Sleeping cat has no worries.

Let me first confess that I am, at heart, a dog person. I have had cats when I was younger, but none who were as friendly and social as my dogs.

However, several friends have cats and certainly, many clients have commissioned me over time to paint their furry feline friends. They have all convinced me that the right cat never came along for me before I decided dogs were better companions.

Sleeping cat reference photo is by Clay Elliot  (


Cat’s napping position gives clues about state of mind.

  • “Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.” – James Herriot

Cats, like dogs, can sleep many hours during the day. My senior dogs could sleep 18 hours or more and it is the same for cats. Cats like their canine counterparts, seek warmth from their favourite person’s body heat.  And cats will also curl up in a ball which is a protective position that goes back to times when they had to watch for predators.

The cat I painted is sleeping on her side. She has one paw stretched out in front of her and she is very secure for the moment, knowing that she will not be disturbed. That one paw will allow her to jump up should she hear any unusual noise. Otherwise, this cat will probably not move until much later, or perhaps, until time for dinner.

The details of the painting.

Sleeping cat is painted in acrylics on an 8 x 8 wood panel. The panel was first given several coats of Golden’s  GAC although the birch had no knots in it so I have to wonder if this was really necessary. I sanded in between coats. Once the GAC was applied, I gave the panel surface two coats of white gesso. The sides were taped as I intended to leave the natural wood as is.

Do I prefer canvas or wood panels? I actually prefer watercolour paper. It is easy to store and ship and it allows the client to choose colourful mattes and frames.  On the other hand, canvas is easier to prepare than wood. A few coats of gesso are needed and then the canvas is ready for paint. In other words, there is more preparation needed on wood panels than on any other substrate that I presently use.

I paint portraits with the best professional acrylics on the market  - Golden Fluid acrylics. The colours are vibrant and lightfast and I have learned to mix my own colours as I have done in this painting.

See Cradled Sleeping Puppy, a match for this cat!

I would love to hear your cat (or dog) stories. I can be reached here.

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