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5 Names for the Common Kitty Position Known as “Cat Loaf”

This familiar pose might be called hovercat, retract-o-paws, tank cat -- what do you call it?

Angie Bailey  |  Nov 21st 2014


As cat lovers, we’re all familiar with that classic position cats often assume — you know the one where all their legs are tightly tucked underneath their bodies? They always look so serene and cozy when they’re loafed up. I swear they must be made of rubber.

I had to try the position for myself, just to see if the cats were onto something awesome that I should be doing. I quickly learned that I’m not made of rubber, and it’s not at all comfortable.

And look — cats look so much more adorable when they’re tucked. I look like I’m getting ready to hurl.

In my communications with other cat lovers, I learned there are a variety of names for this common position. Some I’ve heard, and others were brand new to me. Here are some of the ones I like best.

1. Meat, bread, or cat loaf

Most of us agree a kitty looks like a little loaf when he’s chilling in this position, and some of us simply call it a “loaf.” Others get a little more specific with names like “cat loaf,” “bread loaf,” or “meat loaf.” When I was growing up, our family used “meat loaf.” We used to make up stories about how our cats would roll through town loafed on top of a skateboard. The visual still makes me laugh.

2. Sittin’ on eggs

Someone once told me they call the pose “sittin’ on eggs,” because the cat looks like a hen laying eggs. I can see that. I wish my cat laid chicken eggs — I love fresh eggs in the morning.

3. Cat boat

I’ve also heard the term “cat boat,” because you can see that flat-bottomed kitty gliding across a body of water or floating in a bathtub. My Phoebe would be a speed boat, Cosmo would be a yacht and Saffy’d look cute as a hefty barge. I think there should be a cruise ship in the shape of a cat: “The Pacific Persian.”

4. Hovercat

We’ve all probably seen this photo of the white cat sitting on top of a glass table, showing us a rare bottom-view of a cat loaf. He totally looks like he’s floating in mid-air, right? When cats are tucked into a loaf, I can picture them getting ready for takeoff. Or suddenly floating above the ground, David Blaine-style.

5. Chicken or turkey pose

A few people I know use the term “chicken pose” or “turkey pose,” because the kitty looks like roasted poultry. I remember once putting a roasting pan on the floor to see if one of my cats would climb in, and of course they fought over the thing. So I can attest to the validity of the description, especially when the cat is loafed in a roasting pan.

What do you call the loaf position? Tell us in the comments!

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About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (birthed right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.