It surely is one of the cutest scenes in the whole world, but we can’t help but ask ourselves “Why do cats cover their faces when they sleep?” I’m sure that you also sometimes do it. So, can you think of the most common reasons you have for such an action?
If I needed to answer that question, I would say that I mostly cover my eyes if I want to block the light that’s coming my way. Or I sometimes do that simply because it feels comfortable. At least at that moment. You know, before you’re left with a numb hand after waking up…
Those might be our most common motives for covering our faces while sleeping. But do cats do it for the same reasons as we do, or are they actually looking at this situation from a completely different perspective? It’s good that you’re here because we’re about to explain this cute feline behavior.
Are you ready to reveal the truth and finally understand what’s going on in your kitty’s head? I’m sure you are so let’s go.
Why do cats cover their faces when they sleep?
You might think that there are only a few answers to “Why do cats cover their faces when they sleep?”, but there are actually many possible explanations. Don’t worry. I won’t leave you hanging! I prepared the 10 most common reasons for such an action. You’re in for a real treat!
But wait, what if I tell you that you can make reading about this even more fun? Here’s a little idea for you. Take a piece of paper or open Notes on your phone. Write down the reasons you think your kitty has for sleeping with paws over her face. Then see how many of them you’ve guessed. Enjoy!
1) It’s cozy
There’s nothing better than getting home after a hard day at work and jumping into your pajamas to lay in your favorite spot. It’s the most comfortable place in your home – it’s where you go when you want to relax and get your well-deserved rest.
Even though your kitty doesn’t have a job, and doesn’t need to get up every morning just to go to work, she can still get tired. We know that cats are one of the most curious animals in the world! So, it’s no surprise that they spend most of their days playing and exploring their surroundings.
And that can be as demanding as our full-time job. We can even say that they’re employed too. The difference is that they’re self-employed.
So when they finish all the daily tasks they’ve given themselves, they like to go to their favorite cozy place and make themselves comfortable by covering their faces because it feels like a warm hug.
2) It’s warm
When you’re in your favorite cozy spot, there’s only one more thing that would make you the happiest. What’s the thing we always use when it’s coldish, and we want something fluffy around us? Our blanket! Most of us love wrapping ourselves in soft blankets and listening to our favorite songs while resting.
Now imagine that you’re always wearing that soft beautiful blanket with you. Beautiful, isn’t it? Well, then you would really like to be a cat. Feline fur is the best cover this world has ever made. So you shouldn’t be surprised that your cat likes to cover her face with her tail or paws while she’s sleeping.
Her temperature drops while she’s asleep and she wants to feel warm. And what’s a better option than to use her soft fur?
3) It protects her eyes from the sun
It’s morning and the sun is waking you up. Oh no, it’s Sunday and you don’t need to get up that early. But you forgot to lower the blinds last night. Now you have to get up, but if you do, you won’t be able to continue sleeping.
So what do you do? You put your hand across your face to protect your eyes from that burning light. And suddenly, it’s dark again and you’re sound asleep. Does this sound familiar? I’m pretty sure it does as it’s a very common situation for every human out there.
Well, your kitty can also be bothered by the early morning sun. And if she wants to sleep more, she’ll do the same trick we practice. Cover her eyes with her paws or her tail and continue her journey through the dreamland.
4) Free noise-cancellation earphones
If you’re a music lover or a tech nerd, then you probably heard about the noise-cancellation option that many good-quality earphones have. It’s such a helpful tool when you’re trying to concentrate on something or when you’re listening to an audiobook.
Sometimes when my neighbors are renovating their apartments or partying, I’m thinking about how cool it would be to have such an option hidden somewhere in our ears. But we don’t… The only options we have are those earphones, or to put our hands over our ears.
Your kitty has a great hearing. Much better than yours actually. And imagine if something seems loud to you, how loud it is for her. So if there are many loud sounds near her, don’t be surprised if you see your cat covering her face while sleeping.
There’s no need to worry; she’s just trying to sleep more peacefully.
5) They feel safe
Did you know that cats feel most vulnerable when they’re eating and sleeping? And those are the times when they will be even more focused on hearing everything around them and preparing their defense moves so they can protect themselves on time.
Even though domestic cats never have to feel like they’re someone’s prey, their ancestors did. And you probably heard that some things can still be passed through generations. So, a fear of being someone’s prey is still left within your kitty.
That’s why when she’s sleeping she might be trying to protect herself from possible attacks. Her whiskers, eyes, and ears are very important to her everyday life. And she never wants to risk getting them hurt by something or someone.
Don’t worry; she feels safe at your home, but she also wants to do everything she can to lower the risk of getting hurt.
6) They are too tired to move
The easiest way to understand someone or something is through a relatable example, so I’m using that to help you understand your kitty better. Listen to this and tell me if it ever happened to you.
You have so many obligations during the week and you just can’t wait for the weekend to come so you can finally go out with your friends, rest, and enjoy many things you love doing. But the weekend comes and you’re barely able to go from your bed to the kitchen.
