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Why Does My Cat Paw My Face When I’m Sleeping

All cat owners will agree that cats are wonderful pets. They are clean, quiet, and low maintenance.

But do you ever wonder what your feline friend is trying to tell you when it exhibits certain behaviors?

Is it a form of affection?

Or could it simply be a sign of trust? Read on to learn what your furry friend is really saying.

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Why Does My Cat Paw My Face?

Your cat might want to be petted, brushed, or shown affection. Some cats paw their owners’ faces to wake them up from sleep; in this case, the cat probably craves affection. The cat might also want food.

Why Does My Cat Paw My Face In The Morning?

When a cat puts its paws on your face, it’s a sign of affection or the need for attention. However, when you put your face close to your cat then it puts its paws up, it sends a message that you’re invading its space. A cat’s claws remain retracted in either case as it doesn’t intend to scratch your skin.

When a cat paws something, it deposits a distinctive scent from scent glands located in its paws. Most owners love the feeling of a gentle paw on their face, even if in the middle of the night! Here are some other reasons why a cat paws at your face.

Your cat wants to be fed

When your cat visits you in bed and gives you a friendly pat on the face, it probably is hungry, especially if it’s early morning. You can believe it’s a sign of affection, which it sometimes is.

You are “being scented”

Each of your cat’s paws has glands that release pheromones. Cats use them to indicate their territory. If your cat touches your face or any part of your body, it is marking you with its scent and staking a claim on you.

This is a sign of tremendous trust, so feel honored. Other cats will smell that you belong to the kitty who just pawed you.

Your cat is bored

Perhaps it just wants to play or wants some other type of attention.

You are invading its space

If it puts its paw in your face, it may be to prevent you from getting closer.

Cats are fickle When you attempt to kiss that darling nose as you’ve done many times, and it palms you, he wants you to stop.

You make your cat feel secure and safe

If your cat sleeps with you and stretches out to place its paws on your face, it’s because you make it feel safe and secure. Cats are light sleepers as they remain alert for dangers instinctively.

If your cat really trusts you, it will relax when it sleeps with you because it feels protected. When its paws touch your face while it sleeps, it wants to know you are close by. It will then relax into a deeper sleep. If you move or stir, it will feel this through its paws and become more alert.

Your cat wants to pet you

We show our cats affection by scratching their heads, stroking them, or tickling their chins. Some cats extend their devotion to us as they would another cat. When your cat pats your face with its paws, it could simply be showing you affection.

Your cat wants to cuddle

A cat will put its paws on your face to make you stroke or cuddle them. Cats are clever creatures and remember how you react to what they do.

It’s a trust test

A new cat may put its paws on your face to see if it can trust you. If you accept its paws in your personal space, it will know you are not a threat and will start to feel bonded to you.

Your face is in the way!

Your cat might touch your face with its paws by accident. It may have just stretched and found your face at the end of its paws. It feels good to them, so why move.

Why Is A Cat Affectionate In The Morning

A cat is affectionate in the morning because they want their owners to be attentive to them. Cats want food, undivided attention, and communication in the morning.

These are positive associations for your cat and may cause them to feel more affection towards you in the morning.

Why Does A Cat Rub His Face On A Human’s In The Morning

Cats have many scent glands in their heads, around their mouth, chin, cheeks, neck, and ears. When cats bump against things, these scent glands are activated.

This is their way of claiming territory and ownership of their environment.

Why Does My Cat Hit Me With His Paw When I Pet Him

Cats that scratch or bite while being petted are in emotional conflict.

They want attention but fear it too. They enjoy a little love and contact, but after a certain time, they become afraid. Then they scratch or bite to bring the petting to an end.

Why Does My Cat Want To Be In My Face

Cats have scent glands in their paws. When a cat kneads your face or places its paw on your face, they are transferring some of its scents to you.

If other cats come into contact with you, they will know that you belong to them. It is very similar to when a cat scratches at something.

