Why Does My Cat Cover Its Face When It Sleeps?

Cat Sleeping

Let’s be honest, cats can be quite peculiar. You might have witnessed your furry friend bounding off the walls, rubbing their head against your leg, or even standing with their mouth wide open. One behavior that often brings a smile to our faces is when cats cover their faces with their paws while sleeping. It’s an undeniably cute gesture, but have you ever wondered why they do it?

Whether you’ve recently welcomed a new kitten into your home or you’re the proud owner of a wise and seasoned cat, one thing is for certain – cats love to sleep. On average, they doze off for about 15 hours a day, and sometimes even up to 20 hours. Cats are crepuscular animals, which means they prefer to be active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. Their remarkable vision is perfectly suited for hunting and capturing prey in the dim light of early morning or late evening. However, this activity requires a considerable amount of energy.

When your cat lies with its head raised, eyes partially closed, and ears twitching every now and then, it is in a semi-awake state, commonly referred to as catnapping. During this phase, they remain alert to potential predators and prey, ready to unleash their aggression if needed. Similar to humans, cats also experience REM sleep and enter a deeper slumber. It is in this state that they may even have dreams, often found curled up and covering their eyes with their paws.

There are several reasons why your feline friend might prefer sleeping in this manner.

A Sense of Security

Cats have a dual nature – they are both predators and prey. They are instinctively drawn to sleeping spots where they feel safe. Before taking a nap, they may seek out a high vantage point or bury their heads in a cozy basket of laundry. By covering their faces, they are protecting their most vulnerable feature, providing an added sense of security.

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Blocking out the Light

While cats enjoy basking in the warmth of the sun, the glaring light can be a nuisance when it comes to snoozing. Fortunately, felines have discovered a clever trick to shield their eyes from the brightness. They use their paws or tail to create a barrier against the sun. Just like some humans, cats seem to prefer a darkened environment for daytime slumbers.


Here’s something we can all relate to – different sleeping positions offer varying degrees of comfort. Your cat may curl up like a croissant or stretch out in a belly-up position. For some cats, wrapping one or both paws around their face simply provides a cozy and comfortable way of resting.

Keeping Their Nose Warm

Maintaining body heat is crucial for all animals, and curling up in a ball is an effective method for cats to retain warmth. Especially during the winter months, you may observe your cat curling up more frequently, often accompanied by the placement of their paws. This action helps them keep their cute little noses nice and toasty.


Cats take great pride in keeping their fur clean as it contributes to both warmth and overall wellness. Grooming can be an exhausting task, and sometimes the urge to nap interrupts their hygiene routine. As a result, cats may fall asleep while cleaning their face with a paw, leading to their preferred sleeping position. While grooming is an essential part of a cat’s life, it’s important to keep an eye on your furry friend if they are excessively scratching their face with their paws, as it could indicate allergies.

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One activity that consumes a significant amount of energy is digesting food. The next time your cat enjoys a post-meal nap, ensure they have consumed premium, nutrient-rich food, such as CANIDAEĀ®. Our delicious and thoughtfully crafted recipes ensure that your cat receives a nutritionally balanced diet, free from fillers, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

Ready to switch to Canidae’s delectable recipes? Visit 5 WS and explore our offerings today!

Remember, understanding your cat’s quirky behaviors helps strengthen the bond between you and your feline companion. Embrace their unique habits and enjoy the special moments they bring to your life.

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