Cute Curling Cats & Canines

From the time they’re kittens and cuddly puppies, our furry friends can be seen curling up into a tight ball when they sleep. When they curl up in our lap or next to our feet, it can make us melt. If you look online, you might be surprised to find that roughly 45% of cats and dogs sleep with their owners.

But why do they curl up?

Why Cats Curl Up

A number of people have written about the curling of our cats. Pet notes, “Cats often sleep curled up in a ball, with nose to tail. Cats like to be warm, and this shape helps them retain body heat. This position also protects vital organs in their abdomen by surrounding them with less essential and more resilient muscle and bone.”

Vets will remind pet parents that cats and dogs are usually born in litters and can be seen laying on and under each other. They crave warmth and the protection of their siblings. This explains their desire to often snuggle with their human family members. Warmth and safety are important for their instinctive well-being.

Canine Cuddling & Curling

Much like cats, dogs also curl up to sleep.  At we learn, “Dogs curl up in a ball when sleeping to protect their organs—a holdover from their days in the wild, when they were vulnerable to predator attacks.” This natural instinct to protect the most vulnerable areas of their bodies is key for survival. One key for pet owners is to enjoy this curling instinct rather than fighting it.

However, as our dogs get more and more comfortable with their humans, they can be seen sleeping flat on their backs virtually (if not literally) spread eagle. This is a sign your dog feels a high level of safety and comfort in your household. They are completely vulnerable in this position and trust your protection for them. It is also a sign of complete submission (within a sense of safety).

Curling Up with Your Pets

A number of resources are available about sleeping with your pet (and some of the risks). All-in-all though, we love our pets because of the comfort and companionship they give us. Enjoy curling up and caring for them as they instinctively protect their organs and enjoy the warmth of cuddling with you!


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