Why Do Cats Sleep Face Down? (It’s More Than Just a Coincidence)

By Phil / October 17, 2018
Why Do Cats Sleep Face Down

Is there anything cuter than seeing a cat sleeping? Ok, there are a few things, but it’s still super-cute seeing cats happily sleeping.

And it’s pretty funny seeing some of the positions they get themselves into.

One of the sleeping positions that confuses some cat owners is the face down, head in paws, face pressed against floor types of sleeping position.

It looks like one of the least comfortable sleeping positions. So, why do cats sleep face down?

Is there something we can read into this? Can this sleeping behavior be explained? Is it really less comfortable than being stretched out?

Here is everything I’ve been able to find out about why cats sleep face down. The reasons why some cats sleep like this, and what it might mean about your kitty:

Why Do Cats Sleep Face Down?

Why does my cat hide his face when sleeping

It’s Comfy for Them

It may not look comfy for us to sleep with our faces either pressed into something or hovering just above ground level, but a lot of the things cats do are more comfortable for them than us.

If your cat finds this position a comfy way to sleep, then it’s just the way it is and you’ll find them sleeping like this.

Your Cat Is Warming Their Nose

This sounds weird too, I know, but it’s true. A couple of the coldest spots on a cat are the tips of their ears and their nose.

This is why you’ll see cats covering their ears with their paws sometimes. And, likewise, you’ll see them sleeping with their nose near to a surface or covering it with their paws.

Your Cat Is Exhausted

Kittens, in particular, will keep going until exhaustion before collapsing and sleeping in a strange position.

When my cats were kittens I caught them sleeping face down in their food bowls, crashed  out in the middle of the room, halfway climbing up something, and various other compromising positions

This may explain why your cat is sleeping looking like they just faceplanted into the floor. We’ve all been there, right?

Still, not an excuse for sleeping on clean clothes!

They Can Hear Better in This Position

Cats sleep in the face down position because it's comfortable for them

You may have noticed your cats ears acting like satellites while they are sleeping. By this I mean they turn to face whatever noise they can hear without moving their heads.

Their ears are very intuned to what’s going on around them, and even when they look like they are in a deep sleep they can spring up at any time.

The curled up in a ball position or paws over their head partially covers their ears. These are positions they will choose when they don’t feel the need to stay as alert.

They Are Shielding Light and Distractions

I get the feeling that if my cats could wear eye patches to block out the light and sleep all day long, as well as all night, they would.

Sometimes cats find themselves in the face down position as a way of avoiding light or other distractions that dare to disturb their much needed extra hours of sleep.

Don’t forget, cats like to sleep for 16+ hours around the clock, not just when it’s dark.


If you enjoyed this article – why do cats sleep face down – I’m sure you’ll enjoy some of the other informational and cat behavior-related articles from the blog.

Does your sleep in the face down position sometimes? Is this something that has interested you?

Hopefully, this article has helped shed some insight into why your cat sleeps in this position. If you have any feedback or questions feel free to leave a comment below, thanks.

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