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​​Why Does My Cat Hit Me In The Face When I’m Sleeping?

If your cat is hitting you in the face while you sleep you may be getting annoyed and wondering why it keeps happening… 

Why Does My Cat Hit Me In The Face When I’m Sleeping?

Cats hit you in the face while you are sleeping because they try to wake you up in the middle of the night to tell you something. Believe it or not, cats are highly communicative even though most of their communication is non-verbal.

So, now you know. But, how can I prevent this from happeing? Could your cat be stressed out? Should you even let your cat sleep with you? Keep reading to get these answers, and much more…

What would make my cat frequently wake me up?

Cat lying next to person in bed.

Cat lying next to person in bed.

A cat who frequently makes it a point to wake you up in the middle of the night is likely not getting enough attention during the day. To prevent your cat from waking you up at night, pay more attention to them during the day. 

When cats get the zoomies, they may get excited and end up attacking you. Zoomies are the short, excited bursts of energy that your cat gets after going poop. 

Cats are unpredictable, so there is no way to determine what will cause your cat to attack you. Sometimes your feline friend can become neurotic. Irrational behavior for no reason occurs because cats are likely overstimulated. 

Overstimulation is not exclusive to interacting with your cat. A cat can become overstimulated by its environment. If you have changed something recently or brought a new pet into the house, your cat may be reacting resentfully toward you by picking on you in your sleep.

When you are sleeping, you are in your most vulnerable state, and they have the best opportunity to strike.

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How can I prevent my cat from hitting me when I sleep?

Prevent your cat from hitting you in the face at night by ensuring all their needs are met before going to sleep. Meeting your cat’s needs can include refilling their water bowls or scooping their poop. 

Carefully evaluate the amount of time that you are spending each day with your feline friend. If you are not giving your cat enough attention, try to dedicate more time in your day to bonding with your cat. Dedicating time to your cat means playing, cuddling, and petting them.

Giving your cat your time may also mean keeping them company. 

When a cat wakes you up from your sleep, it might be because they lack desired affection. Fit more affection into your daily schedule, and your needy kitty will likely leave you alone at night. 

How can cat stress cause your cat to hit you while you sleep?

Stress is one of the many reasons that cats will hit you while you are sleeping. A beta cat might be scared or anxious at night when they are approached by an alpha cat. 

There are many reasons why cats become stressed; among these reasons is age progression. Cats in their adult and senior years have difficulty seeing and navigating in the dark. The simple reason for their difficulty seeing is, like all mammals, vision worsens over time.

Felines may sleep closer to their humans and try waking them up at night to get help navigating to the restroom or because they are lost. 

Should you let your cat sleep with you?

Letting your cat sleep with you is completely up to preference. Sleeping with your feline is a great way to form a unique bond with your furry friend that lasts lifetimes. However, these animals do not mind pestering you early in the morning for food when they get hungry.  

Could my cat be waking me up because it’s hungry?

An orange cat eating.

An orange cat eating.

Cats will wake up their owners when they are hungry. Routine and consistency are important to cats; therefore, missing a meal is sure to bring complaints. Missed meals may also result in resentment from your feline buddy. 

Cats are consistent animals who will wake up their owners if they miss meals or are hungry. If you have overslept or have changed your schedule recently, do not be surprised if you are woken up by an angry slap on the face by your cat.

Pay attention to the behavior of your cat after your cat wakes you up. If your cat leads you to the food, this probably means your cat wants to be fed.

Do cats touch your face to show affection?

A common sign of affection for cats is rubbing one’s face against something. Similarly, cats may also tap you in the face with their paws to show affection. Both hitting you in the face and rubbing their face against your cheek rubs their scent on you. 

Many people like to say that a cat who touches their human’s face is returning the love by giving their companion a loving pet. Return this affectionate touch with a pet of your own or a gentle close of your eyes. Slowly close your eyes is a great way to say “I love you” to your cat.

Could your movement in the night annoy your cat?

Many cats become easily over-stimulated and can get annoyed with your body movements at night. Their hypervigilant personalities can cause cats to develop bad behaviors quite easily, like bopping their owners in the middle of the night. As you readjust yourself peacefully, your cat does not see a foot under a blanket.

They see prey they can easily attack! 

Why should you play with your cat before bed?

Playing with your cat before bed is important so you can get out their energy. Getting out of energy prevents your perfect pet from pacing the front of the food bowl all night. It can also prevent your curious cat from roaming through parts of the house they do not belong and causing havoc in the early hours. 

This playful energy is cute during the daytime but a problem behavior at night. When cats are acting playful at night, this can be your cat’s way of signaling they need more playtime from you during the day. Domestic cats sleep for an average of 15 hours per day.

Give them plenty of attention for at least half of their ten waking hours.  

Is it a good idea to clip your cat’s claws to protect your face?

Clipping a cat’s claws is a good way to keep them from slicing your face. Your face will remain scratch-free when the cat’s nails are healthy.

All cats should have their claws regularly trimmed by a professional. Alternatively, you may trim your cat’s claws yourself if you have gone through the proper instruction. This can be done easily at your veterinarian’s office for free at any regular visit.

To prevent face scratches, you may also put nail covers on your cat’s nails. Nail covers last for roughly 4-6 weeks and is a great way to avoid face scratches.

How can your cat’s “hunting drive” cause it to attack you in the night?

Many things about a cat’s hunting drive may cause them to attack you in the night, as their excellent nocturnal vision and predation behavior. 

Cats are natural predators, intelligent ones too. While sleeping, they are on high alert. Moving your feet or rolling over or something else you did may have triggered your cat to react defensively.

When cats hear, feel, or see something strange in the middle of the night, odds are they will investigate it. Cats are curious, and they are willing to take the gamble when it comes to safety! 

Lindsey Browlingdon