Why Do Cats Cover Their Face When They Sleep?

Last updated on January 31st, 2023 at 01:05 am

why do cats cover their face when they sleep? Cats cover their face while sleeping is because they feel safe, comfortable. It could be that they are blocking the light. There are many other reasons for this behavior which you will discover in this article.
Image Credit: Sarah Ball

How cute it is seeing my cat rest covering her face; all this is a wonder. I still need help explaining this to people. It makes me wonder why cats cover their face when they sleep. This seems a bit off, but science has an explanation for it. Cats have been linked to lowering stress and anxiety in humans and reducing loneliness as they provide good company and improve human cardiovascular health.

Cats have always been part and parcel of human beings. They live with people in their houses and are seen covering their faces while sleeping. People, however, have yet to understand the reasons for that. Do cats freeze while sleeping? Are they covering things, or are there any other reasons for that? Science has explanations for all these questions, and in this article, we will unearth why cats cover their face while they sleep and give information about other sleeping habits for cats. Continue reading for more information about cats.

Facts About Cat Sleeping Behavior

Most people own cats because of their excellent features. Cats are affectionate to humans, offering them good companions; they are accessible to maintain-cats do not need to be walked or trained. They can live in any environment, including apartments. and do not require much attention. 

Cats are quiet pets -they only produce meow sounds when in danger or hungry. They help hunt other pests from your house, making you live rodent-free. They are sleep lovers. It is proven that cats spend almost two-thirds of their lives sleeping, which is approximately 15 hours daily. Here are some of the facts on the sleep habits of cats

  • Cats go through an unresponsive state between sleep and when awake. The state in which there is no physical activity, also known asi, is the reason that preserves energy in cats.
  • Cats do not sleep for longer hours at once. They sleep in short ranges making cats more vigilant and ready to respond faster to predators.
  • It is also important to realize that cats only go to sleep once they get three months old. While most adult cats sleep through the night, kittens only nap frequently during the day.
  • Cats sleep in bits; they sleep lightly for 15 minutes before diving into a deep sleep for another 15 minutes, unlike humans, who sleep 90 minutes at a time. The sleep cycle for cats repeats itself throughout the night, causing cats to sleep for longer hours compared to humans.

It is also noted that cats prefer sleeping in new areas compared to humans, who look for suitable, comfortable locations.

Why do cats sleep when covering their faces?

We always like watching cats sleep while covering their faces, but the question always comes to mind is, why. Research has shown different reasons for this, and some are discussed below.

Rapid eye movement (REM) is a sleep condition cats enter while in slumber. It equates to the dream state in the case of humans. As much as a cat’s body remains partly unconscious during rapid eye movement (REM), its brain remains completely functional; for humans, it is different to protect us from having the wildest dreams. During the active slumber period, cats usually cover their face when they sleep with fur to protect their eyes from harm.

Cats have an extra eyelid with translucent skin flat that safeguards the eye from dirt and ensures moisture is maintained, known as the nictitating membrane. A sleeping cat usually closes its eyelid, partially hiding a part of its eye. If you take a quick look at your cat and notice its eye is partially closed and the lashes are dropping, then be assured that your cat might be sleeping. However, different cats have unique features; thus, some may permanently have their third eyes closed on both eyes.

To add to these explanations from scientific research. We have discovered some other reasons why cats sleep, hiding their faces.

1. It is a security measure

Cats’ face is more exposed. Making it the most vulnerable body part in a cat. Anyone aiming at causing harm to a cat would aim at the face. Cats sleep with their faces covered to shield their vulnerable area. Aside from being known as predators, cats are also preyed on by other giant animals. Hiding their faces is a natural response to predators.

They can therefore protect their stomach by curling and covering their faces in defense against predator attack. Every cat counterattack is probably through the teeth. In case of an attack and the face and teeth are compromised, the cat might not be able to defend itself.

This response mechanism has been translated from many generations through evolution. Even domestic cats that are usually not in any danger use it while sleeping. It is their way to feel safe while sleeping. Cats can also come into contact with you while sleeping to feel comfortable and seek security. This indicates that your cat finds a source of belonging in you and safety from you when they feel vulnerable. It is also proven that cats enjoy body heat produced by humans, and it makes them feel safe, comfortable, and cozy.

It is, therefore, a clear indication that a cat is guarding the essential part of its body, the face, from any unexpected attack. A cat desires good sleep so do not disturb a sleeping cat. Some cats would feel safer hiding their heads under a blanket or laundry basket.

