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.
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.
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.
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.