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Why Does My Cat Touch My Face?

Are you ever curious as to why your cat touches your face with her paw? Find out why your cat does this in this article!

Cats are communicative in nature, and touch your face because of three main reasons: to show trust and affection, to wake you, or to maintain personal space. It could also be a way to scent you, test you, or simply rest her feet.

As you read along, you’ll find out the reasons why your cat touches your face with her paw. You will also learn about what you can do to satisfy what exactly your cat is asking for, whether it be cuddles, food, play time, or space. Finally, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about when my cat started touching my face and how I deal with such form of cat love.

To Show Trust and Affection

Contrary to popular belief, cats are affectionate creatures, and they also show signs of love through physical means. Aside from sitting close to you, touching you, and slowly blinking their eyes at you, when they reach out to touch you or your face especially when they’re purring loudly, it’s most likely to show you that they love you and they feel safe around you.

Cats also recognize your acts of love, and another way to return the favor is for them to “pet you back” and return all of the rubs, scratches, and cuddles that you give them.

When your cat is asleep and he reaches out to rest her paw on your face, this means that your cat trusts you. Cats are most vulnerable when they are asleep and snuggling up to you and putting a paw to your face means that they feel secure around you. They trust that you will not harm them in their sleep. Snuggle up!

To Wake You

Cats are naturally more active at night, and a cat’s paw to the face is one way to get you up and wake you. It could be for a number of reasons—to ask for food, for cuddles, or for play time.

Oftentimes, your cat touches your face because they’re simply in need of food. Instead of having interrupted sleep because of a hungry cat, you can opt to refill their bowls before bedtime and make sure they have enough food to get them through the night, or until such time that you wake up.

Alternatively, you can get an automatic cat feeder. You just fill up the compartment and it dispenses food at set times throughout the night or in the morning. That way, you can get up whenever you want and still have a well-fed kitty.

If your cat does not have a lot of toys to play with, it could be because they’re bored. While some cats may nip at your feet or ankles to ask for play time, some cats come closer and put their paw to your face.

It may be a good idea to get some cat toys they can play with by themselves, such as tiered turntable toys or catnip balls. This is also a good way to let out some of that cat energy, and could be helpful when you’re not around, too busy with work, or just asleep.

Lastly, when you’re sound asleep and you get woken up by your cat touching your face, it could also be because they’re asking for (or demanding) cuddles. Try giving your cat some precious nuzzles and if he seems satisfied, then it was probably what he needed all along.

To Maintain Personal Space

When you’re spending valuable time with your cat and giving them boops and kisses, your cat may feel a bit overwhelmed or simply sick of it after some time. Hence, they may put their paw to your face to establish personal space.

There’s no need to worry; your cat doesn’t love you any less! Respect her space and don’t force her to accept your nose boops or kisses; it won’t take long until your cat feels it’s time for some kisses again.

Sometimes, especially if your cat is a new member of the household, it could be that he’s not used to cuddles and kisses yet. In any case, it’s important to give your cat space and time to get used to them and they will eventually come around to seeing that you’re just trying to show them some love.

To Scent You

Just as cats rub themselves against your legs and other surfaces, if your cat touches your face with her paws, it may also be because she is putting her scent on you. Cats have scent glands on their feet, and they transfer their scent to you as a way to mark and claim their territory. This way, when other cats approach you and touch you, they’ll know you belong to your cat.

To Test You

Much like other animals, you also have to earn your cat’s trust. Another reason why your cat may touch your face is to test you. It is crucial for cats to feel safe, and one way through which they make sure is to see if you’re going to slap or bite their paw.

This is especially important if you adopted a senior cat from an unhealthy home environment or if they had rough experiences in the past. Always remember to be patient and your cat will eventually warm up to you.

To Simply Rest Their Feet

The last reason why your cat may be touching your face with her paw is that it’s simply where her paw landed on as she’s trying to stretch, or it’s just the closest area she can comfortably put her paw on. After all, your face is but another soft surface where they can rest their feet.

What If I Want My Cat To Stop Touching My Face?

It’s completely understandable to want to stop your cat from touching your face. After all, cats use their paws to navigate your home, walk in their litter box, and even cover up their litter.

In order to prevent cats touching your face, you have to study your cat’s behavior and factors that may lead to your cat touching your face. Keep them fed, occupied with toys, and refrain from irritating them.

If it still happens. gently move their paw away while saying, ‘No,’ to show your cat that you disapprove the gesture.

Final Thoughts

As for my case, my cat has touched my face with her paw for all of the above reasons, but mostly to grab my attention. When my cat was still a kitten, she touched and stared at my face, observing how my eyes closed and opened. Whenever she did, I made sure to not make any sudden movements or anything that might frighten her.

Now that she’s a bit older, she’s also grown to tolerate it when I shower her with hugs and kisses. However, she makes it a point to put her paw on my face when she’s slightly fed up with affection. I take that as my cue to stop and leave her alone and just wait for when she feels like cuddling again.

No matter what the reason is, I always take it as an opportunity to learn more as a cat owner by finding out what the underlying reason may be, and by making sure that her needs are met.