Renowned cat expert Jackson Galaxy explains why cats sit in a loaf position, what it means and what to look out for when that position subtly changes.
What is cat loaf all about? The first thing that we want to look at is the position itself; we’ve got paws tucked under the whole body body resting basically on arms…This look right here is decidedly cat. Because what this is saying is I’m not going anywhere.
He points out that this type of stance means that the cat is comfortable enough to let down “raw cat” defenses but still in a position to get up quickly if the need arises. This position also allows the cat to retain body heat. Cats run a little cold, so they seek out sunlight, find heating vents, and sleep on top of their humans.
So you may see your loafing cat take their tail and wrap it around their body again it’s all about the preservation of body heat…cats are heat seeking missiles
He also cautions humans to keep a lookout for the half-loaf position in which the cat is sitting on their feet. This can indicate danger or illness.
Fight and fleeing are both contained in this one little position …if you have something going on in your house where your cat normally would be loafing but they’re into the semi-loaf and nothing has changed …. that actually could be an indication that your cat’s not feeling all that well, because they’re feeling more exposed to threat and they’re feeling more vulnerable. And a lot of times with cats that’s because their physical condition is not to their standards of being able to fight or flee.