Why does my cat put her paw on the owner's face?

Why Does My Cat Put Her Paw on The Owner’s Face? 7 Potential Reasons

As a cat mom, I often wonder why my cat put her paw on my face? From many years of experience, I have realized that cats put their paw on the owner’s face because they want to show love and get attention, ownership, and territory. However, research has shown that there are more possible reasons why a cat puts a paw on the owner’s face.

In this guide, you will know-

  • Why does your cat touch your face with its paw?
  • How can you stop the cat from touching your face? And
  • What is the downside of putting a cat paw on a human face?

Why does a cat put her paw on the owner’s face?

Cats have emotions, and they usually express their happiness, sadness, and feelings with gestures. For example, cats often rub their body, tail, and headbutt to the owner. Such a strange cat behavior puts their paw on the owner’s face. Let’s know the possible logic for why a cat does like that.

Express love to the owner:

Expressing love is the most common and logical reason behind this cat behaviour. Cats are love to show their affection with the physical touch like a human. So, they often put their paws on the owner’s face when the owner cuddles with it on a couch or sofa. 

When a cat touches the owner and blinks eyes slowly, then it refers their love to the owner.”

-Said by Cat behavior expert Pam Johnson-Bennett

Remember when your cat gently touches your face to get attention, that means it shows love to you. Cats are melting with their owner’s presence and blink eyes slowly. But sometimes, this paw touch may unexpectedly turn into a tweak or scratch. So, the good practice is to be conscious when a cat puts on a face.

Try to wake up the owner:

Like my cat, Jasper often puts his paws on my face during sleep, so I wonder why he puts her paw on me while sleeping? As per Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the cat wants to wake up the owner. Generally, cats do this when they feel hungry in the early morning. So, let your cat eat the previous night properly. If you love this cat habit, it would be the best alternative to your annoying alarm sounds. Every day morning, you can enjoy an adorable wake-up signal.

Want to play:

Sometimes, cat put their paws on the human face because they want to play with the owner. How can you understand the intention of your cat is it want to play or something else? Well, notice if the cat wants to touch you and then leave the place instantly.

If a cat has no interactive toys, specific playing zone, or feline friends, it often wants to play with humans. Providing Scented catnip, artificial fish, butterfly, and laser pointer can help you to keep a cat busy in interactive playing.

To snuggle up to you:

If your cat loves to put her paws on your face, then it refers the fidelity to you. Not only in waking, but the cat also puts paws on the owner’s face during sleep. A cat can do this because they feel secure with the owner’s touch. This behavior is, also known as a snuggle, makes a cat feel secure ad comfortable.

Mark with scent:

Territory marking is the intuitive nature of cats, whether it is a wild or household pet. The most common way of territory marking is to spray urine make claw marks in the trees and land. But some pet cat marks their territory with the scent from their forehead glands. Similarly, the cat has scent glands in its paws. So, when a cat puts paws on the owner’s face, it may refer to the territory marking with the scent.

Show affection:

Your cat can put its paw on your face to get attention. When you remain busy watching tv or using the internet, your cat can interact with the soft touch of its paws on your face to get love and attention. It’s good to know that pet cats don’t love to stay alone, and they always want to get the owner’s attention, cuddle, and snuggle.

Claiming personal space:

Remember that cats often want to spend time away from you. Sometimes, they love to stay away from the owner. So, if your cat puts the paw on your face, try to understand why he is doing it. You may want to hug him, but he may not. And he may get upset at you and put its paws on your face. Cats can scratch your face even if it gets much boring.

Why Does My Cat Put His Paw on My Face When I’m sleeping?

Is your cat love to sleep with you and put his paws on your face? You need to know that cats sleep where they feel most comfortable and comfortable. And putting paws on the owner’s face is a very deep sign of fidelity.

Also, know that cats have several sleeping natures. For example, some cats like to sleep on the owner’s legs, and some love to sleep on the owner’s chest. My cat Jasper always loves to sleep near my head and often puts his paw on my face. But my cat Bella loves to sleep on y legs. So, when your cat puts its paw on your face during sleep, you can think that your feline trusts you incredibly.

Should I Stop My Cat from Touching My Face?

Yes, it is good practice to stop your cat from touching your face. Because several unexpected incidents may happen, putting their paws means we are getting in touch with some sharp nails that a cat uses.

For Self-defense. So those sharp nails can accidentally hurt you. Although the cat sheathed the claws most of the time, sometimes it can be afraid in sleep and scratch you unwantedly.

Besides, it is not good to put cat paws on your face. Your cat uses their litter box and may roam around the house. So, it can easily bring germs with paws. So, you can get infected with germs from the cat’s paws. That is why the good practice is to stop your cat from putting paws on your face.

Apart from these, your cat can cause skin diseases like ringworm. No matter how clean you keep it, putting its paw on the face can occur skin diseases that grow deep in its fur.

How Do I Stop My Cat from Touching My Face?

Before taking proper steps to stop the cat from touching your face, find out the possible reason behind this.

Feed your cat properly at night:

When a cat doesn’t get enough food the previous night, it tends to put a paw on its face to wake up the owner early in the early morning. So, feed your feline properly at night. If possible, arrange some dry food as a treat so that the feline friend can eat whenever he feels hungry.

Provide some interactive toys:

Research has shown that a cat puts its paw on its owner’s face because it wants to play with humans. As a result, putting a paw on the face will stop. If you provide some interactive cat toys, the feline friend will be busy with toys.

Give your cat attention:

If an owner doesn’t give attention to their feline, the cat often puts paws on the owner’s face. Pet cats always love to get attention and care from humans.

Avoid cuddling when the cat is angry:

You love to cuddle with your cute cat but don’t do this all the time. Make sure about the cat’s mood before cuddling with it. Otherwise, the cat can get angry and scratch or hurt you when it puts paws on your face.


  1. Your Thoughts on Cats Pawing Human Faces?

I think cats pawing on the human face have many possible reasons. But the possible reason I believe that a cat wants to show love to the owner and get attention. Whatever the exact reason, the owner should try to stop this behavior because it is risky for the owner from several aspects.

2. Why does my cat put her paw on my face when I’m cuddling her?

Although a cat puts its paw to shoe love, get attention, and mark territory but in some cases, it can get angry and put paws on your face. Especially this may happen when you are continuously cuddling your cat because they don’t like to cuddle all the time and try to stop you with paws. In this case, you can also get hurt with sharp nails.

Final Thoughts:

These seven reasons mentioned above are the most common. Mainly, cats love to get attention and play with the owner. And sometimes, they want to mark the territory with scent. That is why a cat puts paws on the owner’s face. However, it seems enjoyable when a cute feline puts its paws on the face, but there have some risks too. So, it is suggested to stop a feline from touching on owner’s face.

About the author

Megan D

This is Megan D, the loving mom of all cats. She has been working with cat well fair organization as a cat lover since last few years. Personally, she has ownership of a cat shelter for helpless stray cats. Megan loves to research on all breeds of cat and fond of sharing all experience with the worldwide cat-loving human.

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