it’s hard to find the exact meaning behind some of these peculiar feline behaviors. But at other times, cats may show their happier and brighter side, such as sleeping in an upside-down position.

Cats sleep with their heads upside down because it aligns perfectly with their spine while making it easier for them to breathe. Cats with thick fur will sometimes sleep on their back to keep their fur from getting flat and knotted.

There can be so many reasons behind such unusual behavior seen in cats. Let’s discuss what it means when your furry four-legged pet sleeps in a belly-up position.

Why Do Cats Sleep With their Head Upside Down?

If you’ve seen your feline friend sleep like this, it may be because he or she is in a relaxed state. However, there are other reasons behind this particular sleeping habit. Let’s check them out.

1. To Keep Themselves Warm.

This one may seem strange, but yes, cats feel warm and cozy when they sleep with their head in an upright position.

This posture also conserves their body warmth, enabling them to sleep more calmly even at low temperatures.

This upside-down sleeping posture is so comfortable for them in terms of warmth and tranquility that they even seem to enjoy the cold weather (probably because it gives them the chance to get their naps so peacefully and comfortably!)

2. To Feel Comfortable.

If you’re a cat owner, it almost goes without saying that cats absolutely love their naps, which answers why they sleep for such long hours (12-16 hours, to be precise).

However, do you know that out of all sleeping positions, these feline creatures totally love this upside-down one as they feel more cozy and relaxed?

One main reason why they love this posture is because of their body’s flexibility, and this upside-down position comes naturally to them, especially when they feel relaxed.

In fact, once they’re in this belly-up position, they’ll bend and twist their bodies to feel more at ease and free of all stress (yes, cats can feel stressed and even depressed too!)

Have you seen your kitty roll on her back when you’re around?

It is a sign that she’s feeling safe and comfortable around you. And if your kitty doesn’t, it may either mean she’s more reserved and prefers to stay by herself without anybody’s interference, or she doesn’t like her owner much!

Besides, another interesting fact is that cats have light heads, and hence, they don’t feel any pressure or head swings if they sleep with their heads upside down.

3. To Feel Safe and Calm.

Cats can sleep with their head upside down for hours. Normally, they’ll cover their eyes or ears while sleeping upright.

In this position, cats feel safe and relaxed. Besides, you’ll be surprised to know that this sleeping position is actually quite healthy for our furry pets, and it allows them to be in a good mood.

This typically happens when the cat is sleeping indoors in a safe home rather than outdoors.

It’s because this is the most vulnerable position for cats, and they rarely prefer this comfortable position while sleeping outside as they may be exposed to several dangers.

Generally, while sleeping outdoors, cats will prefer keeping their eyes and ears open to stay aware of any approaching predators or other possible threats.

Yes, cats are highly sensitive to sounds and sights of such dangers, and they can immediately pick this up which enables them to take swift action by either hiding or going into a defensive mode.

Why Do Cats Stare at You While Lying on their Back?

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As mentioned earlier, if your kitty is looking up at you in this peculiar upside-down position, it may be because she is feeling relaxed, secure, safe, and happy when you’re around.

It’s because she loves and wants some attention from you! Isn’t that a beautiful sight? This is what you have earned, and you deserve this honor!

However, at other times, this mammalian sleep position may mean other things. For example, your cat is about to take a nap, but she’s not tired enough to fall asleep yet.

Furthermore, if you notice her outstretched position with her limbs extended or stretched in a rather comfortable position, it may be when she’s feeling snug and warm enough with the surrounding temperature.

In any case, if you see your feline friend lying down with her head upside down and she’s looking straight up into your eyes with great zeal and enthusiasm, it definitely means she’s smitten!

They look so adorable in such a posture that I can’t resist but to offer a good petting session!

After all, they are compassionate creatures, and pet owners need to show them love and attention.

Common Sleeping Positions Seen Among Cats

Some of the other cat sleeping positions include –

  1. Belly-up position: If cats expose their stomach, their most vulnerable body part, it means they are feeling safe and secure.
  2. Curled up position: In this position, cats try to conserve all their body energies and warmth, especially when they feel cold.
  3. Half-eye shut: Yes, cats are known for sleeping and being awake at the same time! By keeping one eye open, they can detect an approaching predator.
  4. Sleeping sideways: It means your kitty is content and happy. The sideways sleeper leaves the stomach exposed which denotes the fact that they are feeling safe and secure.
  5. Loaf position: (yes, they look like a real bread loaf in this position!): This position means a cat is simply trying to nod for a few minutes – a power nap, you can say!
  6. Keeping their paws across the face: It may be when they’re trying to prevent the sun rays from falling on their eyes. However, experts say that cats are often not conscious of this position.
  7. Sleeping in a box: Cats love having peaceful naps in tight spaces, which indicates a cat is hiding and wants to remain safe!

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