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

Your cat’s behavior can seem unpredictable at times.

You’re here for your cats, and they will be your first priority. If your cat paw’s your face when you’re trying to sleep, it’s nothing to worry about.

It’s cats’ way of showing that he’s comfortable with you. So, why does my cat paw my face when I’m sleeping?

Cats love affection and attention as much as we love to give it to them. When we’re sleeping, our face is usually uncovered, so it’s the perfect position for them to show their love by rubbing their face against us and purring loudly.

It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re being aggressive or are trying to wake you up or mark you as theirs. It’s just their way of showing their love to you.

Let’s dive into it.

Why Does My Cat Put His Paw On My Face When I’m Sleeping?

Your cat paws at your face to wake you up because you can’t rise until he or she gets the attention he or she wants.

While many cats are reserved, they have a passion for getting affection and attention.

When your cat paws at your face while you’re sleeping, it’s his way of showing you love.

Your Cat Just Wants Your Attention

Cats will often wake their people up by using our special scent to wake up our scent receptors.

Sometimes, they don’t do what they want because they’re not comfortable, and that’s when it’s your job to help them out.

For instance, a cat might wake you up with rubbing his face against yours because he’s cold, bored or thirsty.

Cats are often bored and pawing you to wake you up is their way of letting you know that they want to play with you.

When cats are bored, they often display negative behaviors like biting and scratching.

You Cat Wishes to Awaken You

Cat owners will tell you how being awoken by their cat is sometimes annoying, and that’s understandable.

This is especially so when the cat is meowing and rubbing his face against ours when he’s already awake and ready to play with us.

Your cat’s paws on your face may actually wake you up because he’s trying his best to wake you up when you’ve fallen asleep on the bed.

Your Cat Would Like To Snuggle

On the other hand, cats enjoy sleeping next to their humans, and if that’s the reason why he wakes you up, he’s probably trying to cuddle with you.

Though cat owners everywhere may disagree, the sleeping habits of cats do tend to look like they want to cuddle with us.

This, however, does not apply to all cats, since some cats like to cuddle only when they feel they’re safe.

Your Cat Is Expressing His Love for You

In fact, cats often put their paws on our faces because they want nothing more than to show us how much they love us.

They also purr loudly and rub our faces with their bodies to reciprocate our love for them.

Some even blink their eyes in a cute manner to make us feel relaxed when we pet them.

Your Cat Is Itching To Play

Cats are unpredictable animals, but it’s undeniable that they love interacting with us whenever they get the chance.

As a result, your cat may wake you up because he wants to play with you or snuggle with you because he loves and trusts you enough to do so.

Again, if your cat sleeps differently, such as always close to you or behind a piece of furniture, he may just be expressing.

While some may find it amusing, some may find it annoying.

One reason your cat may display this behavior is that he wants some extra attention or playtime with you.

Having some cat toys on hand may make your feline happy and give your pet the attention he desires.

Your Cat Is Hungry

Adapting your cat’s schedule to that of yours can be challenging, especially if you want your pet to also sleep on a regular basis.

To make sure your cat has food in its food bowl while sleeping, consider giving him cat food once or twice during his sleep hours.

You Cat Shows That He Trusts You

Paws on your face, especially while sleeping is the cats way of showing they trust you, and they feel they can depend on you.

This is because cats tend to be quite vulnerable when sleeping and they do not want to be uncomfortable or worried while sleeping.

They Are Stretching

Cats have their own unique body stretching routine in their sleep.

Understanding when to offer them some affection and when to stay away is important to obey and respect that trust they are giving you.

However, a paw in your eye or face may not be such a pleasant experience for you and you may want to dissuade this behavior.

You may be seeking for a reason, but it is possible that your cat is just getting a little warm or resting his head on you and doesn’t want to strain his neck while doing so.

When cats withdraw their paw immediately after it rests on your face, eliminate the chances of it pinching or scratching you.

Also Read: Why Does Your Cat Hit You With Its Paw?

Why Does My Cat Put His Paw On Me When I Pet Him?

Why Does My Cat Put His Paw On Me When I Pet Him?

Cats that scratch or bite their owners may be doing so to avoid being petted and before bed, some cats may unconsciously do their stretching routine by resting their heads on their owners.

They need attention but try to show they are not demanding it.

They appreciate a little affection and when they know they are being annoyed by it, it can sometimes lead to a biting or scratching behavior.

Then they scratch or bite in order to avoid or deter further attention.


Cats pawing our faces are nothing to worry about. It’s their way of showing their love to us and marking us as theirs.

They also love affection and attention as much as we do, so it’s not surprising that they’re resorting to this tactic to get some love and attention while we’re sleeping.

In addition , it’s their way of waking us up when we can’t rise on our own because they have noticed that we’re fast asleep.

Remember not to scold your cat for pawing your face or the chest when you’re sleeping as this can scare your pet and make him insecure.

A cat who feels insecure will likely not approach you or show affection in future. Petting and cuddling with your pet will make him feel happy and secure and he’ll surely get rid of this habit forever.