Why Does My Cat Scratch My Face

Your cat could be petting you in return. Cats enjoy displays of affection such as chin scratches, head rubs, ear rubs, and many other ways we show love and affection.

It shouldn’t surprise you that they would want to return the favor. So, basically, when they touch your face, they are “petting” you back.

How Does a Cat Show Love

A cat will love their human as much, if not more than we love them.

But how cats display their love and offer affection is quite different from how humans do it. In a cat’s world, there are many ways to offer displays of affection.


The most way a cat shows their happiness and love is by purring.

Cats seem to have a unique little motor inside them that starts when they are relaxed and are enjoying something. You will often hear this vibrating, rumbling, noise while you are petting your cat.


Children will throw themselves on the ground and roll around during a tantrum. When your cat does it, it means it is happy to see you.

Cats will walk or run up to you and throw themselves on the ground and begin rolling. It is a loving greeting which means they want attention, specifically if they show their tummy.


Bunting is when a cat rubs its cheeks on something, rubs its head on you, or head-butts with its forehead. Your cat is leaving its scent on you, marking territory.

Cats do this when they love someone or something. They may bunt on other pets or their favorite people.


Scratching leaves both visual and scented visual marks of ownership to a cat. Be aware of where your kitty scratches most often. The areas important to a cat are frequently associated with the owner.


Kneading behaviors go back to when they were kitties. Kitty’s paws knead against the mother’s breasts to encourage milk to be released.

An adult cat will continue this behavior when feeling most loved, relaxed, and content — often while being petted when sitting on their owner’s lap. Kneading is an expression of adoration.

Hunting and Gifting Prey

Cats are adorable but still tiny carnivores with the instinct to hunt. Cats will catch everything from toys to mice and then share it with those they love. Cats who present you with this gift deserve praise. They wouldn’t give you these unique presents if they didn’t love you.


Kittens like to play out of pure enjoyment. Their most favorite playmate is usually a trusted and loved companion. Some cats actually control the interaction by moving out of reach, so you are forced to come to them to begin playing.


It is typical for cats to sleep up to 16 hours a day. As they are the most vulnerable while sleeping, the place your cat chooses to sleep must be a secure and trusted spot. There is no greater show of love and affection than a cat picking your lap as their favorite location to sleep.

Beautiful, Loving Eyes

A cat’s eyes are proportionately huge. As such, they are essential assets for survival, yet highly vulnerable. Cats that place their faces and wide-open eyes near a person are expressing great love and trust. A slow “eye blink” from across the room is a cat kiss.

Tail Posture

If you’ve ever petted a cat, you’ve probably noticed the “elevator butt” pose. It is inviting you to pay particular attention to the base of its tail.

Cats love this body part scratched. In addition, they position their upright tails to show their love. If a cat comes to you with its tail straight up with the end tipped over slightly, it’s a sign of love.

When a cat holds its bottom in your face, that is also a sign of affection. Kittens will greet their mother with tails held high in respect, and adult cats continue this behavior with their favorite humans.


Cats seldom meow at other cats. Usually, only kittens will meow to their mothers but will grow out of the habit as adults.

An adult cat uses these vocalizations primarily to interact with people. Just humans, cats don’t “talk” to people they dislike, so when your cat pesters you with a lot of meowing, remember they are interacting with you out of love.


Cats spend a tremendous amount of time self-grooming. Cats that are friendly with each other will also groom each other.

Cats will groom their favorite humans by licking their hair or skin or even sucking or nibbling on their clothing, indicating great affection. This action spreads a familiar scent and helps mark their person as an essential part of the family.


Why Does My Cat Tap Me When I’m Sleeping

Your cat wants to communicate with you. The best way to understand what your cat means when he taps you is to learn how to read his signals and body language.

Cat Puts Paw On My Face When Sleeping

During sleep, cats usually touch or rub you as a sign of trust and love, and it could be a way that they prepare for sleep by kneading you. Over time you’ll get to understand the cat’s behavior.