Watching my cat sleep can be nerve-soothing and relaxing, to say the least. Yet, sometimes I’ll notice that he has his tiny paw against his face while he’s softly snoring, and I’m curious about this behavior. But why do cats cover their face when they sleep sometimes?
Well, after some digging and asking a few experts, I’ve finally found some answers that you may be interested to learn. In this article, I’ll share with you possible reasons why your cat tends to hide his face while asleep.
The most common reason behind this sleeping position is that it offers your cat maximum comfort. A cat draws his paws or tail around his nose, curling into a ball shape to keep his body warm. This extra warmth makes it easier for him to relax and fall asleep quickly.
Yet, according to scholars and vets, there might be more explanations for this behavior. Let’s discuss these other possible reasons more in-depth.
5 Reasons Why Your Cat Covers His Face When He Sleeps
Cats are best known for their curiosity. But sometimes their strange actions make us curious, too!
It’s time to understand your cat even more than you already do.
Cats are natural predators, as you probably already know. At the same time, these furry creatures can be prey as well, and their instinct to protect themselves has been ingrained in them over centuries.
As a result, it’s only normal for your cat to look for the best position to sleep while safeguarding his security. By covering the most crucial and vulnerable part of his body, which is his face, your cat is protecting himself against a sudden attack.
You may also notice other ways that your cat may be seeking a sense of security while napping. For instance, some cats sleep with their heads under a blanket, others feel safer with their faces inside a laundry basket.
Even the spot that a cat chooses to sleep in can tell you a lot about his or her sense of caution. Your cat might prefer to lounge on a high spot or somewhere he could clearly see the entry and exit points.
It’s pretty impressive how our cats’ behavior seems funny and weird to us, yet it hides so much intelligence underneath.
Just like us humans, each cat has a favorite sleeping position where he or she feels more comfortable. Some will sleep on their backs with their legs spread apart, others like to curl into a tight ball, and so on.
If your cat covers his face with his paw or tail, the reason behind this may be as simple as a personal preference.
In addition, cats need to keep their bodies warm to fall asleep, especially on cold winter nights. Therefore, they’ll cover their noses with their paws to prevent the heat from escaping their bodies. Soon enough, they’ll be comfortable enough to sleep peacefully.
Some cats don’t mind sleeping during the day in a brightly lit room. And I know this because I’ve seen my kitten sleep for hours in full daylight with no trouble whatsoever. But cats aren’t all the same, and the majority of felines like to sleep in the dark.
But what happens if your cat needs a nap and can’t find a suitable dark spot? In this case, most cats will just lie down and cover their eyes with their paws to keep the light from disturbing their sleep.
Because cats need the energy to play, hunt innocent household objects, and groom themselves, their sleep quality is a priority. Therefore, even if they can’t sleep in a dimly lit room, they still find a way to get their naps by covering their faces.
Another thing that may affect a cat’s sleep quality is noise. Just like he tries to block out light by hiding his face under his paw, he’d do the same to fend off surrounding noise.
As humans, ambient noise can make us fall asleep easier, and it can improve the quality of our slumber. Just imagine the soft hum of a ceiling fan or the gentle patter of rain against your window. Pretty soothing, right?
Well, we can’t say the same for cats with their heightened sense of hearing. Even the softest noise could alert their attention, and they’ll soon say goodbye to their much-needed nap.
Yet, when a cat is too sleepy to care, she’ll just resort to covering her face and ears with her paws to block out sound.
If you’ve ever fallen asleep with a book on your chest or a phone in hand, you’ll get this point.
Cats spend the majority of their days grooming themselves, and this daily chore can take its toll on them. Besides grooming their coats to perfection, cats move a lot during their waking hours, chasing stuff and jumping on furniture. You get the picture.
After spending all of his energy and lying down to rest, your cat might doze off while licking at his paw. In that case, he might find his paw resting against his face, and he could be too tired to move it.
Plus, sleeping in this position may prove useful when the cat wakes up later. This way, his paw will be in place so that he can resume his grooming, taking off where he started. While some people will think that’s a lazy move, I think it’s incredibly convenient!
As I’ve already pointed out, some cats can sleep undisturbed in full daylight and even with background noise. Sometimes, they’ll curl into a tight ball and cover their face just to make a point.
Your cat might be signaling that this is his precious napping time, and he’d rather no family member or other pet interrupt his sleep.
A friend of mine has made this discovery quite recently. His cat would be sleeping deeply, and the guy would sit next to him to stroke his fur.
Sometimes, the cat would purr gratefully. Other times, when the cat wants to be alone, he would just rest his paw on his face and go back to sleep. Leave now, hooman!
In most cases, there’s nothing to worry about if your cat does this. He’s just probably exhausted, more comfortable in this position, or covering his nose to retain body heat. However, if you suspect he’s behaving this way to fend off light or disturbing noise, it’s your call to action.
Give your cat access to a dim or dark room where can lounge without the sun rays getting in his face. Also, make sure that the room or area he’s sleeping in is in a quiet corner of the house.
If you still see him covering his face, then it’s probably for one of the innocent reasons that we’ve already discussed.
This is one of the most adorable things that a cat owner gets to experience. The reason behind it can make you fall in love with your furry friend all over again.
When your cat snuggles against your arm or leg, he’s showing you affection in one of several ways he knows how. This behavior is an indication that he trusts and feels safe with you.
Some experts also believe that cats do this to leave their scent on you. Simply enough, your cat assumes that you belong to him, and he likes to mark you with his smell the way he does with his toys, bowls, and blankets. That’s pretty possessive, but we like that, don’t we?
Many cats prefer to snooze in their owners’ beds because it gives them a sense of security. Not to mention that this spot is usually far from any noise in your household, and it’s away from the eyes of other family members.
Plus, your cat might like to sleep in your bed because he’s an animal of habit. He watches you every night as you retire to your comfortable spot, and he may get curious enough to mimic your behavior.
Of course, there are more reasons that your cat enjoys sleeping where you do. For instance, he might appreciate your body heat, or he may have a strong bond with you that he likes to stay by your side.
Ultimately, your cat could feel protective of you enough to want to stick around you to eliminate potential threats.
Your cat might also need more soothing, asking for your affection silently by snuggling next to you. While many people think that cats aren’t as loving as dogs, it isn’t correct. It’s just that cats want your attention and love on their terms!