Why Does My Cat Touch My Face When I’m Sleeping? 7 Common Reasons

Having a cat comes with a variety of eccentricities that you must master as a cat parent. Let’s imagine you’re taking a snooze in the afternoon when your cat suddenly wakes you up with its paws.

Most cat owners are familiar with this scenario, and it’s reasonable to expect that your cat will do the same at some point. So you might be perplexed as to why your cat rubs your face as you sleep. The main cause may differ from one cat to the next, but you should anticipate the cat to show you a special gesture of devotion. It might express its affection for you, claim you as its property, or make a demand on you.

In this essay, we’ll go through all of the various causes for this typical occurrence. By the conclusion of this piece, you’ll be at ease with the behavior and appreciate your cat even more for it.

Why Does My Cat Touch My Face When I’m Sleeping?

Why Does My Cat Touch My Face When I'm Sleeping

When it comes to your cat’s specific behavior, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It might be a beautiful gesture from your cat as a thank you for patting it, or the cat could just be attempting to wake you up.

We shall, however, discuss some of the most likely explanations for this behavior. Consider the following ideas for explaining the observed behavior.

Marking Territory

Cats are territorial creatures, and one of their most typical characteristics is marking their territory.

They have pheromone-secreting glands on their foreheads and beneath their paws. The scent of these pheromones may be unfamiliar to people, but cats can recognize them due to their superior sense of smell.

Cats scratch or brush their heads against certain walls or furniture to transmit their pheromones and mark their territory.

If your cat has ever touched your head with its paws or forehead, it is possible that they are claiming you as their own.

You can’t help but accept this gesture, no matter how irritating it is. It is a tremendous honor for you to be a member of their family.

Cats can display a variety of behaviors to assert their ownership. You should be grateful that they selected this kind gesture to express their affection for you.

Petting You Back

Why Does My Cat Touch My Face When I'm Sleeping

It’s a cute way of looking at the gesture. We usually pet cats by gently caressing their faces or backs and twisting our hands through their velvety hair.

It is arguably one of the most satisfying actions you can anticipate from a cat if you believe the cat is patting you back. You should be aware that the cat adores you in the same way that you adore it.

Demanding Something

Cats require a variety of items in order to be comfortable. They require enough food, water, or a safe location to spend the night.

If you forget about one of them, they will make their demands known to you in no uncertain terms. It’s possible that pawing at your face when you’re asleep is their way of saying, “Human, you’ve forgotten something vital!”

If the cat appears to be requesting anything, make sure it is comfy the next time you slumber.

However, you must use caution while dealing with such circumstances. If you give them food right away when they make this gesture, they will continue to touch your face when they are hungry.

As a result, we recommend that you wait until the cat has calmed down before giving it food or drink.

A Sweet Effort Gone Wrong

When it comes to sleeping, cats prefer to be in the company of their favorite person. If you are the cat’s only person, it will just snuggle with you while you sleep.

When attempting to sleep with a human, cats prefer to sleep towards the head or chest. As a result, they might extend before sleeping and smack your face.

It’s important to keep in mind that this is a very unusual gesture from a cat. Being vulnerable like that necessitates a tremendous level of trust.

Cats, according to many experts, are most vulnerable while they are asleep.

It will help if you are grateful that you were selected to be that person for them. If the cat wakes you up while doing this nice gesture, don’t reprimand them.

A Test

Why Does My Cat Touch My Face When I'm Sleeping

Getting a cat to trust you is a difficult task. If you adopt a cat from a shelter, it may have experienced trauma in the past.

These occurrences make them distrustful of the people they presently live with, making it difficult for them to trust you. Cats will put you to the test in these situations by observing your reaction to specific actions.

You will acquire their trust if you answer calmly and pleasantly to them. One of their exams may include touching your face. They will gradually learn to trust you if you do not reply to them in a hostile manner and keep their paws on your face.

When you acquire an older cat, it usually has these issues. If you’re gentle with them, you’ll get more than you bargained for.

Being Mischievous

Cats are known for their mischievous behavior, and pawing your face while you’re sleeping might be one of them.

Cats may place their paws on your face to observe your reaction.

You should be fine with their conduct as long as they don’t draw their claws and scratch you. Avoid scolding your cat at all costs, since it can have a negative impact on the cat’s mental health.

Snuggling Time

Some cats prefer to sleep alone, while others relish the opportunity to snuggle. If you have a cat who expresses its love in the most extravagant way imaginable, they will choose to sleep with you.

Cats are known for sleeping close to their owners’ faces. They will try to touch one portion of your body once they have gained your trust.

The majority of the time, they choose the face. As a result, your cat may paw at your face as you sleep. You should embrace this conduct because it is a rare display of their affection for you.

Your cat is using their paws to scent you.

Scent glands are found in the paws of cats. When your cat rubs his or her paw on your face or kneads your face, they are transmitting part of their fragrance to you. Other cats will recognize you as theirs if they come into touch with you. It’s like to a cat scratching something.

Another sort of territorial marking behavior is this. Accept this act as a charming expression of devotion, and be happy that your cat doesn’t use its claws on your face the way it does your sofa (speaking from personal experience on this one). Your cat wants everyone to know that you are their property. If you didn’t realize it before, this is your cat’s way of expressing, “I own you human.”

Your cat wants you to wake up.

Why Does My Cat Touch My Face When I'm Sleeping

Our animal pets’ desire to give us love taps may appear lovely and lovable, but it isn’t necessarily the tender gesture we think it is. It may just be our cat telling us that it’s time to wake up and feed me. Your cat may be bored and want you to wake up and spend time with them even if it isn’t dinner time.

Instead of wailing in my ear, sticking his bum in my face, or hanging his big Persian tail over my nose, I wish my cat would use this tactic. It would be much pleasant and less startling to wake up with a delicate paw to the face. It’s a good day for everybody who is woken by soft paw touches on the cheek! There are a lot of other methods for a cat to gain your attention that aren’t nearly as enjoyable.

Your cat trusts you and is snuggling up against you.

This is a major thing if your cat likes to sleep with his or her paws on your face. When cats are sleeping, they are most vulnerable. This is a great indication of trust if they snuggle up to you while sleeping and touch your face with their feet.

When your cat is asleep and reaches his or her paws out to approach your face, the same thing happens. This is significant because it indicates that your cat is entirely at ease and secure with you. Your cat is well aware that you will not put them in danger when they sleep. This is a huge compliment.

What Does It Mean When A Cat Touches Your Face?

One of the loveliest gestures a cat can do to demonstrate their love and devotion is to touch your face. It’s possible that they’re transmitting their pheromones on your face and claiming you as theirs.

It’s also conceivable that the cat is just expressing their affection. Whatever the case may be, it is a show of trust and care, and the best thing you can do is accept it.


We’ve gone over a few reasons why your cat might touch your face while you’re sleeping.

It should be apparent that they are not acting in an unethical manner. Trust is a rare gift that cats provide, and you must be grateful when they do.

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