Why Do Cats Get In Your Face While You Sleep?

Cat laying close to the head of a sleeping girl

Cats really like to invade their owner’s personal space. Getting extra close to their face. Especially when you are sleeping! Your head is a nice warm place where cats can find both comfort and safety. This may suggest why they favor this spot on your bed.

Continue reading for a more in-depth look at why there is a cat on your face while you’re sleeping! And don’t worry, it’s a normal behavior experienced by many cat owners.

How Does Sleeping Next To Your Face Keep a Cat Warm?  

Humans are a great source of heat for cats. And because our heads are one of the warmest parts of our body, this is where cats love to lie. As a way to conserve their energy, cats will seek out a warm place in which they can relax. Your head area will provide it with a great source of heat.

Why Does Sleeping Near Your Face Make a Cat Feel Safe?

Just by being close to you will help your cat to feel safe. Your cat can feel more relaxed if it knows you are right there, ready to spring into action if any sort of danger arises. Maybe your cat hasn’t seen you all day, so now they just want to enjoy your presence. 

Sleeping near your head is also a lot safer for the cat. Rather than next to your body, where it might get squished when you roll over in the middle of the night. Don’t forget that your pillow is also a pretty comfortable place to rest. Cats are creatures of habit, so once it chooses its favorite place, it may be hard to convince it to sleep elsewhere.

Some people theorize that your pet cat sees you as just another larger cat. While not everyone agrees with this idea, one thing that’s certain is that cats enjoy socializing and having a relationship with their owners.

How Does a Cat Show Dominance?

If you have more than one cat, one will probably try and assert their authority over the others. If there are a number of cats sleeping on your bed, then the one wanting to assert its dominance will go for the ‘top spot,’ so to speak. This will be up near your head, as opposed to the less dominant cat, who has to settle for a place near your feet.

The top of your bed is also the perfect place for the cat to keep a close eye on everyone and make sure nothing escapes its attention. As you know, cats have vastly different personalities. It is true however, that many like to be the boss. Whether it’s the boss of you or another cat, they want to assert their authority.

How Does a Cat Display Possessive Behavior?

Is your cat constantly headbutting you and rubbing its face all over you? Is it endearing but frustrating at the same time? Don’t get too upset. 

Your cat just wants to let others know that you belong to them. If your head is the only part of your body that is peeking out from the covers, then it’s going to go straight for your face.

Your cat probably wants to put his scent on you. They have scent glands on their face and by rubbing their cheek against yours, it is marking its territory, in a friendly manner, of course. This is an instinctive behavior and something they learn while still very young. 

The cat may also want to smell you. Cats have a very strong sense of smell and use it to gather information about a person or an object. It could also just be greeting you the same way it greets other cats. Cats are very social animals, and smell is part of building trust and relationships.

Is My Cat Trying to Get Attention By Being Close To My Face?

What’s the quickest way for your cat to get attention? Probably getting up close and personal in your face while you’re trying to sleep will be effective.

The cat may be wanting food, or it may just want to greet you in its own unique way. If it’s around evening time or early morning, they may be wanting to play with you, as this is when they are most active.

Why Is The Cat Licking My Face When I Sleep?

If the cat starts licking your face when you’re sleeping, don’t stress! This is normal behavior and just another sign of affection.

If your cat were afraid of you or didn’t feel comfortable around you, it would not be displaying this behavior. The licking can also be an extension of its own grooming routine. Maybe your cat thinks you’re a little unclean! 

There may be rare cases of cats licking their owners’ faces due to stress or anxiety. Some cats can suffer from separation anxiety, however, this type of licking will be pretty excessive. It will probably also be accompanied by other unusual behaviors. If you are concerned you should consult your vet.

Why Is My Cat Staring At My Face While I Sleep?

Have you ever felt as if someone is watching you while you sleep? Then you wake suddenly and find it’s just your cat staring intently at your face. 

This may feel a little strange, even downright creepy. But knowing that cats can stare at a crawling bug for ridiculously long periods of time will reassure you that it’s just part of their nature.

If you’re a certified snorer, the cat may even find this an interesting sight and something to keep it amused for a lengthy period of time. It may even find the flickering of your eyelids a captivating sight. Then again, it may just be waiting wistfully until you wake up and feed it breakfast.

Why Is My Cat Touching My Face With Its Paw?

Besides the usual attention-seeking theories, there are some other suggestions for why your kitty may be patting you with its paw.

Some believe that cats are capable of mimicking human behavior. So, when they touch their owner’s face with a paw, it may be copying our behaviors. The same way we act when we pat and stroke their heads.

Of course, it may just be having a good old stretch. Then the next minute, you find a paw being smacked down across your face.

What Can I Do If I Don’t Want The Cat Near My face?

If your cat wants to sleep next to your head for extra warmth, then provide it with its own warm, comfy place to sleep. Placing a hot water bottle in its bed can assist with this.

The main thing is to be firm with your cat and consistent in training it. The more you let it get away with unwanted behavior, the harder it will make your job.

Final Thoughts

It’s reassuring to know that if your cat spends a lot of time around your face and head, you probably have an excellent relationship with it. Your cat feels comfortable with you and also enjoys spending time with you.

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