Here's Why Cats "Loaf" — and Why It's the Most Adorable Thing Ever

Kori Williams - Author

Jan. 15 2024, Published 10:41 a.m. ET

A red cat sitting on a bed covered in white sheets.
Source: iStock

Although all cats are different, cat lovers have noticed that these animals have a particular way of sitting that has affectionately been called "loafing." When cats "loaf," they sit or lay down with all of their legs tucked up under their bodies. This makes them look like loaves of bread, and the position has been a part of countless memes about these furry friends.

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Cats sitting like this is one of the cutest things they do. But why do cats loaf to begin with? Is there a particular evolutionary reason that all cats share, or is there a simple cause behind it all?

A cat laying down outside.
Source: iStock
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Why do cats loaf?

According to Inverse, cats loaf out of comfort. When they sit like this, it's a sign that they are relaxed. Cat behaviorist Mikel Delgado told the publication that kitties "aren’t preparing to defend themselves or run away" when they are in this position.

"When cats loaf, they feel secure enough in their environment to rest without needing to be ready to spring into action," Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM told Woman's World.

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A grey and white cat laying down.
Source: iStock

Additionally, The Dodo states that cats might loaf so that they can conserve their body heat. It's similar to when you're cold, how you might hold yourself or hug your knees to your chest. Kitties can even loaf in different ways.

Unfortunately, there is one thing to look out for if your cat is loafing. The Dodo also says some cats loaf when they are in pain.

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"It can be the cat version of the human fetal position, curling up like a ball when we feel bad," LeeAnna Buis, a cat behavior consultant, told The Dodo. If this is the reason your cat is a loaf, you may also notice other signs of illness like hanging their heads low and being vocal. If you have concerns, get in contact with your vet to see if there are any issues.

Here are some of the best cat loaf memes.

Not only are these cat loaving memes some of the cutest images the internet has to offer, but they are a sure and easy way to brighten anyone's day. Here are some of the loafiest memes these kitties have graced us with.

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Maybe it's time to try a new flavor — aka adopt a bestie for your current cat.

If you have ever wondered what it looks like under a cat's loaf, you're in luck. We can't tell what's cuter, the look of the loaf from above or below.

If you have a cat, there are two things you know by default:

  1. Your cat will loaf wherever they can.
  2. Once your cat decides to loaf, they cannot be moved.

Of course, we would never want to move a peaceful, loafing cat unless absolutely necessary. It's just unfortunate that sometimes, cats love to do so in the most inconvenient places, from your face to your computer keyboard. It's almost like they enjoy getting in the way.

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