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Why Does My Cat Put Its Paw on My Face? 5 Reasons & What It Means

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cats paw on mans face

Why Does My Cat Put Its Paw on My Face? 5 Reasons & What It Means

As a cat lover, you may appreciate that your cat shows you attention by putting its paw on your face. Cats are strange creatures, and they do things for their own reasons, which most humans can’t even begin to understand.

If you’ve ever wondered why your cat puts its paws on your face, you’re in luck. We’ll give you a few of the most common reasons in the guide below.

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The 5 Reasons Why Cats Put Their Paws on People’s Faces

1. Your Cat Is Marking You with Their Scent

Your cat’s paws have scent glands, and the glands release pheromones. Cats, in turn, use these pheromones to mark the territory they think of as theirs. When your cat puts their paw on your face or any other part of your body, they could be marking you as its territory by putting their scent on you.

You should feel privileged that your cat thinks of you as their very own; it’s a compliment!

cat owner talking to his pet
Image by: Kadres, Pixabay

2. Your Cat Is Hungry

Cats have a way of letting their owners know when they want something. Your cat could be putting their paws on your face because they want food. Most of the time, your cat will put their foot on your face to get food early in the morning when you’re still in bed. Your cat is telling you it’s time to wake up and begin the day.

Be aware that if you try to ignore your cat when it’s hungry, it will not let you go back to sleep. They’ll paw at your face until you give in and stumble to the kitchen.

3. Your Cat Wants To Be Left Alone

If you’re playing with your cat and they suddenly put their paws on your face and push you, it could be because the cat is tired of playing and wants to be left alone. While cats like attention and enjoy you being close to them, just like you, a cat likes its personal space.

If you’re a cat owner, you already know they’re fickle creatures. What your cat likes one day isn’t the same thing it wants the next. If you swoop in to kiss your cat’s nose and they put their paws on your face, they’re saying, “Stop; I’m not in the mood.”

The gesture isn’t meant to be aggressive; it’s just your cat asking to be left alone, so listen and try your cuddles and kisses at another time when your feline friend is more receptive to them.

Black and white cat lying on a girls face
Image by: Alex Kviatkouski, Pexels

4. Your Cat Is Petting You

We show our cats our affection by cuddling, stroking, and petting them, so why can’t the cat show its affection the same way? If you have two cats living in your house, you might notice them reaching out and touching one another or grooming each other on occasion. This is their way of showing affection.

Some cats extend that affection to their pet parents by reaching out and petting their faces with their paws. Don’t worry; your cat is just petting you and letting you know you’re loved.

5. Your Cat Wants To Be Cuddled

It’s also possible that your cat wants to be cuddled and petted. Cats are clever creatures, and they realize that if they put their paws on your face, you’ll probably reach out and stroke, pet, and talk to them.

If you’ve ever petted your cat after it put its paws on your face, the cat remembers and will do it again when it wants attention. As a pet owner, you’ve probably already realized that your cat has its ways of getting what it wants.

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These are a few of the reasons that your cat might be putting its paws on your face. Cats are smart, and they remember everything their owners do. If they were petted the last time that they stuck a paw in your face, they’ll likely repeat the move.

So, the next time your cat puts its paws up to your face, you can determine why. However, you may want to wash your face if your cat recently visited the litter box before displaying its love.

Featured Image Credit: Nataliabiruk, Shutterstock

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