🐱 WHY Do Cats LAY DOWN When They EAT Or DRINK? (Here Is What We Found Out!)

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When you bring a cat home, you give extra care and provide as much comfort as possible. Along with taking care of his comfort, it is essential to keep an eye on the habits he develops. The abnormal behavior of another cat might just be normal for yours. Yet, whenever you detect a change in your cat’s actions, do not ignore and find the root cause.

Cats show different behaviors depending on internal and external factors. Changes in sleep, eating, or interactive activities might be a result of an underlying chronic cause. Or there might be nothing like that. However, the abnormal behaviors of a cat can only be identified if you know the normal ones.

A cat laying down while eating or drinking can be a sign of anxiety, change of the feeding area, or dehydration. Such unusual cat behavior may also indicate underlying issues like kidney disease, diabetes, stomach, thyroid, or orthopedic disorders. Vets recommend noticing any sudden changes in your cat’s eating habits to avoid any future complications.

Especially, any fluctuation in your cat’s eating routine should be monitored closely. Keeping track of the changing behavior can be an indicator of underlying health risks. Many factors can help you eliminate any such possibility by providing answers to why cats lay down when they eat or drink.

Eating Moods for a Cat

Cats usually do not like anyone to be near them while they eat. Nonetheless, if your cat identifies your presence as friendly, he might want you to stand near him. Most of the cats enjoy their food in isolation, so it is better to feed your pets individually in different bowls especially if you have more than one.

If more than one cat is present in your home, you can give them food simultaneously, and they will not trouble you. This usually depends on how well you train your cat.

Normal Eating Positions

It is normal for cats to sit down on their paws when they eat. It means your cat is relaxed. But at the same time, they are ready to move away if a stronger cat comes towards the food bowl. Felines commonly exhibit this kind of behavior. They keep their paws firm on the floor, attentive enough to react to any unpleasant situation immediately.

Do Cats Eat Standing Up?

It is not natural for cats to stand while eating as they naturally eat in a crouch position. Suppose your cat has to stand while eating, it may be due to one reason or the other. To understand why your cat is doing so, firstly check the height of the feeder. A very high feeder can be the cause of your cat’s altered eating habits, and adjusting it might solve the issue. Eating in this position is not normal, neither comfortable for your cat.

Why Does My Cat Lay On The Floor While Eating?

There is nothing to worry about if it is your cat’s natural behavior, and he enjoys his food rolling around. Though it is not the best practice, some cats like it. It is worth noticing if your cat has developed this attitude over time. Cats might start laying on the floor while eating for many reasons.

Let’s tell you a few of them to make it easier for you to understand:

Anxiety or Fear

It is a well-known fact that cats have a lovely social bond with humans. Yet, they might not always like the presence of other pets in the house. Particularly, if you have just bought another pet, your cat might take some time to adjust. They take strangers as a potential danger and avoid any situation that can get them in trouble. Therefore, some cats take this behavior as an escape to avoid interaction with others in the house they are not familiar with. These kinds of actions are usually associated with anxiety and fear cats feel in others’ presence. If your cat is acting like this for this very reason, it will get better with time as he would understand that the other person or animal wouldn’t harm him.

Having a Painful Condition

Health factors can be among the many reasons for your cat to lie down while having their food. But sometimes, a few health-related matters might aggravate the anxiety. If you are brushing a painful tooth of the cat or combing the cat and its hurts, the cat can develop anxiety and feel discomfort in your presence. It does not directly affect the cat’s changing attitude while feeding, yet it is among the underlying causes of elevated anxiety in your company. It is essential to make sure that you are, in no way, adding to the pain of your cat. And if your cat exhibits the behavior for a while, checking for some obvious medical conditions can help resolve the issue. Ensure that your presence does not seem a potential threat to the cat or elevate his anxious behavior.

Underlying Diseases & Conditions

Looking out for any apparent medical or painful condition can be the first step towards understanding changes in your cat’s behavior. But, what if you do not find any evident symptoms of a disease? It does not mean that your cat is completely fit. There could be underlying medical issues.

Your cat might be suffering from a chronic illness without any apparent signs and symptoms. Sedentary behavior can result from medical problems like neurological diseases, kidney issues, diabetes, arthritis, and other orthopedic disorders. Proper evaluation of your pet is important to rule out the possibility of any of these conditions. Usually, the discomfort caused by the sickness results in disturbed posture.

Disturbed Sleep Patterns

Like sleep affects the mood and overall vibe, animals also require an adequate amount of sleep. Though their sleep needs are not identical to ours, and patterns differ, the necessity cannot be overlooked. Adult cats usually need to sleep for around 16 hours. Proper sleep keeps them fresh and playful. A healthy cat will usually complete its sleep. If your cat is sleeping more than usual or has any sleep disorders, along with changes in eating posture, it can be an indication of a medical condition.

