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Why do cats sleep in a ball? 3 reasons explained

Cats can indeed have powerful personalities and sometimes frightening attitudes, but there’s nothing cuter than a cat sleeping peacefully. Even if your cat was scratching and growling at you moments before, you can’t help but think he is the cutest kitten in the world when you see him resting all curled up, he may be very contentious, but he’s your little fur ball. But why do cats sleep in a ball? Is there a specific reason?

When your cat is so perfectly calm, have you ever wondered why it sleeps precisely in that position? Could it be that this posture, besides giving it an adorable look, has some hidden meaning to be discovered?

The reality is that as we don’t know how to speak to cats, we can only investigate what they want to communicate through their body language. Everything can give us valuable information about our cat, from a simple slow blink to having the body completely bristling. So when it comes to sleep, that lovely ball pose can also indicate something interesting. If you’re dying to find out, keep reading, and you’ll find the answers.

Why do cats sleep in a ball position? 3 important reasons

The position in which a cat sleeps can tell us a lot about its mood and health, so it is essential that, as a cat parent, you learn to identify the most common and the worst postures so that you have the opportunity to act quickly if there is a problem. Fortunately, the ball posture, the most popular one among cats, doesn’t indicate any possible health problems, but what does it mean?

why do cats sleep in a ball - comfortable

1. It’s just so comfortable!

That’s right, the number one reason your cat sleeps in the ball position most of the time is nothing more and nothing less because it’s so comfortable. Cats spend most of the day sleeping, between 12 and 16 hours a day, so we can assume that it is one of their favorite activities, and as such, they are experts at finding the most comfortable positions to rest in.

Just as we find it super comfortable and relaxing to sleep on our side, they found this position perfect for recharging their energy. And if you look closely, they are not the only ones who choose to sleep this way because other mammals like a dog or a fox, for example, also prefer to sleep this way, perhaps by instinct, but much has to do with the level of rest it gives them.

It may not be the best explanation, but it is what it is.

2. Perfect for keeping warm during naps

Cats love the heat because their body temperature is high, usually around 100 degrees, which is why they prefer warm environments. Indeed you have seen that your cat, besides sleeping all curled up, loves to sunbathe or lie in front of the radiator or perhaps wrapped in their blankets or inside a cozy box.

When sleeping in a ball, the cat retains its body heat and traps it in the center of its core, protecting its face, nose, and sometimes even its paws from the cold. It’s like us when we get cold. What do we do? We resort to the fetal position to try to warm ourselves with body heat. We’re not so different after all, are we?

For a domestic cat, keeping warm, beyond being a method of survival, is purely a matter of comfort, and we all know that for cats, there is nothing more sacred than their convenience and comfort. Quiet, comfortable, and warm naps are sure to be much more refreshing than spending a night in the harsh cold.

3. Safety first!

This doesn’t mean that your cat is afraid. It simply means that he is cautious and instinctively knows how to take care of himself. Bedtime is perhaps the most vulnerable time for a cat because, being in a state of unconsciousness, cats cannot be alert to the many dangers that exist( at least in their mind).

This instinct of security guards that all cats have comes from their ancestors. The big cats, besides being hunters, could also be prey to some larger animals or even to the inclement weather and life exposed to the wild nature. Even if your cuddly cat lives on the seventh floor of an apartment in the center of the city, he doesn’t stop thinking that danger lurks around him all the time, so when he sleeps, he will make sure to do it in the safest possible way.

why do cats sleep in a ball - safety first

By sleeping in a ball, cats protect their face and vital organs so that if they are attacked, they can respond or flee without endangering their lives. Clever, aren’t they? And while this posture doesn’t indicate medical problems, perhaps if your cat is scared or very nervous, he will tend to sleep in this position, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for any other signs of distress in your little furry one.

Why do cats sleep in a ball? Final reflection

Interesting, isn’t it? At the end of the day, as simple as it may be, everything has a very logical explanation that somehow brings us closer to knowing our cats better, allowing us to take much better care of them.

There are many other ways your cat rests. Which one can you identify?

  • On their back
  • Loaf
  • Side sprawl
  • Belly up
  • Monorail
  • Pretzel
  • Faceplant
  • Sitting upright

Cats even have specific sleeping positions for when they are sick. Have you ever seen your cat sleeping in a ball position? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear about it.

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