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Why Does My Cat Put His Paw on My Mouth? 6 Possible Reasons

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on July 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Abyssinian kitten Cat Paw Owner

Why Does My Cat Put His Paw on My Mouth? 6 Possible Reasons

When your cat is interacting with you—things are going to get weird from time to time. Whether they are taking their time getting really up close to sniff you or they are invading your space by bunting and rolling all over your body, they aren’t much for personal space.

So, if you have noticed that every time you get close to your cat, they stick their little murder mitten on your mouth, you might wonder what gives. Why do these critters constantly behave in the weirdest of ways? We may have an answer for you.

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The 6 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat Puts Their Paw on Your Mouth

1. Affection

One of the most obvious reasons your cat might be putting their paw on your face is to show you affection. Our cats don’t know a lot about personal space, and some of them will invade you and get as close to your body as humanly possible.

When they do, they might place their paws on your face, mouth, chest, or anywhere else they feel like getting closer to you. You use your mouth to speak to them as well, so it might even be a little paw of acknowledgment.

Cat pushing away owner clawing
Image Credit: ChocoPie, Shutterstock

2. Attention

If you aren’t giving your cat enough attention, they might put their paw where your mouth is! After all, maybe you need to be quiet and listen to their request.

Whether they have an empty food bowl or they just want to cuddle up and take a nap, it might be a way for them to really put all the attention on themselves. After all, you weren’t listening otherwise!

3. Communication

Our cats try to communicate with us in a variety of ways. Although body language is the number one way a cat communicates, they also use a series of vocalizations and actions to deliver messages to us.

If a cat is putting a paw on your mouth, they might simply be trying to tell you something. Be sure to pay attention to other bodily cues and see if you can figure out the underlying message. Haven’t you always wanted to decode cat language?

Cat Paw in Owners Mouth
Image Credit: Nataliabiruk, Shutterstock

4. Playfulness

Your cat might be feeling a little frisky. They might crawl up on you and put their paw on your mouth as a way to entice you to play. If so, you might notice other body language, like their tail whipping, eyes dilating, or their body tensing.

It might be time to grab the feather teaser to give them a romp around the house so they can burn some energy.

5. Trust

If your cat puts their paw on your mouth, this is obviously a very intimate action. Then being that close to you really demonstrates how much they trust you.

After all, they wouldn’t climb on top of a stranger and get up in their face, unless you have a particularly social and needy feline. So, you may conclude that they simply adore you and trust you with their entire being. Aren’t you lucky?

male owner holding his devon rex cat
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

6. Comfort

Your cat might be nestling up your chest, pawing you in the mouth. This might be a general sign of comfort, especially if it’s accompanied by other actions like purring.divider 2 cats

Why Should You Not Let Paws on Your Mouth?

Even though a cat putting its paw on your mouth is a super adorable action, they probably really shouldn’t be doing that.

Realistically, your mouth is an entryway to your internal organs, so it can transmit all kinds of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other undesirable things into your digestive system.

Our cats are pretty clean most of the time. But in reality, they track bacteria through their litter boxes, often coming in contact with their own urine and feces. This can be very problematic and not the most sanitary things to have on your face.

After all, you wouldn’t want your cat walking on your food plate, so you probably wouldn’t want them putting their little tiny toe beans on your face.

Chinchilla Persian Cat licking its paw
Image Credit: catinsyrup, Shutterstock

Germ Transmission

Realistically, even though most viruses and illnesses that a cat can get can only be transmitted from the same species, there are zoonotic diseases. So, if your cat is putting their paw on your mouth and they came in contact with their urine or feces, they can transmit a number of things to you, including:


Salmonella is a bacterium that causes extreme gastrointestinal distress and humans. It can range from mild to severe and you often pick it up on surfaces or ingest it through the food you eat. If your cat’s waste or anything that they have walked on has a salmonella bacterium, they can easily transmit it to you by putting their paw on your mouth.


Coli, like salmonella, is a bacterium that can upset the gastrointestinal tract. It can be transmitted from urine, feces, and other surfaces.


The last thing we want to think about is getting parasites from our pets. However, if you don’t keep up with routine deworming and other parasite prevention, we can come in contact with some pretty nasty things.

If your cat is putting their paws on your mouth, tiny eggs can transmit into your system and actually cause an infection for you. To prevent this entirely, it is very important to keep up with routine parasite prevention.

Even if you do, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and prevent your pet from touching your face.

Close up to a ginger cat paws and claws scratching carpet
Image Credit: Maliflower73, Shutterstock

divider 2 catsConclusion

Sometimes, cats can just be weird creatures and there’s not really any rhyme or reason to the things that they do. However, you know your cat better than anybody so you likely can get a pretty good idea based on body language alone.

Remember, even though it’s very cute for your cat to gently place their paw on your mouth, it can cause a ton of different issues in the long run. It is extremely easy for your cat to transmit germs, bacteria, and other problematic issues to you through your mouth.

In any case, to each their own, we just think it’s important for you to know the risks!

Featured Image Credit: Nataliabiruk, Shutterstock

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