Why Does My Cat Put His Paw on My Face?

Feline language is complex; there are more than 100 behaviors to express: liking, loyalty, inattention, anger, etc. Some questions may arise, such as “why does my cat put his paw on my face?” 

All cats have individual personalities and behave differently. But more or less they try to show some affection by touching your face.

Why Does My Cat Put His Paw on My Face

Next, you will learn more about the behavior of cats. We will detail some signs that indicate that you are the most important thing for that four-legged little one. 

Let’s get started.

Why Does My Cat Put His Paw On My Face?

To Show Affection to the Guardian

Some cats use their paws when interacting with their guardians. This gesture suggests that the cat is seeking your attention. It usually manifests as a caressing session, accompanied by purring. This explanation is also valid when we wonder why our cat is covering us or touching our mouth.

To Get Attention

Cats have a particular and identifying body odor. They also have a series of scent glands located on the cheeks, chin, eyes, and soles of the feet, anus, and genitals. These transmit aromatic substances to people or places in their environment. And thus, they mark their terrain using physical contact. This is very typical of cats, such as rubbing the head, tail, rubbing with the back, etc.

Expressing Empathy

Cat rubbing face with paw means that it is expressing empathy. With this contact, the cat allows you to caress it because it trusts you. It knows that you will take care of it and wants to let you know.

The signs of affection and empathy are linked to what they consider theirs. So when a cat caresses its paw against ours, the cat is transmitting its body odor to us.

To Mark Territory

Cats need to mark their terrain to feel comfortable and safe. You have usually noticed that our cat “marks” his favorite places or people by brushing his face. Sometimes they rub their back against walls, furniture, or even us. His way of ensuring that his territory smells as it should be and bears his signature is special.

To Make Amends

When we spend too much time away from home or even several days, cats show us their disapproval. They missed us, and we made them feel bad. For this reason, they will take their revenge by hiding there where we cannot reach them. And when they decide to forgive us, they touch us.

To Establish You as Its Own

This invisible and odorless marking is given through its pheromones. If you look closely at the behavior of your cat- it rubs against you when you come from the street. It is actually exchanging that scent with you to identify and mark you as “his.” Rubbing not only means marking people with whom you feel close, but it is also a way to greet and establish social ties.

Greeting You

 If two cats caress and pat their faces, they are crossing important information. This cat paw on face greetings is a sign of trust and kindness. But when two cats living together do it, it is simply a greeting. They are part of the same family. It is a social exchange.

So, if your cat touches your face, he is doing exactly the same thing. This is his way of greeting and indicating confidence towards you.

“Return,” Your Kisses

Theoretically, you should never kiss a cat. First of all because (especially if it is a wanderer and is a lot outside) it could attack you with diseases. And also because it does not like it being kissed. If your cat not only lets itself be kissed but returns the affection with a purr, a lick, a playful bite, or a paw rub, then it is love!

Why Do Cats Mind If You Touch Their Paws?

Sharing your home with a cat is not always easy. It can happen that this feline has a difficult character to understand. It is essential to know how to correctly interpret its signals to live more peacefully.

For example, we just explained what does it means when your cat touches your face with its paws.

Another example: You will surely have noticed a sudden change of attitude in the cat. It can sometimes even become aggressive. This can happen when you touch its limbs.

But do you know why cats bother if you touch their paws?

The main reason cats annoy you if you touch their paws is that they are afraid.

In cases of danger, in fact, cats have claws as their only defense weapon. And, when a human touches their paws, they feel in a certain sense deprived of this defense. They are therefore led to react instinctively and consequently.

The claws of cats have three different main functions:

  • Hunt prey;
  • Defend against predators;
  • Have a better grip.

However, cats do not always mind if you touch their paws. For example, this happens when they totally trust the person next to them, whom they do not consider a threat.

Through their paws, then, the felines can send different signals to the owners; let’s see some of them.

