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Why Do Cats Cover Their Eyes When They Sleep

Why Do Cats Sleep With Their Eyes Open

Why Do Cats Cover Their Faces When They Sleep?

It can look a little spooky when cats fall asleep with their eyes open. It seems like there might be something seriously wrong or even appear like theyre dead. Fortunately, if your cat falls asleep with eyes open, you dont need to worry.

Sleeping with eyes open is not a cause for concern. A lot of cats do it, says veterinarian and animal behaviorist Nicholas Dodman, BVMS DVA DACVAA DACVB, professor emeritus at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University in N. Grafton, Massachusetts.

Some cats do indeed sleep with their eyes open, as do some people. And the behavior seems to happen more frequently in older age.

What Are Other Common Cat Sleeping Positions

The most common sleeping positions for cats are: curled up, half-closed eyes, sideways, with their paws tucked under them , or with their bellies up.

Among the less common are contortionist, monorail, or sleeping on the furnitures edge.

In the contortionist position, cats twist their bodies in unimaginable ways to feel comfortable. Cats who adopt this sleeping position usually like to be in the spotlight. When you see your cat looking like a pretzel when it sleeps, be sure it is very relaxed and comfy.

Monorail is the position where cats sleep on a staircase banister, on the armrest, or the back of the couch, with their legs dangling. Leopards, for example, and other wild cats, fall asleep like this in the trees on the higher branches. They choose this place to sleep so they can always be high above the ground to see all the dangers.

Hes Too Exhausted To Move His Paw

If youve ever fallen asleep with a book on your chest or a phone in hand, youll get this point.

Cats spend the majority of their days grooming themselves, and this daily chore can take its toll on them. Besides grooming their coats to perfection, cats move a lot during their waking hours, chasing stuff and jumping on furniture. You get the picture.

After spending all of his energy and lying down to rest, your cat might doze off while licking at his paw. In that case, he might find his paw resting against his face, and he could be too tired to move it.

Plus, sleeping in this position may prove useful when the cat wakes up later. This way, his paw will be in place so that he can resume his grooming, taking off where he started. While some people will think thats a lazy move, I think its incredibly convenient!

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Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When You Talk To Them

Many cats exhibit a slow blink when their owners talk to them. Both the squint and slow blink is a form of communication.

Cats cant understand their owners sounds, but they know that their owners are talking to them, especially when they maintain eye contact.

A study by;Scientific Reports;has found that the eyes are essential in signaling emotions in human-to-cat communication. The narrowing of the eyes is associated with positive emotional responses.

When humans slow blink alongside high-pitched sounds, cats repeat the action in response. Eye narrowing movements produce a similar reaction to a genuine human smile.

As a result, this helps build a strong bond with cats who recognize this communication technique and repeat it. While cats arent strictly closing their eyes during this form of communication, it looks very similar and can be mistaken for tiredness.

Im Mad At You/ I Like You

Why Do Cats Cover Their Faces When They Sleep?

Ive heard owners say that a cat might reach with a paw to show affection. However, if youve noticed how cats interact, youll see that they rarely express their love by petting other animals.

Licking your face/hair, rubbing on your legs, scratching, and biting are signs that your cat loves you.

But when a cat reaches out a paw and hit you, theyre probably mad or anxious about something.

Its all about body language. If your cats tail is swishing back and forth and they sit and stare at you, a reaching paw isnt a good sign.;

However, if your cat gently pats you, they might be showing how much they love you or your kitty simply wants you to get up and feed them.

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Should I Be Worried If My Cat Is Covering Their Eyes When They Sleep

As you read above, it is very natural and common for cats to cover their eyes when they sleep. Therefore, there is no reason to worry if your cat is displaying this behavior. The only time you should be worried is if your cat is constantly covering their face while they are awake. Particularly, you should be concerned if they are scratching or picking at something on their face. It is important to distinguish this behavior from natural grooming, which involves more licking and soft rubbing.

A cat that is aggressively scratching their face most likely has either dry skin or a flea infestation. Both of these are relatively serious problems that you should try to treat as soon as possible. You should closely observe your cats face to see if you notice any inflammation or scabs. If you do, then you should take your cat to the vet. Your vet will most likely prescribe medication to treat the dry skin or allergies, and may put your cat on a medication if they have fleas.

