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Why Your Cat Sits on Your Face: 7 Reasons & What to Do About It

Misty Layne Profile Picture

By Misty Layne

Cat laying on owner's chest

Cats can behave in some pretty odd ways at times, so it shouldn’t be surprising to find our kitties in the strangest situations and places—including sitting on our faces. If you’re a cat parent, you’ve experienced the fun of your favorite feline deciding that your face, head, or neck is the perfect spot to sit down and take a rest. But why do cats do this?

Turns out there are several reasons our pets have made our face and head one of their favorite resting spots. Whether your kitty is craving warmth, safety, or something else, the decision to sit on your face isn’t just random. Keep reading to discover the seven most common reasons your cat is sitting on your face!

The 7 Reasons Your Cat Sits on Your Face

1. Avoiding the Movements You Make

One of our cats’ favorite times to sit on our faces is when we’re in bed, and the likely reason is that they want to avoid us moving around in our sleep. Cats are in tune with our sleep patterns, including how restless we are during sleep. So, if your cat is sleeping on your face or head while you rest, chances are it wants to avoid you moving around so its own sleep doesn’t get interrupted!

British shorthair cat sleeping near woman's head
Image Credit: Georgy Dzyura, Shutterstock

2. Seeking Comfort

Our feline friends like to feel safe and secure while they’re sleeping and lazing about, and you and your scent are one of the most comforting things around them. So, it makes sense they’d sleep or sit on your face or head to seek that comfort. There’s also a chance your kitty really enjoys the   of your shampoo or face moisturizer too. Between those scents and your own, you are your pet’s comfort buddy when they rest!

3. Grooming Purposes

We’ve all been there—we are minding our own business when our kitty comes along and plops itself down on our head to eat our hair. It’s actually not uncommon for our feline friends to want to groom us—it’s a sign of affection, after all, as well as a way to bond or seek attention—and some felines simply prefer grooming your hair or face. So, if your cat sits down on your face and starts licking away, this is the reason.

bengal cat licking a man's face
Image Credit: AJR_photo, Shutterstock

4. Seeking Safety

Your cat’s wild ancestors knew that they were most vulnerable when sleeping or sick, so it was important to stay safe and secure during those periods. And those instincts to keep secure have been passed on to your domestic feline. Since your cat trusts you, it’s not surprising that it would sit and sleep on your face or head to stay secure and safe when they’re feeling vulnerable.

5. Feeling Territorial

Cat parents know that the cat doesn’t belong to you; instead, you belong to the cat. And since you are a part of your cat’s territory, you need to smell like it so others know you belong to your pet. By sitting on your face or head, your feline can mark you with its scent via its many  . Not only does this mark you as theirs, but it also makes your kitty feel more comfortable when the two of you smell of each other.

orange tabby cat sniffing a man
Image Credit: Magui RF, Shutterstock

6. Wants Your Company

Sometimes our feline friends sit on our faces just because they want our company. Your cat wouldn’t be near you if it didn’t like you or didn’t want to enjoy your company. Plus, sitting so close to you is a show of trust. So, enjoy your kitty’s company when it curls up on your head, neck, or face!

7. Seeking Warmth

The top reason your cat is likely to snuggle up to your face, though, is because it’s seeking warmth. Felines are big fans of places that are warm and cozy (hence, why they enjoy sleeping in patches of sunlight), and your head is one of the warmest points of your body. That makes it an excellent place for a kitty to curl up when it’s trying to stay warm while napping!

man hugging a tabby cat
Image Credit: Chewy, Unsplash

Can I Get My Cat to Stop Sitting on My Face?

While it can be cute and sweet that our cats want to spend time with us all up close and personal, it can also be uncomfortable when they shove a foot into your throat (or gross when you get their fur in your mouth). So, you can certainly try to get your cat to stop sitting on your face.

You’ll have more luck if your pet is still a kitten, as it’s simpler to nip the behavior in the bud before the kitty gets used to sitting on you there. If you’re dealing with a kitten, simply remove it every time it sits on your face and place it where you want it to sleep instead. Then, when your pet goes to the correct place on its own, reward it!

Adult cats will be a little harder to deal with, as the face-sitting habit is already ingrained. You can try placing an incredibly comfy and cozy cat bed on your bed or right next to it and encourage the kitty to sleep there instead. Or you could make a little warm spot in your bed with a hot water bottle or warm pack for your cat. But cats will ultimately do what they want, so this encouragement to sit and sleep elsewhere isn’t guaranteed to work!


It’s completely normal (though sometimes uncomfortable) for your cat to sit on your face, and there are several reasons why your kitty likes this spot. It may be sitting there because you’re cozy and warm, because it feels safer next to you, or even because it wants to groom you. But as nice as it is to have your pet snuggled up with you, it can also be a hindrance to your own comfort. You can try to discourage your cat from sitting on your face, though, by making a warm cozy area that’s all its own and encouraging it to move there.

Featured Image Credit: Maliflower73, Shutterstock

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