When I first adopted my cat, there were so many things that surprised me. I didn’t know much about cats before adopting one, so everything that my kitten did fascinated me.
As time went on, I learned the ropes of being a cat owner and the many quirks that come with cats. Still, there were things I couldn’t quite figure out.
As a kitten, my cat would always stay close to my face. There were many mornings where I woke up to my kitten nestled under my chin.
It turns out, my friend’s kitten did the same. So I needed to know, why do kittens want to be near your face?
Cats wouldn’t be cats without having many reasons behind what they do. The question of why kittens want to be near the face has a few possible reasons.
Those may be for affection, attention, greeting, scent-marking, security, or warmth.
Cats are complicated creatures that do things for many reasons. Even as kittens, they have many reasons for what they do.
A common reason a kitten will snuggle up to your face is simply that they are imprinted on you! They want to show affection and this is their way of doing that.
Also, if you are gone a lot and your kitten doesn’t see you so much, they could be missing you and want to cuddle. When a kitten is near your face, they may begin kneading.
Kneading is a practice that cats do when being nursed by their mother. If a cat does this to you, they are showing you an affection similar to how they did with their mother!
Kittens love attention. They like to be played with and dotted on.
If a kitten is next to your face and rubbing around, it is likely that they want some attention. Kittens are used to using physical touch to get attention from their littermates and mother. It’s a practice that they are familiar with.
Have you ever noticed how your cat rubs against you when you come home? When a cat rubs their face with yours, they are greeting you.
When they rub against you, they are marking you as a part of the same family or pack as theirs. This allows them to remember and identify you later on.
Kittens do this because they see you as a part of their family and want to say hello.
Similar to how cats greet, cats need to rub against you to mark their scent. Kittens will do this a lot by rubbing against your face.
When a kitten rubs against your face, they are essentially claiming you. The exchange of scents when rubbing against you is so you can smell like your kitten and your kitten can smell like you.
Even though kittens will leave their scent on you, you won’t be able to smell it. The scent is one only cats can smell!
Cats are super territorial and like to claim the things they like as theirs! A cat will mark you if they trust and love you!
If a kitten is feeling anxious or nervous they may be snuggling close to you because they want to feel safe. If your kitten is cuddled up next to your neck this could be because they can feel your carotid artery.
The pulsing of the artery is a comforting feeling similar to that of what they felt in the womb. As much as we enjoy a cat purring, they also enjoy the sound of our breath and even snoring.
If a kitten sleeps near your neck, they may be doing so because they want security. Kittens that sleep near their owner’s neck tend to continue doing so into adulthood.
If there is one thing cat owners will tell you about cats, it’s that they love warmth. Cats are descendants of desert animals so their love of heat has been carried down to them.
Your face gives off a lot of warmth and so does your breath. This and general closeness gives off lots of warmth that kittens will take advantage of!
It seems that kittens really like our faces. If they aren’t sleeping or sitting near them, they are licking them!
Just like how they stay near the face for many different reasons, there are different reasons why a cat may lick your face.
Cats will bond with their owners in different forms. One of the forms of bonding is by licking.
When kittens are young, their mother will groom them by licking them. Mother cats lick their young to clean but to also show their affection. They in turn will lick others to show affection.
Kittens licking your face may feel a bit strange, but it’s how they show their love.
They Are Stressed
When cats are stressed, they tend to lick things more than a normal amount. You might notice that they are grooming themselves more than usual.
This excessive licking may include you as well. If you notice this, it is best to take your kitten to the vet for a check-up.
It’s important to know the difference when your cat is licking themselves a normal amount and when they are being excessive. Excessive licking is never a good thing.
They Are Claiming You
Just like how cats claim you by rubbing against you, they may also do this by licking. Cats may choose to mark their territory in different ways.
Licking is one of those ways and while they might be doing it to show affection, it’s likely they are also marking you as theirs.
When your kitten is constantly nestled near your face, you might notice that they like to smell your face as well.
Cats have a unique sense of smell. When they sniff something, they are able to figure out a lot about that object. A cat’s nose is akin to human hands. They smell faces to figure out how we are doing.
When smelling our faces, cats will typically smell our nose first. This is because noses are jutted out and is the first thing a cat will come in contact with.
Not only that, but noses give away a lot about how we are feeling. If we are sick, a cat that smells our nose will be able to tell.
Cats will also smell our faces to greet us. Cats do this to their family and when they do this to a human, it means that they accept us into their family.
If you are asleep and your kitten wanders up to your face to sniff it, then it normally means that he or she wants something. They might want food, or to play, or it could be that they are bored.
It could also be that they want to make sure you are okay and alive! To cats, we just lie down for 8 hours a night and it could be worrying to them!
A cat might also be sniffing you while you’re sleeping just as a form of affection and to greet you.
Not as pleasant as rubbing, smelling, or licking, but some kittens will paw on their owner’s face. Cats might do this for a few reasons.
To Get Your Attention
The first could be that your kitten wants you to pay attention to them. Kittens use physical contact to get attention.
If you are asleep then this might be their way to wake you up so you can play with or feed them.
Yet another way that a cat is marking their scent. Cats actually have scent glands on their paws.
If they are putting their paws on your face, it might be because they are claiming you. They are leaving their scent on your face so that it smells like them!
It’s How They Snuggle
Some kittens may be putting their paws on your face because that is their way of snuggling up to you. If they use their paws to touch you while they are snuggling, it is a sign of trust. This means your cat feels secure with you!
They Need Some Room
If you are constantly patting or surrounding your kitten, they may be getting annoyed. They sometimes use their paws as a nice way to tell you to stop and give them some room.
Kittens are lots of fun but can be a handful. Sometimes the strange things that they do leave us feeling so confused.
However, they have lots of reasoning behind the things that they do. When a kitten stays next to its owner’s face, it is doing so for many possible reasons.
They may choose to be near your face to show affection, for security, warmth, attention, to mark their scent, or to greet you. Cats may also lick, smell, and paw at your face for similar reasons.
Whatever reason your cat is staying near your face, it’s nice to see their cute faces close up!