Cats And Their Very Unique Eyes

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The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Just as with humans, there are a number of things you can learn by looking into your cat’s eyes. A cat’s pupils should normally be the same size. A change in the size of the pupil in one eye can indicate a number of conditions, ranging from mild to serious. These include:

  • Inflammation of the eye
  • Horner’s syndrome
  • FeLV
  • Tumors
  • Central nervous system injury

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Why Do Cats Cover Their Faces When They Sleep: Understanding This Confusing Feline Habit

Cats have some truly fascinating habits. No matter how long you have cared for companion cats, you probably learn something new every day.

This is why cats can also make great teachers. As you watch your cat, you may catch yourself wondering why your kitty likes to cover their face when they sleep. This leads you to do some research to see what other cat owners say.

Why do cats cover their faces while they sleep? Lets find out now!

Why Does My Cat Stare At Me


This is a common question that makes many veterinarians laugh. Your cat is probably staring because he loves you, Dr. Haeussler says.

The fact is, cat vision is a fascinating topic, as anyone who has ever loved a cat can tell you. Cats have numerous visual advantages. Everything in cats has evolved to make them hunters who can stalk by night. Kind of explains their nocturnal roaming, right?

Working with All Animal Eye Clinic and Penn Vet, visual artist Nickolay Lamm undertook a project to try to;create a sense of cat vision.;He took side by side photos, one from the perspective of a human, the other from the perspective of a cat. The photos are amazing and Lamm himself said he was moved by the project.

It kind of makes me think more about seeing from a cat’s point of view, he says. We love looking at them because they are cute, but;I didn’t think that much before about what;they;see, how they perceive us and the world.

Image:Jan Faborsky/Flickr

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Its The Comfiest Position For Them

Sometimes we can over analyze cats behaviors and draw some complex conclusions only to find they are just doing what works best for them at that time.

My cats sleep in what looks like some of the weirdest positions sometimes. But they wouldnt do it if it wasnt comfortable for them. Maybe your cat needed a stretch, or just likes the feeling of holding their face.

The bottom line is that however they are sleeping, it might just be because its nice and comfy for them. So, dont disturb them!

What Does It Mean When A Cat Picks You

When A Cat Chooses You. Because they rely on their instincts so heavily, cats are very spiritual beings. Not quite to a human level, but close enough that it makes them powerful companions. At the end of the day, some cats choose favorites based on totally arbitrary criteria, like who has the best smell.

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Does My Cat Protect Me While I Am Sleeping

Some cats are very protective of their owner for no reason. And these cats, whether there are relatives or friends around you, will not let them reach you, which can be worrying because they will behave aggressively.

Cats guard us because they protect their territory; after all, we are part of it. Those who suffer from separation anxietytend to be even more protective. Guarding is a sign of affection, and some cats do this when we sleep. Other cats choose to sit in the bedroom door to guard us until we fall asleep, then they will retreat in their room or sleeping place. But most of the time, cats like to sleep at our feet; they choose this place because they feel safer there and, it gives them enough room for action if something happens.

Why Cats Like To Cover Their Face With Their Paws Or Tail When They Sleep

Why do cats cover their eyes with their paws when sleeping ...

Most cats hide their faces while sleeping to keep their nose and body warm. When a cat pulls its pawsor tails around its face, it usually wraps itself in the shape of a fluffy ball. This round shape allows the cat to keep maximum heat, thus having a comfortable and peaceful sleep. And other times, the direct light in their eyes, while they sleep, becomes annoying, and they prefer to protect their eyes with their paws or tail.

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Your Cat Is Trying To Block Out Light

Cats dont have the same day and night wake and sleep cycles that people do. Although it is likely you already know that if you keep a daily company with a cat!

As The National Sleep Foundation reports, a typical cat will sleep as much as 16 hours per day, and some cats will sleep as much as 20 hours per day.

When you sleep 16 to 20 hours per day, you are definitely going to be sleeping during the day as well as at night. This means sometimes you will have to deal with bright light as you are trying to fit in yet another nap.

It is quite likely that cats may cover their faces when they sleep to help block out ambient light and get a deeper rest.

Sleeping In Enclosed Spaces

Its quite normal for cats to seek out perceived places of safety where they can snooze in peace. Whether its a basket full of dirty clothes, a quiet corner of the house, under the bed, or even in a cardboard box; a cat has no problem with slumbering in dark and tight places.

Allowing your cat to sleep under the covers isnt a good idea though its unhygienic and your kitty will get hair all over the place.

Cats are;hunters by nature, and a good hunter knows how to get into a strategic position. Having their backs to solid walls or other objects allows a cat to observe their surroundings from a distance. It provides a sense of security and also allows the cat to retain more body heat.

