What Is A Cat Loaf?

If you’re a fan of cats and/or spend time on the internet, the chances are you have heard the term ‘cat loaf’ thrown around at least once.

While it’s a popular and widespread phrase, it’s only really come into use in the past few years. So what exactly is a cat loaf, and why do cats do it?

Don’t worry, because we’ve got all the answers right here. In this article, we’ll cover what a cat loaf is, why cats like to loaf, and why this adorable behavior is a good sign for your cat. So let’s get started!

What Exactly Is A Cat Loaf?

The term ‘cat loaf’ refers to a position that a cat might lay in. A loafing cat will tuck their paws and tails underneath them, forming a small and rounded shape without any legs poking out.

This is what gives it the name ‘loaf’ – when a cat is in this position, it’s not hard to draw a comparison to a loaf of bread.

While a cat loaf usually involves the cat completely covering its paws and tail, some cats like to loaf in a slightly different position. 

For instance, a cat with a shorter tail might find it more comfortable to loaf with its tail poking out. Other cats might have one or both of their front paws poking out from under their loafed body.

There isn’t a single specific way a cat can loaf, and given how cute a loafed cat is it is clear that there is no wrong answer.

There are also several other names given to cat loaves. The chicken or turkey position is a common alternative, given how the cat’s back legs poke up and mimic the appearance of a roast chicken.

Other names for cat loaves include a potato cat, and a tugboat, again due to the position’s resemblance.

Why Do Cats Like To Loaf?

There are several reasons why a cat might turn into a loaf. First, a cat will loaf for comfort. Cat loaves are an indication of relaxation, and it’s a comfortable position for a cat to lie in.

On top of being warm and stable, it also makes it easier for the cat to balance on top of a small or precarious location. 

A cat loaf is much more capable of fitting in the cat’s favorite spot than if it was lying down normally, and loafing lets the cat settle down in a comfortable position on smaller surfaces.

Another reason for cats to loaf is linked to another bakery-themed behavior. Cats like to knead softer surfaces for relaxation and soothing purposes (this is also known as ‘making biscuits’).

Not only does loafing make it easy to do this, but it also reduces the overall pressure on the cat’s paws. By laying in a cat loaf, the cat is able to reduce and disperse the weight on its paws, which lets it relax more easily.

Loafing isn’t always a good thing, however, and there are sometimes it can be indicative of a health issue in your cat.

A cat might loaf because their paws are in pain, and if the cat is restless or looks uncomfortable it might be a sign that there’s an issue with your cat’s paws. 

Keep an eye on your cat’s paws if you suspect there’s a problem, and take your cat to the vet if needed.

Is It Normal For A Cat To Loaf?

A cat loaf is completely normal, and is actually a good sign. While there are some situations where loafing can be indicative of an issue with your cat’s health, the majority of the time a loafing cat is a happy cat.

Cat loaves show that the cat is comfortable and relaxed. Not only that, but a cat loaf also shows that your cat trusts you; by lying on its paws the cat is vulnerable, so by loafing nearby it proves that your cat trusts and feels comfortable around you.

Final Thoughts

Cat loaves are an adorable quirk that can tell you a lot about your cat’s mood. Not only does it mean that your cat is relaxed, but it also means that they feel comfortable and safe around you. 

Seeing a cat loaf is always a joy, so keep an eye on your cat and you might be able to see this cute position for yourself!

Courtney Trent
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