Why Do Cats Cover Their Face When They Sleep?



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Cats have a peculiar habit of covering their faces when they sleep; in this article, we will get to the bottom of this.

Cats do many odd and quirky things to communicate with their owners. One such thing is their tendency to cover their faces when they sleep. But why do they do so?

Why Do Cats Cover Their Face When They Sleep. Pickles the black short-haired cat, lying on his back with one eye open, on a beige fluffy blanket.

It could be for security, warmth, or comfort, or maybe they are just shielding their eyes from the hot sun because they are not morning cats! We will uncover the meaning behind this habit and discuss the reasons in detail.

7 Reasons Why Cats Cover Their Faces When They Sleep

Cats are intelligent animals. Sometimes they behave in unusual ways, but there is always an explanation for their abnormal behavior.

Sometimes, cats will use their paw to cover their face while sleeping, and other times they will bury their heads under a blanket or burrow against their owners. The following could be the reason why:


All feline creatures are very particular about where and how they sleep. Wild cats cover their faces to shield themselves from a sudden attack. If they feel vulnerable in their surroundings, cats hide their faces to conceal them from predators and other threats.

You will notice shifty and cautious behavior if you have recently welcomed a cat into your family. Virtually all cats tend to be defensive when they sleep. Cats cover their face with their paws to feel safe and protected.

Interesting Fact- Cats can sleep with one eye slightly open. Like dolphins, cats can put only one-half of the brain to rest and stay semi-conscious to detect threats. So, if your cats sleep with both eyes closed, they feel safe in their current environment.

Once your cat gets used to your presence and starts trusting you, you will find them snuggling and sleeping with you in no time. Only then will your cat slip into a deep sleep called REM sleep.


Sleeping comfortably is crucial for the quality of rest you get. People toss and turn many times until they land in a perfect position to sleep in. Cats have a similar habit.

Domestic cats cover their face because it allows them to have a comfortable and peaceful sleep. They are completely relaxed if you see your cat sleeping with its paw draped across its face. It shows that they are comfortable in the environment you have created and feel safe.

You will see your cat in many different sleeping positions, so this is nothing to get worried about.

Keeping nose warm

Most cats, like humans, sleep where it is warm and cozy. That is why you might find your cat snuggled up in blankets like a burrito or with paws over its face. This helps them to keep their nose covered and warm up their breath. It also provides insulation for your cat’s body, paws, and face.

You will see cats curled up in a ball with paws over their face more often when the weather is too cold to retain body heat. When winter approaches, it is best to lay down a soft blanket for your feline friend to nap.

Blocking Out the Sunlight

Although cats have no problem sleeping in daylight, no one likes to have the sun’s painfully bright rays blazing in their eyes first thing in the morning, so cats use their paws to cover their face and keep the sun rays out of their eyes while they nap.

Their paws protect their sensitive eyes from the sun’s beams like sunglasses.

If your cat falls asleep, turn off the lights so the room is dark and cozy.

Do Not Disturb Sign

Cats have a weird and funny way of communicating with their humans. They will put their paws up on their face if they are tired and want to rest.

This position can also be interpreted as a “do not disturb” sign. If you see cats curl up and cover their faces while petting them, it is a sign that you will stop and leave them alone and let them nap without disruption.

As soon as their pets fall asleep, all pet owners take out their cameras and take many cutesy pictures of them happily snoring away. But if your cats do not like getting their pictures clicked, they will paw over their face. This is a signal for you to leave your cat in peace.

Feeling Tired

Cats spend a lot of time licking themselves clean. They have barbed tongues that help in cleaning and grooming their coat. And since they can’t lick their face, they use their paws to clean it.

Cats get tired after their grooming session and have no energy, so they sleep with their face covered out of pure exhaustion.

Show of Affection

Snuggling with their pet parents is a way of showing affection for them, just like kneading and head butting. Cats like to fall asleep burrowed against the bodies of their owners. Your furry pets may also bury their face in your hands to cover them completely.

Cats may also do this to leave their scent on things! Cats have pheromone-releasing scent glands on their face. It marks their territory if they bury their head in a blanket or under you.

Felines are highly sensitive and can sense your feelings because they are attuned to your everyday behavior. So, if your cats nestle against you, it could be because they can sense a change in your emotions and are checking up on you.

Final Thoughts on Why Cats Cover Their Face While Sleeping

As new pet parents, you might wonder why your cat sleeps in a specific position and what they mean. The key reason behind a cat covering her face while sleeping is security. Other reasons could be their need for comfort, warmth, affection, and blocking out unnecessary noise or sunlight.

But if you notice your cat sleeping more than usual, then take your cat to your vet as soon as possible.

Before you go, you might find these articles helpful:

Why Your Cat Sleeps So Much

Why Do Cats Loaf? (Fulfilling the Stereotype)

Chew Toys For Cats

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