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7 Fascinating Reasons Behind Cats Covering Their Faces While Sleeping

7 Fascinating Reasons Behind Cats Covering Their Faces While Sleeping

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If you are a cat lover, I am sure that you have a lot of photos of your cat, especially while it is sleeping in some random sleeping position.

Cats usually sleep for long periods during the day (up to 15 hours a day) since they love to be active during the night and early hours of dawn.

Cats of all sizes and breeds can be found in some genuinely funny (and sometimes really strange) sleeping positions.

Whether curled up into a fur ball or stretched out, your feline friends really do have weird sleeping positions. However, a lot of the time you will find your cat sleeping with their face covered with their paws or their tail.

You may find this gesture really cute, but for many pet owners, this habit raises the question of why do cats cover their face when they sleep.

Why Do Cats Cover Their Face When They Sleep?

cat sleeping with paw cover its face on white blanket

Most cats hide their faces because it helps them keep warm, gives them a sense of security and safety, and also helps them block out light and unwanted noises.

Moreover, it provides them with the most comfortable position for sleeping.

While these may be some reasons your cats cover their face while sleeping, they are not all of them. So, if you are interested in learning more about this cat behavior – read on below and find out!

1. A Sense Of Security

When a cat wants to sleep, it usually seeks out the most secure place, where it feels safe and won’t be disturbed.

This comes instinctively, since our domestic cats are descendants of wild cats who needed to take care of themselves and find sleeping places that were safe, so that predators couldn’t attack them.

The most vulnerable spot on a cat’s body is its face, so it’s not surprising that it tries to protect this body part while it is sleeping.

Instead of covering their face with their paws or tail, your cat might curl up completely into a fur ball for protection, or perhaps bury their face in a comforter, pillow, or in the cushiony softness of its own cat bed.

2. Warmth And Coziness

Shy Cat on Bed

One of the things that cats clearly adore safe warm places. My cat is always sleeping around the fireplace or on a carpet, to help preserve its body temperature.

Cats lose more of their body heat when sleeping than they do when they are active. So, one of the most common reasons why cats hide their face is because they are trying to keep themselves warm.

By covering their face, they can trap the heat which will then keep them warmer for longer periods of time. It also helps them keep their paws and nose warm.

You can make sure that the temperature in your house or apartment is always nice and toasty, warm enough for a cat, so your little friend can sleep peacefully without a care in the world.

3. Out Of Comfort

Just as we have our own favorite sleeping positions, our cats also have positions they prefer. Some of us prefer to sleep on our stomachs, while others on their sides, or backs.

When it comes to different ways of sleeping, the most important thing is that one has a comfortable sleep and peaceful rest.

The simplest explanation for why do cats cover their face while they sleep may be just because it is the most comfortable position for them to sleep in.

This cat’s sleeping position keeps them undoubtedly warm, cozy and safe, as already mentioned above, which certainly affects how long a cat snoozes or if it has a comfortable sleep.

4. Out Of Tiredness

the cat covers its face with its paw

It may sometimes happen that your cat falls asleep in the middle of an activity as a result of tiredness. This can be very funny to watch.

Cats love to sleep, but also when they are not sleeping, they love to be active. Playing with toys, running around, and regular grooming sessions can leave your cat exhausted.

When you think about it and if you pay closer attention to what your feline friend is doing when it is not sleeping, you may notice that they spend quite a lot of time grooming themselves.

Cat are very clean animals compared to other pets, and this constant cleaning can result in them taking an unexpected snooze midway through a grooming session. As a result, the cat’s paw might end up covering their face, mid-lick!

5. Blocking The Light

Cats are usually more active during the night, which means that they sleep a lot during the day.

You may have always heard how cats have excellent eyesight, especially in low light conditions. Just like humans, when it comes to sleeping, the sun rays make a cat’s eyes more sensitive and disturb their sleep.

This is one of the most common reasons why cats will cover their eyes; they want to block out direct sunlight so they can rest more easily.

If you are thinking then that a cat’s sleeping position should be somewhere in the dark, you should remember that cats seek warm places to sleep and direct sunlight provides a cozy warmth that keeps your cat’s body temperature in check.

6. Blocking The Noise

sleeping with paw on face in bed during daytime

Sunlight is not the only thing that can disturb a cat’s comfortable sleep. In the same way cats cover their eyes to block the sun rays, cats may also hide their face or head as a means of blocking out any noise.

Having a heightened sense of hearing means that even a small noise can alert your cat’s interest and ruin a good sleep.

Cats, as opposed to humans, do not engage in a lot of deep sleep. Most of the time they spend half-asleep or in a really light sleep (also called a catnap) before moving to the deeper rem stage.

This is due to the cat’s natural instinct to protect itself. The slightest sound may wake them up because they always have to be prepared to escape in case they find themselves in danger.

A domestic cat may not be threatened with the kind of danger that they might be faced with in the wild, and so these cats might try to block out the noise because they are annoyed by it and feel secure enough to block it out.

Since they are usually napping, and even a slight sound may wake them up, they try to cancel out all unwanted noises by covering their faces in order to have a normal sleep.

7. Do Not Disturb Mode

Even though cats are animals that love to cuddle and typically seek attention by purring or meowing, there are times when they just want to be left alone.

If a cat is covering its face, it might be that they don’t want any attention right now and shouldn’t be disturbed.

Don’t forget that cats are mostly independent creatures, and they prefer to do their own thing at times.

If their cuteness is impossible to resist, and you do bother them while sleeping, you might get a reaction like them covering their face. This is a clear sign for you to stop bothering them.

When ready, they will come to you (probably to seek out some cat food), and then you can enjoy their purrs and cuddles.

Is It Normal For A Cat To Cover Their Face When Sleeping?

cat sleeping at home

If you are a first-time cat owner, and you are wondering if it is normal for a cat to cover their face when sleeping, don’t worry, it is completely normal and most cats sleep like this at some time.

The best thing is to leave your little feline friend to do its own thing. When they get tired from all the activities they are doing, their natural instinct is to get rest by shutting out the world and catnapping.

Just as humans use blackout curtains to block out the sunlight and sleep during the day, cats use their paws to block out any disturbing elements such as light, noise, cold, and people and get into a comfortable sleeping position.

However, if you notice that your cat is covering its face in some unusual way or doing this when they are not sleeping, you should consider consulting a vet in case they are experiencing pain or discomfort.


Like many cat owners, you must have wondered why do cats cover their face when they sleep. We have gone over all the important reasons cats do that.

This sweet sleeping position can be because of safety, comfort, warmth, or tiredness. Or perhaps the sun and the noise bothers them. Or maybe they simply want to be left alone when sleeping.

Whatever the reason, the best thing to do is to leave your cat sleeping in their own chosen way, since there isn’t anything they love more (except maybe cat food).

If you liked this article, I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading: Why Is Your Cat Twitching In Sleep? 5 Possible Reasons

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