Cat Positions And What They Mean

Cat Positions And What They Mean

Cats have their favorite positions, some of which can see pretty strange to us humans. Here are some of the most common cat positions and what they mean:

1. Laying stretched on her side. 

If your cat is in this position it means that she is feeling relaxed. She does not feel the need to be aware or alert and she feels safe in her surroundings. Cats usually sleep soundly while in this position and may also twitch their tails. 

2. Laying face forward with paws tucked underneath the body or sitting upright.

This position is also called the sphinx and it signifies that your cat is happy. This also means that she is relaxed and not aggressive.

3. Her body is low to the ground and she is stalking an object or prey.

If your cat is in this position it means she is focused and on the prowl. Her whole body is in harmony with the object she is focused on.  Cats are in this position when they are hunting for prey regardless if it is a mouse, insect or toy. She is low to the ground while stalking and her hind legs are in a coiled position, ready to pounce. 

4. Wriggling on her side or back and rolling around while meowing.

If your furry baby is doing this it only means one thing, she wants to play!  Your cat may start by wriggling on her side and then move to her back and roll around. She is also telling you that she is harmless and just wants to have fun!

5. Lying on her back with the belly exposed. 

This position means that your cat is confident and secure in her environment. On the other hand if she is in this position, think twice before giving her a belly rub as she may get startled. 

6. Lying down and curled into a ball. 

Your cat is feeling comfortable and content if she is in this position. This is the favorite position of cats. It indicates no tension in a cat’s body and she is happy to just lay down and observe the surroundings.

7. Arched back with fur standing on end.

If you see your cat with an arched back it could indicate fear and she may have sensed danger.  She will make herself appear larger and her fur will stand on end. This is called piloerection or the raising of hair along the neck and back. It is a form of defense and is an indication that the cat has detected something in the environment that she sees as a threat. It also means your cat is ready to strike. 

8. Cowering and crouched into a ball.

Your cat will cower, make herself smaller and crouch into a ball if she feels anxious or stressed. The ears will flatten back against the head and the cat will drop low to the ground.  It could mean that she is literally or figuratively cornered by an enemy. 

9. Stretching her body. 

Your cat is indicating that she is relieved if she is stretching her body. It releases tension and means that your cat is comfortable. 

10. Standing alert with head held up high.

If your cat is doing this it means she is ready to be touched and petted and welcomes your scratches and cuddles. It could mean that she wants your attention and is ready for some fun-filled interaction. 

What does it mean when a cat puts his paw on you?

These are the reasons why a cat puts his paw on you:

  • he wants to play with you 
  • he wants your attention and wants to cuddle next to you
  • your cat is using his paw to tell you that he is waiting for his meal or treat 
  • he is showing contentment especially if accompanied by kneading 

Why do cats lay on their back when they see you?

Cats will lay on their back when they see their owners as a display of trust. Laying on their back shows vulnerability and this indicates that cats do not see you as a threat. It could also mean that they are happy and content.    

What does it mean when a cat lays belly up?

When a cat lays belly-up it means she is safe and very relaxed. The cat’s stomach is its most vulnerable body part since it is where the major organs of the body are located. If she exposes it freely, it indicates that she is comfortable enough to hold her defenses down.


Cats may look docile and indifferent but they are smart, inquisitive and communicative. Their different positions reveal a lot about their personalities and if you are keen enough to observe you can figure out if they are happy, anxious, focused, relaxed, fearful or if they simply want to play. 

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