Cat Loaf; What Does It Mean?

What is Cat Loaf Position?

Cat loaf also known as bread loaf is a sitting position where the cats’ paws and tail are tucked underneath the body.

It gets that name because when your cat sits like that it looks like a loaf of bread. Cat owners find this cute and are fascinated by this behavior which is funny and comical.

If you have a cat or kitten at home you might have had the pleasure of observing the ‘cat loaf’ position. Nevertheless, some cats do not loaf. It all depends on the cats’ way of relaxation and keeping warm.

The cat loaf position has been called in different names from kitty loaf, meatloaf, hover cat, bread loaf, and most cat owners try to find out what causes it.

Despite, it being a mystery for most cat owners, scientists know why cats tuck their paws and tail underneath their bodies.

To start with the main reason according to them is to keep warm. The house even when warm for us might be cold for our cats as they are comfortable between 100 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why Would a Cat Stay in a Bread Loaf Position?

  • To Keep Warm

cat resting on cat loaf position

Cat resting on Cat loaf Position near Window

Not only are cat comfy and happy indoors but can also do exercise with their cat wheel or play with his toys to keep warm during cold months.

Cats paws do not have fur to regulate hence when it is cold they keep them tucked underneath the body to keep warm.

You can see your cat leaning forward to cover his nose and still coil his tail around his paws for warmth. The fur on his body help in keeping him warm although the nose and paws which are without fur are left exposed to cold.

Additionally, feed your cat a warm meal and get him a blanket inside his bed to keep warm during winter or cold weather. Or, you could even try a wool cat cave that has been designed to regulate your cat’s temperature and keep them cool in the summer or warm in the winter.

That is why you will find your cat near the window or in a cat tower trying to get the morning sunlight to feel warm or in a cat enclosure outside to get the morning direct sun rays.

Just the same way we add blanket when temperatures drop or wear coats cats also find ways to keep warm and one is the cat loaf position.

  • To Relax

It is a good physical position for relaxing as the cats do not need a lot of energy as the spine is well-positioned. A relaxed loaf position indicates your cat is contented and relaxed and isn’t planning to get away fast.

When you are near your cat and he sits like this it means he feels safe near you and trusts you.

Although, if you notice your cat is in pain or back is hunched and looked stress he could be sick. Check for anything on his body that is causing discomfort or anxiety in his environment.

Cats that are in a meatloaf position when their nose is toward the floor and front paws out of his body could be a way of experiencing some pains. Particularly, when the cat is sick and is trying to protect his body vitals that are sick. I would recommend you immediately call your vet for further checkup and treatment.

A cat body position could be a way for you to read his body language. It can be hard to read your cat as she might be good at concealing signs of pain and illness.

We have products, for instance, pet hemp oil that relieves pain for your cat that can be given in consultation with your vet.

  • Gives a Stable Position

The cat loaf position gives your cat a stable position while lying down as it cannot fall over and injure himself or slip as the paws are tucked safely underneath the body.

It can also be a position to show he is threatened and a position to show something is bothering him hence need to stay alert and ready to escape.

Cat loaf is a position that enables the cat to stand up quickly when compromised and need to defend himself or run away.

You might notice your cat lying on his belly, and tucks his forepaws underneath the chest.

Types of Cat Loaf Positions

These two types are common with cats. Undoubtedly, both cat loaf positions the cat is crouched down like a loaf of bread.

  • Cat Paws Flat on the Ground

When the cat paws are flat on the ground or flat surface, the cats’ weight is on his body. Besides his paws can be in front or side by side looking like he is standing on his paws.

Cats Keep Warm By Tucking Paws Underneath Body

Cats can preserve heat by putting the paws underneath his body. You may also notice your cat curling its tail around its back to keep it close to its body when it is cold to conserve heat.

What happens when your cat injures his paws? Severally you will observe it will hide the paw underneath its body or lick it excessively to relieve pain.

Curious and mysterious pets, a cat can loaf for no apparent reason, sometimes they lie on their back, side, or knead like a ball.

No need to worry much about the cat loaf position unless when it is caused by a serious illness, for example, chronic kidney disease (CKD) where you need to see a vet.

  • Folded Cat Paw

In this folded paw position, the cat’s weight does not exert pressure on his body as the paws are folded underneath the belly.

Cats love comfort and this cat loaf position makes your cat happy and comfortable. This looks like an uncomfortable position for a human being to be in but it is different for cats.

Folding hands for humans is a bad way to sit as it constrains movement but for our feline friends, they can stay for hours in this position relaxed.

When cats put their paws underneath their body his paws are not seen showing the cat is not feeling threatened. Lastly, this shows the cat trust he is safe and need not worry when near you.

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