There are many ways that cats like to sit. Sprawled out, curled up like a little bread loaf or sitting straight up like the cat of royalty as they look at you, their loyal subject. So it is especially surprising when your cat chooses to sit like YOU! Their spine resting up on something like the back of the couch, their back legs splayed out and front paws by their sides or on their very exposed tummy. Why? Why is your cat sitting like you?
It turns out there are a couple of reasons your cat might be sitting like a tiny human.
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Cats take on human behavior
Believe it or not, our cats do take on some of our good (and bad) behavior. Studies have found that cats when living in close proximity to humans will adapt by picking up their activities. Cats will mimic their human companions eating, sleeping and activity patterns. Several people who keep their cat's litter boxes in the bathroom have even noticed that their cats will regularly use the bathroom at the same time as them, because your cat determines it must be the group bathroom time! That's why your cat might be sitting around looking a lot like you! It makes perfect sense: think back on how often your cat watches you like you are a giant TV. On the flip side, studies have also shown that owners begin to mimic their feline companions as well.
Showing their trust
Your cat might be folding itself into a position that exposes their belly to show you they trust you a great deal and loves you. A cat showing their stomach to you is one of the more vulnerable acts it can perform around you. Your kitty is showing you she believes that you won't hurt her tender tum. This doesn't automatically mean that you should rub their belly though. This act of trust may not mean your cat wants to be cuddled at all, it just might be showing you it trusts you. Be respectful and don't be too rough with their belly rub if it does appear to want to be snuggled. If your cat doesn't like having their belly touched at all, give them an under-chin scratch to show your love.
Cooling and grooming
You might notice that your cat is constantly grooming herself. Since your cat cannot sweat in the way humans do, grooming is used as a way to cool down. It's a nice way for her to air out her tummy. Sitting like you might help cool down your heated cat, so give them space to cool down.
Cat stomachs are also particularly easy for cats to reach in this position. It may look like she's sitting like a human, when actually the position is giving your cat some easy stomach access for cleaning, since cats are far more flexible than we are.
Cats are incredibly flexible, and although we may not see this strange imitation of us as comfortable, their spines are very strong and stretchy. It might be just the perfect comfy pose to help them relax and really stretch their limbs. When they are in this position it's best to let them stay comfy and stretching, unless they clearly ask for your attention. You wouldn't want someone to interrupt you mid-stretch after a workout. To a cat, this could be just the perfect pose to stretch out their spine after chasing their favorite toy for an hour.
In the meantime, enjoy watching your cat looking like a cute little you. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!