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    Why Do Cats Loaf?

    Why Do Cats Loaf?

    by Behavior / 3 min read


    Published: May 15, 2023

    Summary: The cat loaf is a popular and common pose seen in our feline friends but why do cats loaf? Learn about the cat loafing position in this blog... 


    The cat loaf pose is one that nearly every cat adopts throughout their life; where their feet and tail are burrowed completely underneath them, giving a round, compact appearance – much like a loaf of bread! - to their body. 

    But, what’s up with the cat loafing position? Why do they perform this strange - yet very cute behavior? 

    Why Do Cats Loaf? 

    Cats arguably loaf for multiple reasons. It’s considered by cat experts like Maranda Elswick DVM at Great Pet Care to be a sign of a relaxed and content cat – one that doesn’t feel threatened by their surroundings and therefore is able to be a little drowsy and just chill out in their loaf position, without any risk of being caught off guard. 

    a fluffy black cat with pale green eyes adopts the cat loafing position on a blue towel and a black towel next to a sliding glass door


    It’s also theorized that the pose is good for retaining and regulating heat – particularly in shorter-haired breeds.  

    In some cases, the loaf position can indicate discomfort in a cat. According to cat researcher and postdoctoral fellow Mikel Delgado at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, if you spot your cat in the loaf position but they’re not fully relaxed in it and perched on their paws, it may be a good idea to check in with their vet.  

    You can read our blog on seven more unique cat behaviors and the reasons behind them here! 


    “Why Do Cats Look Like Loaves Of Bread Sometimes? We Asked A Scientist” Inverse, Nov 22. 2017  

    Author Elswick, Maranda “Cat Loafing: What Is It and Why Do They Do It?” Great Pet Care, 29 Sept. 2022 

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