2. It provides comfort

One of the most fundamental reasons your cat covers its face while sleeping is to keep it warm. Because the body temperature of a cat is higher than that of humans, they need warmth. This explains why your cat is always on the move to look for a more comfortable spot to sleep in or lie down.

 Cats’ body temperature reduces while sleeping because they are resting. Heat is lost via noses, paws, and ears. They minimize heat loss by using their paws to shield their faces while sleeping. This is so to provide them with a good rest at night. The cat may also bury its head in something to maintain body heat.

Often cats are seen resting on a ball posture, which helps them maintain their body heat. This posture is usually more visible during colder seasons. Throughout the summer, cats prefer to sleep on their sides. It is the best sleeping position for cats, so they do it instinctively. If you find your cat is cold, get the temperature to which both of you will be comfortable, or better still, consider buying a heated bed for your cat from Amazon. Cats desire warmth and coziness, making them choose this sleeping position.

3. Cats are blocking light

Lights affect humans, and no one wishes to sleep with the lights on. This also applies to your kitty. Sleeping with the lights on can interfere with a night of peaceful sleep, making you feel even more worked up. For this reason, cats look for dark rooms to slumber in during the day. As much as cats love sleeping at night, they will only do so in much darker rooms. If finding a cozy dark area becomes hectic, a cat will tuck its face between its paws to shield its face from the light. You might make things easier for your cat by providing a dark area like a cat tunnel for them to sleep in.

4. A sign of change in the weather

Naturally, cats are aware of their environment and thus can detect a slight change in weather. They have sharp hearing abilities, and a cat will notice any minute difference a human will miss. Your cat may act restless and want to go into hiding when a storm approaches or when it is about to rain. Cats use their paws to cover their face when they sleep to keep warm when the weather turns cold.

They also try to protect themselves from cold and rain in this way. From a human’s perspective, this behavior may sound unusual, but from a cat’s point of view, it perfectly makes sense because cats are gifted at keeping their bodies warm when the weather gets cold. It is good to check on your cat’s behavior to provide them with a safe environment.

5. They are canceling noise

It is also possible that your cat is trying to block off any disturbing noise that would keep him awake. Like light, noise is also a barrier to a good rest, depending on the type. Different sounds from kitchen appliances, television, and machinery produce disturbing noise. Some noises with calming sounds often boost peaceful sleep in humans; the same also occurs in cats. Certain music is food to the eardrum and so encourages good rest. It is advisable to have such a playlist to assist your cat got to sleep. This way, you can get your cat to sleep more at night than during the day.

6. They are very much exhausted

Cats form an active part of a homestead. In as much as cats spend two third of their lives sleeping, the remaining third is spent playing, hunting, and other activities. It may sound small, but that time may be exhausting for your feline companion. They might even fall asleep while playing; therefore, their paws are not always covering their faces on purpose. Cats may leave their paws on their faces due to too much exhaustion from their activities.

7. They do not want disturbance

Cats might send you a message not to interrupt her during sleep. Or she might be giving information to other home pets to be left alone to rest. They want to be left alone for a moment, so the paws on their faces suggest that they do not wish to disturbance. They do not want to engage in any other activity apart from sleep.

It is hard to resist the beautiful scenery of a sleeping cat, and you always put a smile when you see those beautiful paws on the cat’s face. The cat will always have an instinct that you are around but will prefer to be left alone. If you find a cat sleeping, leave her alone to rest. She will give you all the love in the world once she comes out from her deep slumber.

8. They may be marking their spot

Cats with a preferred sleeping spot, maybe on a couch, may bury their head under the cushion to claim the spot. This also aims to block any disturbance that might compromise their sleep. Your cat may be sending signals to their place in a house full of other pets; cats might behave in such a manner to send messages of their sleeping points to avoid disturbance.


Cats are a significant part of human beings as they are the most popular pets around humans. Cats have many advantages to humans, making them very important. It is, therefore, reasonable to understand cats to provide them with a safe, comfortable place to live in. We hope we have carefully given you answers as to why cats sleep with their faces covered. Cats usually sleep in the most unconventional places, but the picture of the paws on their faces while they sleep is the best thing you could ever wish for.

To us, this may seem charming and incredible, but for cats, that is a way to seek warmth, Comfort, block noise, Filter light that disrupts good sleep and protect themselves from harmful predators. Learning about cat sleeping habits and behavior is good for understanding when to leave your cat alone to rest peacefully. Being a very active pet, your cat might always fall asleep anywhere cozy in your house. Let it rest; it will finally wake up.

There are numerous reasons why cats sleep with their faces covered, making it difficult to pinpoint an exact cause at any given point. Even if we do not understand why our cats sleep, the stances they pool make them look charming and cute.