You’re just so tired that every move you make is a step closer to falling asleep on the floor. So you decide to go to your bed and read a book or watch a movie. But the next thing you know is that 4 hours have passed and your sleeping position was so horrible that everything hurts now.
The same thing can happen to your kitty. Sometimes she’s just so tired that she falls asleep as soon as she finds her comfy spot and she doesn’t even have enough time to plan her position.
So one of the reasons why cats are covering their faces while sleeping is because they’re simply too tired to move.
7) Your cat doesn’t want you to bother her
Sometimes, when we want the world to go quiet so we can rest a bit, we can just tell our friends and family not to call us for a few hours. We take a good nap and go back to feeling our best again.
However, your kitty can’t really ask you anything like that so she needs to think about other ways to let you know she doesn’t really feel like playing, cuddling, or socializing with anyone.
And the easiest way for her to do it is to go to sleep and cover her face. It’s her way of telling you “Hey, I’m sorry but I hope that you can see I’m really not in the mood to deal with you now. Come back later.” And you don’t need to stress about it; she just needs some time on her own. Don’t we all?
8) She doesn’t feel well
Here’s one sad fact for you. Just like us, cats can have headaches and other minor problems. But we all know how annoying a headache can be. Especially when it hits you right before you were planning to go to sleep or just rest for a bit. It messes up our plans.
And you don’t know what to do so you just lay down and try to find the position that feels the most comfortable, so you can relax a bit. Well, your kitty is doing the same thing when she doesn’t feel well.
And her comfortable position is likely when she covers her face, because she’s blocking the sun, and loud sounds, and she’s telling you not to bother her.
9) She has an itchy face
Another possible answer to “Why do cats cover their faces when they sleep?” can be that they do it because something on their face is bothering them. If that’s the case, then it’s most likely that they have an itchy face.
It’s nothing scary but it’s very annoying for your cat, so I suggest you pay attention to her for a couple of days. If she’s constantly putting her paws on her face or scratches herself, then I suggest you call your vet. They’ll give you the best advice and possible treatment ideas.
10) She’s dreaming about something
And last but not least, your kitty could be dreaming about something. When we’re dreaming about something, we tend to move a lot. No matter if it’s a nice dream or a nightmare, you’ll rarely find yourself in the same position you fell asleep in the previous night.
If your fluffy buddy is dreaming about something she can also move a lot and that is how she might end up covering her face. It’s also possible that she was having a nightmare and she was trying to protect herself that way.
Either way, it’s nothing alarming. Just cuddle your kitty when she wakes up and help her calm down.
3 typical sleeping positions when cats cover their faces
Just like us, our kitties have their favorite sleeping positions. It’s not only about the way you’ve positioned your body, but also the place where you’re sleeping. Cats love to have their own spot in the house, and if they could speak, they would probably use dr. Sheldon’s famous sentence “That’s my spot!“
If you’ve been living with your fluffy friend for some time, you probably noticed a few sleeping positions that she favors. If she’s like most other felines when it comes to naps, then these three poses are her favorite ones.
1) A bun
The first cat’s sleeping position I have for you is a bun, or as some people like to call it a bread loaf position. If you ever noticed that your cat likes to curl her feet underneath her belly when she goes to sleep, then you can say with confidence that she likes this sleeping position.
It’s also possible to see cats sleeping with their heads up. Or curled up while their tail is covering their eyes. It’s most likely that they’re doing that to block the sunshine from waking them up.
2) Sleeping on the side
Another common sleeping position for your fluffball is sleeping on one of her sides. Cats don’t only turn to their sides when they’re sleeping. But also when it’s time to play, hunt, stretch, or get ready to take a nap.
It’s definitely a scene you’ll see often while your fluffy pet is your roommate. She’ll often cover her face with her paws when she’s sleeping on the side because it feels more comfortable. And also because she wants you to know that she doesn’t want to play now, but take a nap.
3) A croissant
A croissant or as many people call it a crescent roll is the most common sleeping position that cats fancy. What I noticed throughout all these years with my kitties is that they always move into this position when they’re in a deep sleep.
If you’re unsure about what it looks like, I’ll explain it to you. If you see your kitty lying in a half-moon shape and covering her eyes with her tail or paws, then you’ve seen her use this cute sleeping position. It’s literally one of the cutest scenes ever seen.
We can conclude that our fluffy friends aren’t that different from us when it comes to taking our naps. We both love to find a comfy spot, a place where we’ll feel safe and warm. And when we know all of that, it’s not so difficult to answer the question “Why do cats cover their faces when they sleep?“
There are many reasons for that, but most of them can be applied to us too. Blocking the light or the loud sounds when we don’t want to get up. We even put our hands on our heads when we have a headache and our cold hands feel like a painkiller.
I hope you had fun learning something new. And that it was interesting to see this kind of connection between you and your fluffball. There are many more similarities between us, but we’ll talk about that some next time with a new topic. See you soon.