Why Do Cats Cover Their Face When They Sleep? 10 Reasons That Explain

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Cats are known for their love of sleep, and can often be found dozing off in a variety of different sleeping positions.

However, one behavior that many cat owners have noticed is that their feline friend will often cover their face when sleeping.

It does look like cuteness overload. This sleeping position can be attributed to a few reasons.

Why do cats cover their faces when they sleep? Read on to discover the answer.

Why Do Cats Cover Their Face When They Sleep?

orange tabby cat covering face with paw
Do Not Disturb!

Among the many unusual things that cats do is cover their faces when sleeping. Have seen your cat sleeping in this sleeping position?

Many reasons make cats cover their faces while they sleep.

For Warmth

Cats cover their face when sleeping to stay warm. Domestic cats are crepuscular creatures, which means that they are most active during dawn and dusk.

During the day, they often seek out warm, comfortable places to take a good nap.

By covering their face, they can trap in body heat and can sleep deeply and sleep soundly. Plus we go ‘awwh’, look at that, so cute. Cats cover their faces when sleeping because it provides warmth.

Cats lose more body heat when sleeping, especially from the ears, the tip of their noses, and their paws.

When cats curl up, they can reduce the lost heat, which ultimately gives them warmth.

Sometimes, you might see some cats curl up sleeping face down. It’s a way to trap their body heat.

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.

a cat asleep covering his face and eye area with a paw
Very cute kitty!

2. For Comfort

Cats 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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3. 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.

Domestic cats are both predators and prey so to be ready for an attack they will often sleep at a high vantage point.

This helps them to feel more secure from a sudden attack and protected while they sleep.

Cats are most often vulnerable prey to predators when they are asleep. Even when the cat falls asleep, they are always in a ready position to move quickly if a threat comes their way.

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.


4. To Block Out Light

Crepuscular animals like cats, sleep more during the day. They are most active at 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 deep sleep.

Although cats love to sleep all the time, they still prefer to have ideal conditions while napping. It means that they also prefer sleep in the dark, as people do.

5. To Block Out Noise

Another reason that cats may cover their face when sleeping is to block out external stimuli. Cats spend a lot of time sleeping, and they need to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep in order to get the rest they need.

By covering their face, cats can block out sun rays, sudden noises, and other distractions that might otherwise wake them up.

Light is not the only thing that distracts a cat’s peaceful sleep though. Just like people sleep in a quiet place and often use blackout curtains, cats also prefer to sleep without noise or distractions.

A cat covers its face as a way of blocking noise while sleeping. When the ears are covered, the cat 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 the domestic cat or ones.

It’s linked to survival, where sounds might mean predators are lurking nearby. The cat wakes if there is danger in its surroundings, and it needs to flee quickly.

6. Cats In Deep Sleep

Cats tend to cover their face when they are in a deeper sleep. Just like humans, cats go through different deep sleep stages, including slow wave sleep and REM sleep.

During rem sleep, cats may curl up into different sleeping positions and cover their face to get a more peaceful sleep

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7. Due To Exhaustion

Your cat’s behavior 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.

fluffy cat covering its face with a paw

8. 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.

9. 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 sleeping to enjoy its nap and return later.

10. Comfortable Position

Finally, cats may cover their face when sleeping simply because it is a comfortable position for them.

Cats are known for their acute senses, and they can often find unusual places to sleep that might not seem comfortable to other pets or their human owners.

By covering their face, they can create a cozy, comfortable sleep environment that helps them to relax and fall asleep.

 10 reasons why cats cover their face when sleeping

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 as mentioned earlier

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 sleeping, it’s still alert and agile enough to wake up at any indication, such as the above.

Keeping Your Cat Safe From Predators

We know where you are kitty!

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.

Final Thoughts

Cats cover their faces when sleeping for many reasons, including comfort, safety, warmth, and to block out light and noise.

Overall, there are a few reasons that cats may cover their face when sleeping.

Whether it’s to create a sense of security, block out external stimuli, keep warm, or simply get a good nap, virtually all cats exhibit this cat sleeping top position at some point.

So the next time you see your feline friend covering their face during a grooming session or while sleeping in a laundry basket, just remember that it’s all part of their cute and quirky cat sleeping behavior.

Whatever the reason, it’s completely natural to see that your cat sleeps with a paw covering his face.

vector - two cats reading
I like a darkened place to sleep. Block out curtains all the way!

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