If your cat claws your face a lot, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about it.

So, why does my cat claw my face? Possible reasons why your cat claws your face are that it is looking for attention, it feels intimidated, it wants you to let go of it, or sometimes, to show affection.

Your cat could be doing it for multiple reasons and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Reasons why your cat claws your face

Below are a number of possible reasons and what would make each of them more likely.

Affection

The reason why your cat has been clawing your face might actually be that it is showing affection. Sometimes, when cats are very happy, they will start clawing and this might be why yours has been doing it. This would be more likely to be the cause if your cat does it when it is showing positive body language signs such as purring a lot.

For attention

Another possible cause is that your cat is doing it for extra attention. This would be more likely if your cat tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it claws you.

Pleasure

When cats are happy, they will start to do something called “kneading” which is where they pat their paws up and down and extend their claws. If your cat does this to you, when you are petting it, it would be likely that your cat is doing it because it is happy. This would be more likely if your cat does it when you are petting it, and it is purring.

It feels intimidated

The cause could also be that your cat feels intimidated. This would be more likely if it does it when you are touching your cat, your cat seems to pull away from you and if it also scratches, or hisses. In this case, it might be the case that you are not being gentle enough or that it is intimidated by the way you are interacting with it with your face.

It is playing

The reason why your cat claws your face might also be that it is playing. This would be more likely if your cat does it when you are playing with your cat yourself.

It wants you to let go of it

Another possible cause is that your cat wants you to let go of it. This would be more likely to be the cause if your cat claws your face when you are holding it.

Things to consider about your cat clawing your face

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main cause.

If your cat has always clawed your face

If your cat has not always clawed your face, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as a change in the way that you hold it, pet it or approach it.

What is different when your cat claws your face

If your cat seems to claw your face more in certain situations, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it normally does it when you are interacting with your cat with your face by doing things such as kissing it, the cause would be more likely to be that it is intimidated.

What to do about your cat clawing your face

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Avoid encouraging it

As mentioned earlier, it might be the case that your cat has learned that clawing your face gets rewards. Instead, it would help to reward your cat when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it claws your face by getting it off you when it does it and ignoring it.

Be gentle with it

If you have been petting it a bit forcefully, it would also likely help to try petting it more gently.

Pet it differently

Another thing to try would be to pet it in a different way. Often cats prefer to be rubbed below the chin instead of having their bellies or backs rubbed. It could help to try scratching below its chin instead.

Get it to sit in other spots

Alternatively, another option would be to get your cat to sit next to you instead of on top of you, that way it will be easier to prevent it from clawing your face.

Why does my cat claw my eyes?

Your cat might claw your eyes for any of the reasons mentioned above. It would help to consider what is different when it claws your eyes. For example, if your cat does it when you push your face into your cat, it is likely your cat does it because it is intimidated.

Why does my cat claw my ears?

Your cat might also claw your ears for any of the reasons mentioned above. It would help to consider what else is different when it does it. For example, if your cat claws your ears when you are lying next to it, the cause could be that it is playing or showing affection.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.