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Sleepy Paws: Can Cats’ Legs Fall Asleep Like Humans?

can-cats-legs-fall-asleep

Sleepy Paws: Can Cats’ Legs Fall Asleep Like Humans?

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My cat Abigail used to lay on my lap until I couldn’t take it anymore. My legs, ankles and feet would start to tingle. Then they would go completely numb. She would stay put, sleeping or gazing, happy as a camper. When I would finally succumb and politely stand up to scoot her off, my entire lower body felt like collapsing. It made me wonder, can cats legs fall asleep or is my feline in complete bliss while I suffer quietly?

RELEVANT: Why Do Cats Arch Their Back?

Let’s unpack the big picture for your cats needs; rest assured that little ball of fluff probably has no discomfort in your lap while you flinch and sweat to stay still and not disturb her nap.

Can Cats’ Legs Fall Asleep

This question has not been researched by professionals to the extent other ailments have, leading one to surmise that it is unlikely that a cat’scat’s limbs fall asleep. A cat has a very limber body. When your cat is young and agile, they seem so flexible they could star in Cirque de Soleil. The squeezing of a cat’scat’s limbs, cutting off blood flow, is not as prominent in a cat. This is probably why your cat can sit and lay still for hours without moving, having no signs of numbness, pain, or those itty bitty needle pricks we humans experience.

Even though your feline does not seem to experience the same tingling sensations you do when sitting without moving for too long, it doesn’t mean a cat cannot experience challenges with their limbs. In addition, a feline needs to move around and stay active for many reasons a person does.

RELATED: Everything You Wanted To Know About Cat Paws AKA Toe Beans 

A much better position for you is if you can get your cat to fall asleep on your chest. All of my cats have been chest sleepers. Finnegan loves to lay on my chest and stretch out. This can be a problem for breathing (me, not him, don’t worry 😂) as his front leg usually pinches off my throat, making it difficult to swallow and even breathe.

Hey, at least my leg isn’t falling asleep, amirite?

Why Do Cats Lay on Your Chest

You probably have already discerned a few if you are a cat person. Here are several motivations for why cats lay on your chest.

Seeking Affection

Cats love attention and may lay on your chest as a way to seek affection and closeness with their owner.

Feeling Secure

Laying on your chest can make a cat feel safe and secure, especially if they are anxious or stressed.

Enjoying Warmth

Cats love warmth, and your chest may provide a cozy and comfortable spot for them to curl up.

Marking Territory

Cats have scent glands on their paws and may rub their paws on you whillayingon your chest to mark you as their own

Showing Trust

When a cat lays on your chest, it can be a sign that they trust you and feel comfortable around you.

RELATED: Do Cats have Eyelashes?

Why is My Cat’s Rear Legs Not Moving?

If your cat’s legs are not moving, it could be a sign of a serious medical condition. Two potential causes are a blood clot or an injury.

Blood Clot

A blood clot can restrict blood flow and cause paralysis. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect a blood clot, take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

The most common cause of rear limb paralysis in cats is a blood clot that goes to the back leg, called a saddle thrombus or arterial thromboembolism (ATE). This clot blocks blood flow to the affected limb(s). A clot in the back leg suddenly causes the cat to be unable to put full weight on the affected leg.” –TUFTS, School of Veterinary Medicine

Injury

Injury is another possibility.

If your cat has fallen, been in a cat fight, hit by a bike or been hit by a car, it may have suffered an injury that has caused paralysis. In this case, your veterinarian can perform an examination and diagnose the underlying cause of the paralysis.

Regardless of the cause, it is important to seek medical attention for your cat as soon as possible. Paralysis can be a serious and life-threatening condition, and prompt treatment can help minimize the risk of complications.

Cat Obesity

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Cat obesity is a growing problem among pet owners. It can lead to serious health issues like diabetes, joint pains, and heart disease. This article will define cat obesity and provide some helpful tips to help your feline friend.

Definition: Cat obesity is an excessive accumulation of body fat that can lead to significant health problems. A cat is considered obese when it weighs 20% or above its ideal body weight.

Ways to Help Your Obese Cat: If you suspect your cat is obese, it is essential to take action. Here are some ways to help your cat lose weight:

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  1. Consult with your veterinarian: Before starting any weight loss program for your cat, it is important to consult with your veterinarian. They can help you determine your cat’s ideal body weight and provide advice on the best way to manage your cat’s diet.
  2. Gradual changes in diet: Making small and slow changes to your cat’s diet is key. You should start by reducing the amount of food your cat eats each day, but never reduce the amount drastically. Instead, you should decrease the amount gradually over a period of time.
  3. Increase exercise: Exercise is important for cats to maintain a healthy weight. Encourage your cat to play and engage in activities such as chasing toys or using a scratching post.
  4. Avoid table scraps: Avoid giving your cat table scraps, as these can contribute to weight gain.

Scheduling play dates is probably the most essential activity that has helped my cats through the years. And when I say schedule, I mean make time every day to shower them with attention, playtime, and activity. It will keep them active and strengthen the bond, which is very delicate to a cat.

Here are my cat Finnegan’s essentials, including his favorite cat toys: Cat Essentials


Cat obesity is a serious issue that can lead to significant health problems. It is essential to consult with your veterinarian and make small and slow changes to your cat’scat’s diet to help them lose weight. You can help your feline friend achieve a healthy weight and live a happier, healthier life with patience and dedication.

This post covers the question, can cats’ legs fall asleep and ways you can keep your cat happy and healthy. Prevention goes a long way with both people and pets. If you are getting your exercise, minding your diet, and connected socially, your cat will also reap the benefits through a healthy lifestyle.

🐾 Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC! 🏡 She’s got a dapper tuxedo cat who’s been her sidekick since he was a tiny furball. 🐱 Before Finnegan came along, Lisa cared for two FIV-positive cats for over ten years! 🌟 Their love inspired her to create a cat enclosure and a portable catio, giving kitties the purrfect spot to bask in the sun and feel the breeze. ☀️🌿

As a kid, Lisa shared her home with a Poodle and a chirpy parakeet! 🐩🐦

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