Why do cats cover their faces when they sleep?

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Have you ever wondered why cats cover their faces when they sleep? It’s strange, isn’t it? Believe it or not, there is a scientific basis for this behavior. Learn more.

Many cats cover their faces when they sleep, but no one seems to know why. Is it because they’re cold? Are they hiding from something? Or is there another reason? In this article, we will look at the scientific reasons why cats cover their faces when they sleep. This article will also explain some of the sleep behaviors of cats. If you are interested in this habit of cats, read on!


Facts You May Not Know About Cat Sleeping

Cats are one of the most popular pets for many reasons. They don’t require much care, are independent, affectionate and make the best companions.

Most people know that cats sleep a lot. In fact, cats sleep an average of 16 hours a day. This means they spend almost two-thirds of their lives sleeping! However, there are some facts about cat sleep that you may not know. For example

  • Cats enter a semi-comatose state between sleep and wakefulness. This state is called “torpor” and allows the cat to conserve energy.
  • Additionally, cats don’t sleep for long periods of time during the day, but rather for short periods of time. This helps them stay alert and react quickly to predators and other threats.
  • Cats do not experience rapid eye movement sleep until they are three months old. Adult cats usually sleep through the night, while kittens often nap during the day.
  • While humans sleep deeply for about 90 minutes at a time, cats go into a 15-minute “light sleep” followed by a 15-minute deep sleep. This cycle repeats itself throughout the night, meaning that cats sleep much longer than humans.

Finally, cats like to sleep in unusual places. Some cats prefer a cozy couch, while others opt for a sunny windowsill or the top of the refrigerator.

Why do cats sleep with their faces covered?

We love watching cats sleep, but have you ever wondered why cats sleep with their faces covered? As it turns out, there are surprising scientific reasons for this behavior. There are several theories about this behavior:

  • Cats go into a state called rapid eye movement sleep when they sleep. This is the same state in which humans dream. During REM sleep, the brain is very active and the body is paralyzed. This is to prevent them from putting their dreams into action. Cats sleep with their faces covered to protect their eyes from damage during this active stage of sleep.
  • Cats have a third eyelid, also called an eyelid membrane, which is a clear or translucent flap of skin that protects the eye from debris and keeps it moist. When a cat is relaxed or asleep, the third eyelid partially covers the eye. Therefore, if you see a cat with half-closed eyes and drooping eyelashes, it is probably napping. Of course, every cat is different and some cats always have their third eyelids closed.

In addition, we’ve gathered some reasons why cats cover their faces when they sleep.

Maintaining a comfortable temperature.

One of the reasons cats cover their faces while sleeping is to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Cats are sensitive to temperature changes and prefer a warm environment. They try to cover their noses because the nose is an important sensory organ. Covering their face absorbs heat and keeps them comfortable.

protection from the sun and wind

One reason cats cover their faces when sleeping is to protect them from the sun and wind. If a cat is sleeping in direct sunlight, covering its face with its paws or tail will protect it from the sun and keep it comfortable. Similarly, if the house is poorly ventilated, cats may cover their faces to stay warm and comfortable.

Sensing weather changes

Cats are very sensitive to their surroundings and sense changes in the weather. Their acute sense of hearing allows them to sense subtle changes that we humans may miss. If a storm is approaching, it is cold or raining outside, cats may become agitated and try to hide. One way to keep them warm is to cover their faces with their paws. In this way, they protect themselves from the cold wind and rain.

This behavior may seem strange to us, but from the cat’s world it makes sense. After all, they are experts at staying warm and dry when the weather turns bad!

A Sense of Security

Cats are very independent creatures, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to feel safe. When they sleep, they are vulnerable and bare.

When cats sleep, they cover their faces with their paws, known as “tenting.” Tenting is a feline instinct that can be traced back to their wild ancestors. In the wild, cats protected themselves from predators by sleeping with their paws covering their faces.

Today, most domesticated cats do not have to worry about predators. However, many of them still have a strong tenting instinct. They feel safe and secure by covering their faces while sleeping. It is also thought to help regulate body temperature.

There is another scientific reason why cats cover their faces when they sleep. Wild cats rely on their whiskers to move and hunt prey. These sensitive hairs pick up even the slightest vibration, so covering their faces helps them relax and feel secure.

Comfortable Posture for Deep Sleep

When we see cats sleeping, they usually assume what is called a “forward leaning” posture. The back legs are extended backward and the front legs are held against the chest. This posture is very relaxing for the cat, although it usually looks like it is getting ready to pounce.

In this posture, the cat can easily fall into a deep sleep. Since they do not need to expend energy to walk around, they can expend more energy to heal and repair their bodies. Deep sleep is essential for cats to restore their bodies, both physically and mentally, after a long day of hunting and playing. Covering their face with their paws can prolong deep sleep.

Blocking environmental stimuli

Cats are sensitive to environmental stimuli. While resting or sleeping, they prefer to avoid anything that might wake or startle them. Blocking out all visual stimuli helps them relax and fall asleep more easily. This is similar to why humans sometimes cover their eyes with a blindfold during sleep. It makes it easier to sleep.

This is also why we often see cats entering small spaces when they sleep. They feel safer and more comfortable when they are surrounded by walls. It is like being in a little cocoon, undisturbed.


As you can see, there are several reasons why cats like to hide their faces when they sleep. It could be for warmth, safety, or simply comfort. Most likely, however, it is because they still have instincts from when they were predators in the wild. By hiding their faces, they can avoid becoming prey. Whatever the reason, it is clear that cats, like us, want privacy while sleeping. So the next time you see a cat sleeping with its face covered, don’t worry!

by Peter Emmanuel Rossi

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