Why Does My Cat Put Her Paws on My Face?

Cats are complex animals with a wide range of emotions. Learning the meaning of your cat's paw motions helps you understand her needs or feelings as you build a great relationship. Paws on your face can show several emotions such as love, impatience or nervousness.

credit: @stephenrx7/Twenty20

Paw Strokes

If your cat is content and happy, she may touch your face lightly with one or both paws. She may leave her paws on your face or lightly stroke you. This gesture conveys loving feelings for you. Your cat's ears will point a little to the side of her head from straight up and forward. Your kitty may purr as she touches you. Your cat also may give you a fluttering blink or make a chatting or gurgling sound that is high-pitched to indicate her friendliness.

Nagging Paws

Your cat may decide that she is in a hurry for you to fill her empty food dish, or for you to stop what you are doing and give her attention. She will tap her paw or paws on your face repeatedly and quickly to nag you into pleasing her.

Paw Blows

If your feline friend forcefully strikes your face with a paw, she is unhappy, agitated or nervous and demanding a response. Her ears may be twitching or moving backward from the top of her head to indicate her annoyance or nervousness. It is best to reassure her so she doesn't put out her claws.

Paw Marking

Cats have scent glands in their paw pads. Your four-legged friend may touch your face to "mark" her territory and leave her scent on you. She is claiming you with her scent as her human for all other pets to know you belong to her.