Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Why Do Cats Put Their Paws on Your Face? 6 Reasons for This Behavior

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Cat's paw on child's face

Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Being a cat parent comes with many benefits. You can cuddle up with your kitty on the couch. She’ll provide you with years of love and loyalty. And you’ll hardly ever have to sleep alone.

However, sometimes your feline friend’s behavior can become annoying. Has your pet been constantly putting her paws in your face? While there are several reasons for this behavior, the most common causes are because your cat is attempting to show love, claim ownership, or mark you as her territory.

Here are six reasons why your pet is putting her paws in your face.

The 6 Reasons Your Cat Puts Its Paws On Your Face:

1. She Adores You

Just like you, your cat will display her love and affection by touching your face. This behavior will commonly be accompanied by loud purring. If your cat’s eyes are half-closed when she’s sitting on your lap, she’s in utter heaven.

Credit: Nitiphonphat, Shutterstock

2. Claiming You as Her Own

Your kitty’s paws are full of scent glands. In the wild, felines will mark their territory by brushing against trees and scratching surfaces. When your cat paws at your face, she’s claiming you as her territory. This behavior is more common in multi-pet households where your cat feels a higher need to claim you as her own.

3. Rise and Shine!

A hungry cat is not to be ignored. If it’s early in the morning and your pet is hungry, she’ll hoot and holler to get you out of bed. If those tactics don’t work, she might resort to pawing your face. To stop an “alarm clock cat” in her tracks, ensure she always has plenty of food in her bowl. You might also want to purchase an automatic timed feeder to catch some more shut-eye early in the morning.

calico cat eats cat food from a red bowl
Image Credit: Stamat Vitalii, Shutterstock

4. She Needs Some Space

If you’re spending some quality time with your cat on the couch, you may want to keep petting her forever. However, the feelings may not be mutual. If your cat puts her paws on your face, she might be trying to keep you away.  Stop petting her and give your pet some breathing room.

5. Bonding Time

In the wild, cats will groom each other to bond. If you’re scratching and petting your pet, she may wish to return the favor and deepen her bond with you. Cats will “pet” you by pawing your face. She may also lick or nibble on you to groom you while showing her affection.

cat lover
Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay

6. Playtime

A bored cat will bat or paw at you to engage in play. If your pet paws at you then runs off, she may want to play. Keep her properly stimulated by providing your pet with tons of engaging toys and catnip.

Hepper Catnip Stick Toy  3

The best toys will give your cat hours and hours of exercise and entertainment. Our Hepper Catnip Stick Toys are packed with 100% organic catnip and shaped like prey to give your cat both mental and physical stimulation. Plus, they're as nice to look at as they are sturdy and fun!


A cat will put her paws in your face for a few reasons. Whether it’s for love or attention, your kitty’ is trying to communicate with you. Understanding her needs and desires can cut back on this sometimes annoying behavior.

Looking for more cat behaviors? Try:

Featured Image Credit: Antibydni, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database