Due to their disturbed physiology, cats sometimes exhibit lethargic behavior with more sleeping hours than the usual. The sleep disturbance accompanied by his wish to have his food while lying on the floor can indicate abnormalities.

Drinking and Eating Disorders

Other than the unidentified disease conditions, there are a few health issues of the cat we are aware of. Despite taking enough care, sometimes the cats show disrupted eating and drinking behaviors. These behaviors are just a response to their feeling of discomfort due to the disease. Cats with diabetes, stomach disorders, and thyroid issues eat more, which can be major reasons cats lay down when they eat or drink.

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Such behavior can worsen their condition and lead to other complications. At times, anxious cats also eat more at once to avoid interaction with other pets or cats in the house.

Aging Cats

You might think of the first time you brought your little kitten home and how he adapted to the surroundings. Young cats like to roam around the house and stick around you to show affection. However, as cats begin to grow old, they tend to feel less energetic. The energy drops result in many of them finding it inconvenient to eat while sitting. Growing cats also have a risk of developing arthritis as time passes. As it is a part of the growing old process, it is crucial to help your cat adapt to a different way of living. You can facilitate your feline and ensure the activities do not worsen their pain.

Eating and Drinking Space Change

Cats are little fur babies that love to be adored and valued by their families. They enjoy having a spot of their own where they can relax and sleep comfortably. Similarly, they are adapted to eating in a specific place where they receive their meals daily a few times a day. A change in the cat’s usual feeding place might not come as the best surprise for him, and he may feel startled. It is always good to feed your cat in one place to make him feel at home with no danger from anyone.

Why Do Cats Lay Next To The Water Bowl?

If you have seen your cat lying around the water bowl more often than showing such behavior while eating, the reasons might all not be the same. There are strong chances that the cat is feeling nauseous or thirsty. Yes, typically, cats are not thirsty all the time. So, when you see your cat lingering around the water bowl and lying near it frequently, it is time to find the cause.

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The most common reasons for this habit are as follows:


The most primary reason for cats to lie near the water ball is the need to drink more water. It means that the cat might be dehydrated. A healthy cat drinks around 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water for 5-pound weight. Depending on his weight, if the cat does not take enough water, he would feel the necessity to drink water frequently. You can evaluate if your cat is dehydrated or not by an easy exam.

  • Pinching: Try pinching, known as the “Tent test.” You have to gently pinch some skin between her shoulder blades and leave it. It should go back to its previous form. If it does not, your cat might be dehydrated.
  • Gum test: The next method is to check your cat’s gums. Gums are usually pink and moist. However, if you see anything apart from the normal appearance, it is a sign of dehydration.
  • Eye test: Check the eyes to see if they are dull or sunken as these symptoms indicate dehydration.


Diabetes can be the cause of your cat’s changed behavior, including lying near the water bowl. Obese cats are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. There is a need to visit the vet if you suspect your cat shows the signs of this illness. Along with different eating behaviors, a few factors can help you understand if your cat has symptoms of diabetes, like

  • Lethargic behavior
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Increased weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Polyuria (Excessive urination)
  • Polydipsia (increased thirst)
  • Inability to jump and a disturbed gait

What To Do If Cats Lay Down When They Eat Or Drink?

Knowing the cause of the changed behavior of your cat is important while looking for a solution. You can take a few measures to solve your cat’s eating or drinking posture problems.

Keep Him Hydrated

As already mentioned, dehydration might be a cause of your cat lying down around her water bowl. You can ensure that the cat gets enough water as per his needs. Observe if the cat’s habits revert to normal after this measure.

Visit a Vet

If you notice that your cat has been lying down while eating or drinking for a long time now, it’s better to take him to a vet. A doctor can judge the cause of changes in your cat’s eating habits. They carry out the necessary exams and provide proper treatments.


What is the most common cause of your cat lying on the floor while eating or drinking?

The reasons can vary from acute ones like lethargy and anxiety to chronic conditions like kidney diseases and orthopedic issues.

When should the cat be taken to the vet?

If your cat has developed this habit frequently, take him to the vet if it persists for a few days, and your cat seems lethargic all the time.

What is the right posture for cats while eating?

The “crouched” position is usually the natural posture of cats while eating or drinking.


It is normal to cats to lay down after they have taken a large meal. Most of the time, this should not be a cause for concern to any of you but if you see your cat doing this out of the norm, you should consider taking him for a complete checkup.

In our opinion, cats who have been rolling around while they are eating should have no severe problems in most cases.

However, if you see your cat suddenly behaving differently, not eating at all, or eating abnormally, you should evaluate the condition at the earliest.

Happy Cat-Keeping!

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