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Why Do Cats Put Their Paws on Your Face

Why Do Cats Put Their Paws on Your Face

All cat owners know that cats are as capable of showing their love and fondness as any other animal. They love to play, snuggle, lick and act cute. Often, when you are sleeping in bed, your cat may come and curl up beside you.

Sometimes you might wake up to find your cat’s paws on your face, and no one likes to wake up from a nice nap because of their pet, no matter how cute they are. You may be watching TV, and your cat snuggles up with you and touches your face with its paws. 

So why do cats put their paws on your face?

Reasons Why Cats Put Their Paws on Your Face

Many reasons explain this behavior, but the most common one is that your cat is trying to show its love or mark you as its territory. 

1. Leaving Its Scent on You

Cats have scent glands in their paws. When a cat wants to mark a place, it uses its paws to knead that surface and the scent glands impart a scent. If another cat comes near this place, they will know that this is marked. So when your cat places its paws on you, it transfers its scent from its paws to your face. This territorial behavior is shown by all kinds of cats.

You can think of this action as a sweet and affectionate gesture. Your cat wants to make sure that every other animal you come across knows that you are its family, so it just places its paws on your face without using claws. 

2. Your Cat Is Trying to Wake You Up 

Sometimes your cat will place its paws on your face to wake you up. If it’s the cat’s mealtime, it’s simply asking you to get up and feed it. Or it might be bored and wants to play with you.

Cat eating snack

3. Your Cat Wants to Snuggle With You 

It’s a good sign if a cat is snuggling up with you while sleeping and putting its paws on your face. Cats stay alert even while they are sleeping, so if a cat is vulnerable with you, it is a big sign of trust. It feels safe around you and sleeps happily, knowing that no harm will come to it while you are there. If your cat touches your face while stretching out while sleeping, it shows that your cat is comfortable with you. 

4. Your Cat Wants Personal Space

Cats are cute creatures, and sometimes we can’t resist giving them kisses and stroking their heads. After a few kisses, your cat starts to put its paws on your face. It shows that even though your cat likes spending time with you, it wants personal space, so you need to step back. 

Placing its paws on your face is their way of maintaining distance from you. This is their way of trying to get away without showing aggression. Rven the friendliest cats need their bubble. 

Don’t take it personally; give your cat some space and room to breathe. 

5. Your Face Looks Like a Comfortable Resting Spot

If your cat is resting its paws on you, it may not hold special meaning other than your face looks comfortable. Maybe your cat stretched, and its feet reached out to your face, and it stays in that position because it is fast asleep or too lazy to move.

6. Your Cat Is Trying to Pet You

Cats enjoy chin scratches, head rubs, ear rubs, and how we show them our love. Placing its paws on your face could be its way of returning that love, and it may be trying to pet you back. 

It’s nice to know that your cat recognizes and appreciates the affection you are showing and wants to give you some love. 

Yawning cat

7. Your Cat Doesn’t Trust You

It may be testing you, trying to see if you are trustworthy or not. Cats do not trust humans instantly, especially adult cats. If you have been caring for a cat since it was a kitten, it will trust you more readily. 

Older cats are different. They’ve probably already had experience with humans and may not have found us pleasant. If a cat comes from a shelter or has a bad experience with humans, it is difficult to earn their trust, so you might have to win them over. If it is placing its paws on your face, it might be testing you. Don’t make any sudden movements or scare them. Respect their boundaries and let them get to know you slowly if you want to win their trust, and avoid getting scratched. 


If you’re a new cat owner wondering why your cat touches your face, well, there you have it. Seven reasons why your cat puts its paws on your face.

Touching your face with its paw is one way it shows you affection., but not always. Sometimes it will touch your face because it wants to play or is hungry, or it may have no particular reason.

Whatever the case may be, enjoy these moments with your furry friend as you create a special bond with each other. Consider yourself lucky if your cat wants to show you its love.