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Cat Loaf: What Is It Exactly?

February 24, 2022

Cat Loaf: What Is It Exactly?

Every cat owner knows that cats are curious creatures that have a variety of behaviors. From their purring, "bread-kneading" paws, unique vocalizations, and flicking tails, I'm sure that pet owners have a lot of amusing observations with their feline friends! Cats give us some communication, and it helps us pay attention to their physical signs to understand what they mean. 

As funny as it sounds, Cat Loaf is a very common feline position that cats do. Have you ever wondered what this means? My cat does this all the time, and it amuses me! This squishy position got its name because cats tuck their front and hind legs together under their belly in a rest position. Thus the name kitty loaf, bread loaf, or cat loafing.

In most cases, cat loafing is a good sign that means that your cat feels comfortable in the place where he is in. This article will show you why and how to determine different loafing positions and what these positions actually mean. While loafing is common for cats, it may also signify other underlying problems in some situations, so it is helpful to determine the difference.

What is a cat loaf?

All the paws are hidden beneath the belly in a traditional cat loaf position. Their tails are also tucked beneath them or curled behind. However, sometimes one paw is pocking out (how cute!). You'll also notice that they are calm and relaxed, with their eyes slowly blinking as if falling asleep and their heads are facing forward.

Are there other cat loafing positions too:

  • The Partial Loaf
The Partial Loaf is sometimes called the "sloppy loaf," which means that the cat is not in a very compact position. Elbows are exposed, and the tail is not tucked in. Kittens usually do this. 
    • The Loaf Boat
    The Loaf Boat is almost identical to the Partial Loaf, but the only difference is that only a single elbow is exposed.
      • The Sphynx Loaf
      The Sphynx is like the regular loaf position, but the cat's paws will be stretched outward in front of them, imitating the Egyptian Sphynx position.
        • The Meat Loaf Position
        This position is where your cat's nose is on the floor, and their front paws are stretching out of their body. The cat usually does a head flop either from exhaustion, loneliness, or it could also mean that your cat is in pain. When you see your cat doing this, it's time to visit the vet.
          • The Attack Loaf Position
          Whenever your cat sees something interesting such as a cockroach, a fly, or any small object that they want to play with, they go into attack position. When your cat's paws are outstretched, eyes alert and dilating, they are ready for jumping!

            Why do cats do the loafing?

            According to experts, cats love to "conquer" and mark their desired areas in your house, so they do the loaf position. Tucking themselves means that your cat is not preparing fo,r anything defensive and love to be in your presence.

            Your cat wants to feel warm.

            Cats, in general, enjoy warm cozy temperatures instead of feeling cold. Doing the cat loaf position will aid your cat's temperature control. Moreover, this will enable your cat to keep comfortable and be warm wherever they are. The loaf position provides added benefits, especially to short-haired cat breeds. 

              Your cat feels safe and comfortable.

              Feeling safe is the most common reason for cats to do loafing. Whenever cats are faced with danger, their paws are always ready to scratch and defend themselves from predators. However, the loaf position is only done by cats who feel entirely safe in their environment as this is a very vulnerable position.


              According to mrbosscat.com, a cat loaf position like this:

                1. Paws are tucked underneath the body
                2. Head stays upright
                3. Seems very comfortable and calm
                4. Ears don't move a lot but are upright
                5. Eyes are slowly opening and closing
                6. Whiskers are calm and away from the face
                7. The tail usually surrounds the body
                8. Body language shows no sign of action any time soon
                9. Shuts its eyes completely after a while

                Your cat may be feeling sick.

                Cat loafing is, in most cases, a normal cat behavior. They do this to feel comfortable in their chosen area most of the time. However, sometimes cats do the loaf position because they feel sick. A cat who is perched on its paws for an extended period of time must mean that they are uncomfortable. Tucking their feet below their belly prevents further pain and damage.

                Some causes of your cat's sickness may be bone injuries from jumping or playing, ingrown nails, bruises from stepping on sharp objects, or if another animal hurt them. Remember that cats are experts on hiding pain, so when you notice that your cat's head is almost on the ground, eyes tightly shut, or if they are shivering, immediately bring them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. 

                  Cats are very amusing creatures with a variety of unique behaviors. As responsible pet owners, we must always learn how to communicate with them and observe how they are feeling daily. This way, our feline friends will be able to live happily for longer!

                   

                  Resources:
                  https://www.hillspet.com/cat-care/behavior-appearance/what-is-a-cat-loaf
                  https://www.dailypaws.com/cats-kittens/behavior/common-cat-behaviors/why-do-cats-loaf
                  https://www.kittyloaf.com/what-is-a-cat-loaf/
                  https://mrbosscat.com/