Have you ever wondered why your cat always seems to sit in the same positions?
Perhaps that adorable pose where they keep their tail tight and tuck those cute little paws underneath?
Believe it or not, this position has a name – Catloaf. It’s an incredibly cute aspect of cat behaviour and as you might have guessed, a position that many people compare to the formation of a loaf. In other words, a position that makes your cat look eerily similar to a loaf of bread!
But why do cats sit like this exactly?
Just so you know, it’s perfectly normal to think about this sort of thing and wonder why your cat might enjoy this position in the first place.
Why Does Catloaf Exist and What Does it Mean?
Simply put, the catloaf position is a sign that your cat is relaxed. Whether you find them hiding in a closet, lounging on the sofa or sitting on your lap, this position means that they feel comfortable.
When you think of it, this also makes perfect sense. After all, your cat is putting away their claws and entering what must be the most vulnerable state that you will ever see them. Either way, the catloaf position is a good thing and an indication that your cat is feeling especially safe and secure.
But that’s just part of the story….
You see, in order to better understand why cats adopt this catloaf positions, it’s important to know that there is more than just one type of catloaf.
The Weird and Wonderful Types of Catloaf
It’s true, there are many different types of catloaf and knowing the difference between these positions can provide insight into the behaviour of your cat.
Now, that’s not to say you will know when your cat is hungry or upset but rather to suggest how comfortable they might be feeling:
Partial Loaf Kittens will most often adopt this cute little pose where a loose tail and exposed elbows form a partial loaf formation.
Loaf Boat Although quite similar to the previous stance, only one elbow is exposed which forms a bow-like shape that gives rise to “the loaf boat”.|
Full Loaf It’s the perfect loaf formation. When your cat has both paws fully tucked underneath and a tightly pressed tail, you are witnessing the pinnacle of catloafing.
Face Loaf Face loaf refers to times when your cat is in full loaf-mode but also seems to be face-planting the floor at the same time.
As far as I know, these are the main types of catloaf. However, cats are so weird and wonderful that you might already have a nickname for another variation that your cat seems to enjoy.
But What is the “Scientific Reason” for Catloaf?
Okay, we understand that cats feel comfortable in the catloaf position but there is also a slightly scientific reason for sitting this way. As you may know, the ideal temperature for cats is between 85-100 degrees Fahrenheit and anything outside of this range will make them want to warm up.
For this reason, according to a well-known veterinary expert, the catloaf position is ideal for conserving heat which is the very reason your cat might curl up in a ball when going to sleep. In many ways, this is also similar to how you might tuck your hands or feet inside the bed covers at night. It warms up your hands but at the same time, it also stops them from feeling exposed.
With this in mind, it’s fair to say that your cat is not especially cold or entirely relaxed when they adopt a partial loaf position of the loaf boat. On the other hand, the face-plant is either a sign of frustration or exhaustion, while adorable kittens may not have mastered the art of loafing just yet.
Also known as “hover-cat”, this adorable position is common with all cats and peace of mind for owners who like to know that they are feeling comfortable. Catloaf enables your beloved cat to remain in the thermo neutral zone which is essentially a range in which they do not expend energy on getting warm or cooling-off. Meanwhile, the extent of their commitment to this position is a decent indication in terms of just how safe and secure they feel.
At the same time, this is not a reason to interrupt or interfere with the adorable state of your cat and if anything, it’s always best to sit and watch as that partial loaf slowly becomes a full-on catloaf.