One habit that cats have in common is sleeping with their faces covered.
Why do cats cover their faces when they sleep? Read on to discover the answer.
Reasons Why Cats Cover Their Face When They Sleep
How Do Cats Sleep
Cats sleep for about 15 to 20 hours daily. That’s a lot when there are only 24 hours in a day. It means that cats are asleep for the majority of the time.
Cold weather will encourage them to sleep more. Cats will only wake up for other equally essential activities they need to do, like eating, drinking, emptying their bowels, and playing.
Cats are crepuscular animals. It means that they are more active between dawn and dusk. Because of their small size, cats have numerous threats to worry about at night.
Their instinct is to stay alert at night to ward off threats, including wild dogs, wolves, leopards, and coyotes. It’s also the ideal time for them to go chasing after all kinds of prey that are within their sight.
Cats sleep during the day, which presents minimal threats. It also enables them to conserve energy for hunting prey and warding off predators.
Cats don’t sleep for long stretches like humans. They take short naps and wake up when they hear sounds or smell something nearby.
Even if you see a cat asleep, it’s still alert and agile enough to wake up at any indication, such as the above.
Why Do Cats Cover Their Face When They Sleep?
Among the many peculiar things that cats do is cover their faces when sleeping. You may have seen your cat doing this often while it sleeps.
Many reasons make cats cover their faces while they sleep.
- For Warmth
One of the most obvious reasons cats cover their faces when sleeping is because it provides warmth. Cats lose more body heat when sleeping, especially from the ears, the tip of their noses, and their paws.
When they curl up, they can reduce the lost heat, which ultimately gives them warmth. Sometimes, you might see cats sleeping face down. It’s also to keep their body heat inside.
You’d see your cat covered up in this way, especially in the cold weather. In the summer, you’re most likely to see them stretched out.
Cats need to curl up and keep themselves warm when it’s cold. If not, their body temperature could drop, leading to hypothermia.
- For Comfort
Cats also feel comfortable curling up and covering their faces while sleeping. Even people find it comfy to curl up and sleep; the same is true for felines.
The more comfortable a cat feels, the better it sleeps. Common sleep positions that cats find comfortable are the cat loaf position and the outstretched pose.
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- For Safety And Security
Cats also sleep, covering their faces to feel secure. Although cats are predatory animals who hunt mice and other small rodents, they are also prey to much larger animals.
Cats are most vulnerable to predators when they are asleep. It’s because they are not alert and looking for any dangers lurking around.
A cat’s face is one of the most vulnerable parts of its body, which if attacked, will reduce its chances of survival. Natural instincts make cats cover their faces when sleeping.
- To Block Out Light
Crepuscular animals that sleep during dawn and dusk. It means they have to sleep in broad daylight. So, they cover their faces while sleeping as a way of blocking the light, which could distract them from sleep.
Although cats love to sleep all the time, they still prefer to have ideal conditions while napping. It means that they also prefer sleeping in the dark, as people do.
- To Block Out Noise
Light is not the only thing that distracts a cat’s sleep. Just like people sleep in a quiet place, cats also prefer to sleep without noise or distractions.
Cas cover their faces as a way of blocking noise while sleeping. When the ears are covered, it blocks out much of the surrounding noise.
Although you might see a cat asleep, it’s still very alert and might wake up at the slightest sound. It’s especially true with wild cats rather than domestic ones.
It’s linked to survival, where sounds might mean predators lurking nearby. It means there is danger in its surroundings, and it needs to flee quickly.
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- Due To Exhaustion
Your cat may be covering its face due to pure exhaustion. When cats are awake, they spend time chasing prey and running away from predators. All of this could take a toll on its body and make it tired.
Cats are self-groomers. What if your cat had fallen asleep while engaging in this act?
- To Mark Their Territory
If you find your cat burying its face in an object rather than its tail or paws, it could be marking its territory. Your cat may not have marked their territory while sleeping but rather would have dozed off while doing it.
Cats have scent glands on their faces that release chemicals called pheromones. Although humans are not sensitive to these chemicals, cats can smell them.
By rubbing its face on an object, your cat lets other cats know who it belongs to, marking its territory.
- To Avoid Being Disturbed
Sometimes, your cat may want to be left alone.
In such instances, cats don’t want you to come to them, nor do they need your attention. The best thing to do is to leave your cat to enjoy its nap and return later.
Keeping Your Cat Safe From Predators
The bond you share with your cat might make you feel overprotective of it whenever it’s out of sight. Cats are especially at risk of getting caught as prey when they go outdoors.
However, you can’t keep them locked inside the house as they need to move about and get some exercise.
The best way to keep an eye on your cat’s whereabouts and ensure its safety is to use a GPS cat tracker. Put it around your cat’s neck to always know its location and keep it out of danger.
Cats cover their faces when sleeping for many reasons, including comfort, safety, warmth, and to block out light and noise.
Whatever the reason is, it’s completely natural for cats to cover their faces while they sleep.