No matter what you call it (“loafing” comes to mind), cats sitting with their paws tucked under them, resembling loaves of bread, is an overload of cuteness.
Unlike many cat behaviors, science actually has an explanation for this adorable behavior. Mikel Delgado, cat researcher and postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, talked to Inverse Science about some of the reasons cats enjoy loafing.
“Generally speaking, a cat who is lying with their paws tucked underneath them is considered relaxed. They aren’t preparing to defend themselves or run away.”
That’s why you’re more likely to spot your kitty loafing in her favorite spots, whether it’s your lap, a perfectly-sized box, or a pile of laundry.
Delgado added that tucking their paws in may also help them preserve heat. The temperature range in which they don’t need to use any energy heating or cooling themselves is 85-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Speaking of kitty feet, it’s a good idea to inspect your cat’s feet regularly to make sure she isn’t masking any pain, Delgado said.
“A cat who is still perched on their paws may be in pain, so it’s good to know if the paws are totally tucked.”
Even if they are doing it just to stay warm, every kitty loaf is precious! Please share your kitty loaf pictures with us on our Facebook page!