Why Do Cats Sleep in a Ball?

Do you ever wonder why cats sleep in a ball? It’s a pretty strange position for them to be in, and it doesn’t seem very comfortable. But, as it turns out, there is a reason why cats like to sleep this way! In this article, we will discuss the benefits of sleeping in a ball and why cats find it so appealing. So if you’re curious about why your cat likes to curl up in a ball when it sleeps, keep reading! 

It Helps Them Stay Warm 

One of the primary reasons why cats sleep in a ball is to keep themselves warm. By snuggling up together, they can create a large body heat that will help them stay comfortable and cozy. This is especially beneficial during cold weather or winter months when temperatures are low. 

Cats don’t always have the luxury of other cats to warm up next to though, so curling up in a ball might just be the next best thing. Keeping their limbs tucked up under their bellies, and their tails wrapped around them is an efficient way of staying warm.

It Makes Them Feel Safe 

Another reason why cats might sleep in a ball is because it makes them feel safe and protected. When they are curled up in a tight ball, they feel like they are hidden away from the rest of the world—especially if they’re hiding under a bed or inside a box. This can be especially comforting for timid or shy cats that don’t always feel comfortable being around people or other animals. 

The sense of security that comes with sleeping in a ball can also help kittens calm down and relax, and help older cats reconnect with their inner kittens. So if your kitten seems to be stressed out or agitated, try putting it in a small space where it can curl up into a ball and take some deep breaths. It might just start to relax right away!

It’s Just Comfortable for Them 

Lastly, cats might sleep in a ball because it’s just generally comfortable for them. This position allows them to have total control over their body and movements, which can be calming and reassuring. It’s also a good way to conserve energy since they don’t have to use as much effort to keep themselves warm or protected. 

Curling up into a ball allows their spine to open up and relax, while keeping their sensitive tails close by. It also allows for them to rest their head naturally on top of their legs, which is a comfortable and familiar position for them.

What’s the Best Place for Cats to Curl up in a Ball? 

There is no one “right” answer to this question, as different cats will prefer different spots. 

Some might like to curl up in a ball on top of a warm bed. Many cats prefer a nice neat surface to rest on, and on top of the covers offers the perfect place to curl up without them getting too hot. 

Other cats might prefer to sleep under the covers though. This may depend on the climate you live in—colder climates might force indoor cats to search for more warmth. Long-haired cats are less likely to sleep underneath the covers, as they seldom need help staying warm, and their thick coats would make them extremely uncomfortable under the covers.

Alternatively, some cats might like to sleep in a ball next to their human guardians, or on top of a pile of laundry! As long as it’s somewhere safe and comfortable for them, your cat will be happy.

So, the next time you see your kitty curled up in a ball, take a second to appreciate why it’s doing it and how comfortable it must be for your cat. But, what if it’s not in a ball? Well, that just means your cat probably found a new place to sleep that you don’t know about yet!

Other Common Sleeping Positions 

The Cat Loaf

This position is extremely common, and comfortable for many of the same reasons cats love curling up into balls—it helps keep their core nice and warm! If you’ve never seen the cat loaf before, you’ll know it the next time you see it. They tuck their hind legs and front paws up underneath their torso, leaving what’s left looking like a furry loaf of bread with a cat’s head attached.

With Their Belly up

This position is reserved for certain times only. The belly up position requires a high level of comfort and sense of safety in their environment, as it leaves their most vulnerable parts completely exposed. Cats only expose their bellies to those they trust implicitly, such as close family members or friends. When they feel safe and relaxed, you might see your cat sleeping with its belly up, often with paws outstretched in the air. It’s also a great position for warmer temperatures, as it lets a lot of its body heat dissipate. 

In a Box

Similar to sleeping in a ball, cats love finding small spaces to crawl into and take a nap. This might be a box, a drawer, or even the gap between your sofa cushions! Boxes are especially popular with kittens, as they offer both safety and comfort. Kittens often feel overwhelmed when they’re first introduced to their new home, so hiding away in a small space can help them relax and adjust more easily. That doesn’t rule out adult cats when it comes to sleeping in boxes though. Sometimes they just like to sit, whether they actually fit or not. 

On Top of Something

Cats have been known to sleep on top of things such as refrigerators, bookcases, and other large pieces of furniture. This gives them an elevated view of their surroundings and makes it easier for them to watch everything that’s going on. 


As you can see, cats have a variety of ways they like to sleep. It all depends on their mood and the environment they’re in. So the next time you see your cat sleeping in a ball, or in some other position, take a second to appreciate why it’s doing it!