Cat Affection: 10 Curious Cat Language Behaviors?

Now that you know that a cat rubbing face with a paw is a sign of affection, you may wonder, is there any more? Yes, there are.

Here are 10 signs that show cats affectionate behavior (which we struggle to recognize):

1. They Rub Against Our Legs

Any cat owner will have witnessed this scene. The cat rubs against our legs, passes through us, and meows, demanding attention. With this signal, these pets claim “their property.” Just like when they rub against furniture, cats want to mark their territory by rubbing on you. It is a clear declaration of belonging. You belong to him, and he will not share you with anyone else. He does not ask for simple cuddles but promises to always be by your side.

2. They purr

The most common and impossible to ignore display of affection is when the cat purrs. When we pet him, and he is happy and relaxed, the cat can emit those rhythmic and barely audible sounds. They have the ability to immediately relax us too. The purr is the way cats give thanks for the pleasure you give them. And, at the same time, it is an invitation to continue in your cuddles.

3. They Wake Us Up in the Morning

Cats are very habitual, and like humans, they follow a precise daily routine. For this reason, knowing that you will soon wake up, the first thing he does is introducing himself to you. Not because he cares about your delay, but simply because he knows that you will be awake. You will be ready to cuddle and give him attention.

He needs your closeness early in the morning to start the day right.

4. They Fold the Tip of the Tail

You will surely have seen the tip of the cat’s tail folded to one side when you get home. Well, it’s a clear sign of happiness and excitement. After all those hours without you, she shows her affection by positioning her tail in this very precise way. The queue is indeed a mood barometer, so this is definitely a good sign.

5. They Bring Us Some Little Gifts

It is not uncommon that our furball goes out and brings us some dead animal. Even the first few times, we were scared and not a little. Cats are real hunters and predators. Therefore, they usually feed on small birds, reptiles, or mice. Sometimes, however, we find the prey still whole outside the home. This signal is a really great show of affection as it means that the cat cares about us. And thus, they try to provide us with food to feed us. Just like a mother cat would, she takes care of us.

6. They Touch Us With Their Paw

Have you ever wondered, “why does my cat touch my face?” Cats often approach and touch a hand, face, or legs with their paws to get our attention. It is a clear signal to tell us that they need us. This affectionate behavior indicates that they are tired of seeing us do other things. And we need to dedicate ourselves to them as well. We have described this behavior well in previous paragraphs.

7. They Lie Down on Our Clothes

It has certainly happened to cat owners to find clothes left lying around the house, full of hair. They are the most flagrant trace of the passage of the feline. This is because missing you during the day; cats tend to console themselves with your scent on their clothes. They feel closer to you and more easily tolerate loneliness while you are at work.

8. They Make Bread

When the cat moves its paws on you, it is a clear sign of love as if to knead the bread. This movement is associated with the memory of the cat, when, as a puppy, he kneaded his mother’s belly to help the milk flow. At that moment, you are a clear point of reference, just as her mother was as a puppy.

9. They Jump Into Our Arms

There are many cats that show affection by jumping into our arms. For them, it is a perfect position to receive and give pampering. As soon as you sit down on the sofa or chair, they are ready to jump into your arms. Some cats like to sit in the hollow of your neck. It is a perfect spot for them, as it is very hot. They feel the regular beats of our hearts, bringing them back to their first months of life with the mother.

10. They Go Home

Finally, the last clear sign of love is the fact that every time he goes out, he always comes home. If a cat is not comfortable in the environment in which it lives, it will run away and never return. After all, if your cat comes home every day, it is the truest and purest sign of bonding he has with you.


It is a challenge to know in its entirety all the feline language since each cat is particular. A cat is a special being. If you know how to discover what its movements and actions mean, you will reveal how close it is to you. You will know how much it needs you. What can be assured is that all those signs like; 

So, why does my cat put his paw on my face? They mainly indicate how much the cat appreciates us. We must always return those expressions of affection.

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