Why Do Cats Put Their Paws On Your Face? (7 Reasons You Should Know)

Why do cats put their paws on your face? Are you curious to find that out? Most owners believe that this is a cat’s way of showing affection and appreciation. However, as you'll find out in this article, a cat may touch your face for all kinds of reasons including aggression and boredom.
Why Do Cats Put Their Paws On Your Face?

One of the sweetest things a cat can do is put its paws gently on their owner’s face. But why do cats put their paws on your face?

Do you know? It’s their way of saying “I love you.” without words.

While cat owners like to believe that these touches are a sign of affection, that’s not always the case. A cat will paw at their owner’s face for several different reasons.

For anyone unaccustomed to this type of cat behavior, a paw in the face can be puzzling. 

Especially if this action occurs frequently, yet with a distinct cause. So if you are wondering ‘why does my cat touch my face with his paw?’, here are some answers that will help you understand your feline friend in a better way.

Why Do Cats Put Their Paws On Your Face?

Although cats, with their seemingly uncomplicated lifestyles, and slow, lazy struts, give the impression of being remarkably blasé, they are extremely complex creatures, capable of a wide variety of emotions. So as the owner, it is up to you to determine why cats touch your face.

You must determine which emotion your favorite feline is trying to convey. To help you figure out what your cat may be feeling, we have described some reasons why your cat may touch your face.

Some of these answers might surprise you, so hang tight!

Showing You Affection

Your cat may just love you and paw your face to show the love! This is also an indication that you are doing something right as a cat owner, because your favorite feline is telling you that she adores you.

A happy and contented kitty will often reach out and pat your face gently with either one or two paws. Sometimes your cat will keep her paws there and continue to mildly stroke your face.

She may even purr while doing this!

She’s Demanding Attention

Another reason why your cat touches your face is because he is feeling neglected and wants you to pay attention to him immediately. Cats can be selfish in that department.

Maybe your cat is bored and wants you to play with him. Maybe he’s just feeling lonely. Or maybe – gasp! – you forgot to feed him!

Regardless, this type of action can also indicate impatience. Your cat can keep this up indefinitely. So be aware that he won’t stop pawing at you until his needs are fulfilled.

A Way of Showing Anger

A less than gentle bat of the paw. You’ll know it when you feel it!

Cat Needs Reassurance from You

This is an expression of insecurity. It is quite different from your cat placing their paws on your face to demonstrate affection.

When your cat needs reassurance she will not place their paws on your face or rub your face gently, but instead she will strike out at you using her paws as weapons. Usually when this happens your kitty’s ears will also twitch and move backward.

You need to assess the situation when your cat attempts to hurt you.

Your feline friend could just be hungry, but she could also be afraid of something or feeling insecure. As the cat’s parent, and it’s up to you to find out what is causing this distress and give your cat the necessary reassurance to soothe their fears.

She’s Feeling Agitated

These persistent and annoying pokes or prods of the paw are also a sign of impatience.

Did you forget to feed kitty at the usual time?

Does she have enough water?

Is her litter box full?

A dirty litter box can be the reason why cats put their paws on your face, to remind you to change the litter. Remember that cats can be jealous and demanding.

Don’t think that by ignoring this behavior you’ll eventually get the kitty to go away and leave you alone. Odds are, your cat won’t stop pestering you until you attend to her needs.

To Mark You as Hers

A cat’s scent glands are in their paws. Thus, when your darling little kitty makes the decision that you are a decent person after all, and opts to accept you as her owner and friend – get ready for some paw marking!

Yes, that’s right. This should be taken as a compliment. It makes perfect sense to your cat to mark you liberally with her scent. It’s your cat’s unique way of determining that you are the right person. She truly believes you are the person that she loves and wants to be around and snuggle with. She is called marking her territory.

Remember that cats are somewhat mercenary creatures and will bestow their affection on the person who feeds them, plays with them, and changes litter box for them.

Sign of Distress

If your cat is pawing at your face in an aggressive manner, don’t get angry. He might be in pain and trying to communicate his distress to you.

If you think your cat is hurt, look for physical changes in your cat like bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils, and changes in the shape of their body.

Be sure to closely study your cat’s eyes, because felines can disclose a lot of information with just their eyes. Search out the emotions in there and find out why your cat is pawing your face.

Importance of Keeping Your Cat’s Paws Clean

It may sound a little far-fetched, but paw hygiene is very important for cats. This is more for your own safety than theirs. So take careful note of how to take proper care of your cat’s paws.

If you don’t take good care of your cat’s paws, a paw to the face for any of the above reasons, could lead to an infection. So keep their paws clean and get ready for some face-pawing action!

The following are the ways by which you can ensure your cat’s paws are clean and safe.

Paw Massage

Whether or not she likes it (and often she probably won’t), your cat’s paws need to be massaged regularly. This is the best way to get her accustomed to you handling her feet.

Choose a time after your cat has eaten her dinner so that she will be mellow and maybe even tolerant of you touching her paws.

Trimming Nails

This pleasant little chore should be performed every ten days.

First you pray. Then you settle down with your cat in a comfortable place, and gently but firmly hold her in position (so she doesn’t get a chance to scratch herself or you!), and then do the trimming.

Buy a Scratching Post

It’s really that simple. Invest in the very best scratching post you can find, and it will keep your cat’s nails trimmed naturally. It will also help your cat to let out some excess energy by pawing at the scratching post.

Wipe Your Cat’s Paws

Use a damp cloth daily to clean away any dirt that may have accumulated on your cat’s paws during their daytime adventures.

Doing this daily will prevent serious injuries, and get your feline friend used to you handling her paws.

Thoroughly Examine Your Cat’s Paws

Check for swelling, cuts, scratches or splinters. Especially if you let your cat to go outside.

It is essential to carefully clean any injuries your cat sustains before she can paw at your face. Failing to do this will possibly hurt you as well.

Treat Minor Injuries

If you notice any cuts or injuries to your cat’s paws that don’t appear to be serious, use a mild soap and antiseptic to treat them.

If you need to remove a foreign object from your cat’s paws, then it’s always best to use tweezers. If you cannot remove the object yourself, then it is time to consult a veterinarian and get it looked.

Closing Thoughts

So why do cats put their paws on your face? As you’ve read above, there isn’t any one answer to this.

In fact, affection and boredom as not the only reasons why cats touch your face. You, as a cat owner, must pay close attention to your cat’s behavior to determine what your furry friend is trying to tell you.

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