Cat Covers Face When Sleeping: Things You Didn’t Know

You’ve probably noticed your feline friend has several sleeping positions. For example, sometimes your cat covers its face when sleeping with its paws or tail, often curled up in a ball. 

Typically, there are two possible explanations for this habit; hereditary or acquired. Nonetheless, it’s essential to try to understand why cats exhibit certain kinds of sleeping behaviors. 

Table of Contents

What Do Cats Do When They Sleep?

Often, cats like to sleep sprawled out on the couch or curled up in a ball, sometimes with their tongue sticking out a little. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, cats do dream. 

You’ll see them make movements such as twitching or stretching, sometimes accompanied by squeaking noises. I had a cat who frequently fell off the couch while sleeping just from so much movement while dreaming. 

Also, they sometimes place their paws or tail on their face while sleeping. Let’s understand why. 

A cat sleeping sprawled out

( A cat sleeping sprawled out)

Why Do Cats Cover Their Faces While Sleeping?

It’s Comfortable

Cats use their paws to cover their face while sleeping simply because they feel comfortable.

A cat sleeping with its paw on the face

(A cat sleeping with its paw on the face)

Keeping Warm

Sleeping with a paw across the face keeps a cat’s nose warm and draughts or cold air off the face. Also, by keeping the nose covered, the cat retains its body heat around the face.  

Typically, when feeling cold, cats curl up into a ball shape. When in this position, a cat might also tuck in its paws, and what it will use to cover its face is its tail. 

A cat sleeping curled up

(A cat sleeping curled up)

Sense of Security

Cats sleeping with their tails or paws covering their face is one of the things they do to feel safer and more secure. Remember, the face is one of the most vulnerable areas on a cat’s body, so they can’t afford a sudden attack that could harm them in such a sensitive spot. 

Blocking Out Light

Like most humans, light is one of the major hindrances to a cat enjoying sound and peaceful sleep. A cat is about six times more sensitive to light than humans as their eyes let more light into the retina. Thus, although different cats have varying light sensitivity levels, they generally don’t like bright lights. 

Therefore, to avoid such disturbances, they will cover their face using their tails or paws to block the light. 

Blocking Out Noise

As a cat owner, you likely know that even the slightest sound can arouse your cat’s curiosity. That’s why they tend to wrap their paws over their face to prevent noise from interrupting their sleeping time. 

Too Tired

Cats are hyperactive creatures. As a result, they can sometimes doze off out of sheer exhaustion, sometimes in the weirdest of places. When that happens, the cat unwittingly puts their paws over their face, and because it’s too tired to bring them back, the paws remain in this position. 

Image of exhausted cat

(Image of exhausted cat)

They Mean “Do Not Disturb!”

Another less-known reason cats cover their face while sleeping is that they don’t want to be disturbed. It’s their way of asking to be left alone to sleep. So, it would be best if you took the hint. 

Marking Territory

If you observe your cat covering its face by diving into one of the corners of your couch instead of using its tail or paws, it could be marking its territory

A cute cat is sleeping

(A cute cat is sleeping)


Cats are known for sleeping in some of the strangest or most awkward positions. Anyone who has ever had a cat can confirm this fact. Fortunately, now you know why a cat covers its face when sleeping. It could be for comfort or warmth, or they may want to feel safe, or they could be trying to keep out the noise or light.