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Why Do Cats Look So Cute When They Sleep

Its universal that cats are hard to get affection from. They show emotions and affections rarely. That explains why seeing them peacefully in their sleep triggers our brain to perceive them as cute and lovely. Similar to when you get up earlier than your significant other and see them sound asleep.

Why Do Cats Close Their Eyes When You Pet Them

Why do Cats Sleep so Much? Their Health depends on It!

Most cats love being petted by their owners. It feels pleasurable and calms them down. Touching is also a bonding tool between cats and their owners. Cats arent naturally trusting animals. Humans have to earn it. As a result, when cats close their eyes while being petted, its because they trust you.

Cats prefer to remain on high alert, keeping their eyes open and instincts sharp. This is so that they can flee danger. When they close their eyes, they understand that you pose no risk and mean then no harm.

According to;Live Science, cats enjoy the feeling around the base of their ears, under the chin, and around their cheeks. This is where their sensitive facial glands are located. When cats enjoy their petting session, theyll close their eyes and display the following signs:

  • Upright tail
  • Bating or swiping with their paw
  • Wide eyes and pupils

If you notice any of the above signs, try petting a different spot on your cats body and avoid these sensitive areas.

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Why Cats Cover Their Faces While Sleeping

Do you always find your cats covering their faces while going for a deep slumber? Have you ever wondered about the reasons why they behave such? Guilt, fear, or comfort? Here we list down a few reasons as to why do cats cover their faces while sleeping:

The feeling of being secured

Cats are predators, but they also fear being preyed on by bigger predators. Covering their faces while sleeping gives them a sense of security and also gives them a feeling of safety against any predators that may prey on them.

Beat the sun hack

Cats usually find themselves toasty places for sleeping, but they do not like the feeling of the sun rays kissing their face every time they twist and twirl for a sound nap. Thus they tend to cover their faces to beta the sun rays and to keep the glare off from their eyes.

To warm their nose

Cats usually tend to curl and cover their face as an act of retaining heat in their body, especially in their nasal area. Thus, they are usually seen covering their nose with their paws while covering their face while taking a nap.

Comfy and cosy feel

Another reason why cats cover their faces is the mere fact that they feel cosy and comfortable while doing the same.

Your Cat Is Seeking Security

As Catwatch Newsletter points out, cats may be predators, but they can also be prey.

In other words, even though your cat lives a pampered life as a companion feline, those instincts to self-protect remain strong.

It is quite possible that your cat feels more secure drifting off to sleep with their face covered up.

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It Makes Them Feel Safe

It is also possible that your cat is covering their eyes while they sleep to feel more secure. This could be due to a very old natural instinct these animals have had for hundreds of years. They are essentially protecting their face from predators. It gives them a sense of security that allows for peaceful and deep sleep.

Outdoor cats are more prone to do this because they constantly feel vulnerable due to predators. These animals usually try to find a safe place to sleep, but sometimes they will settle for just putting a paw over their face.

Unusual Places A Cat May Sleep

Why Do Cats Cover Their Eyes With Their Paws When Sleeping

A cat can choose to sleep in any position and in any place around the house.

However, the preferred spot will likely be an area that offers comfort, security, and one thats away from the prying eyes of all other members of the household. But one of the most interesting places cats choose as their sleeping areas is on their owners bed.

The following are some of the reasons most cats prefer to sleep on their owners bed;

  • The cat enjoys your body heat,
  • Due to the strong bond that exists between the cat and its owner,
  • The bed exudes a savory and comforting smell,
  • Your little furball feels more secure cuddling next to you, and
  • The cat is protective of you.

Its also worth noting that cats are creatures of habit. Seeing you retire to bed every night will get the cat curious and gradually mimic the behavior. According to the cat, sleeping on its owners bed is another routine that every other member of the household must observe.

Some pet parents love to cuddle with their feline companions on their beds while others are averse to the idea. However, there are pros and cons of allowing your cat to sleep with you.

First, sleeping with a cat in the same bed helps cement the bond between the cat and its owner. Also, the cat may offer a sense of security from dangerous nocturnal animals, such as serpents, spiders, etc.

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Why Wouldnt Your Cat Sleep On You

So, with all these good reasons behind My cat sleeps on me ;why wouldnt your cat sleep with you? Some kitties are not so interested in sharing a bed with us, says Dr. Delgado. That might be because their human moves around too much in their sleep, or there might be something about the bed that is not so inviting or safe for the cat ; this can be due to other animals, the bedding or even the size of the bed.

If your cat was sleeping with you and suddenly stops look around at anything that might be different. A rearranged room, a new hamper or even a change in laundry detergent can cause a kitty to avoid getting into bed with you.


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