How to Relax Like a Cat

You need it more than you think

Nancy Parish


Harper sleeping rough / Photo courtesy of the Author

We are a society of stressed-out people. There’s no doubt about it. Granted, a global pandemic hasn’t helped our stress levels. As a society, we put in a ton of hours at work and often come home exhausted. And we’ve spent over a year working from home, stressing out about the state of our health, the health of our wallets, and the health of our planet.

When it comes to relaxing, we could learn a thing or three from cats. I’m a self-professed cat lady and therefore have casually studied the napping habits of felines for over twenty years. This, I feel, qualifies me as an expert on the fine art of napping. Also, a fun fact, my initials spell NAP. That’s further proof I know, whereof I speak.

First of all, the catnap. We often refer to a short nap as a cat nap. But, I suspect our naps do not resemble anything like a true cat nap. Cats, as a species, are connoisseurs of comfort, or Knights of the nap. Whatever you want to call them, when it comes to napping, cats know what they’re doing.

Location, location, location

When it comes to napping, it appears that cats choose odd places to fall asleep. How many times have you seen a cat crashed out on the floor? They look so comfortable it’s like their batteries ran out of juice and that’s where they stopped. Truth is, I don’t think they fight the urge to nap as we humans do. If they’re tired, they’ll take a nap in the most convenient spot available to them. Sometimes, that’s a nice soft bed. Sometimes, that’s the floor.

They sleep rough

When it comes to cats and naps, it’s clear that their idea of comfort is different from ours. Let's face it, they sleep rough. I’ve seen my cats stretch out over a pile of books, curl on cold hard shelves, and nap on top of a glass coffee table. They don’t seem to mind cold hard surfaces. At least some of them don’t. My cat Hermione seems to enjoy soft places. She loves to spread out on my bed and take a long nap. She also loves to snuggle on top of a warm pile of laundry.

How do they sleep like that?

Sometimes it’s not just the location of the nap that’s weird, it’s the sleeping position. Have you ever seen…



Nancy Parish

Writer, Amateur Cat Herder. Previously, Contributing Editor for CWIM. My ebook Life with Scout: The Blind Kitty Chronicles avail.