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Why Does My Cat Put His Paw on My Mouth

Why Does My Cat Put His Paw on My Mouth

The simple answer is: “Cats are very social animals and they are highly sensitive to their environment and to the people around them. By placing a paw on us, cats are showing us that they feel comfortable and secure with us and that they want to create a bond with us. It’s a sign of affection.”

Cats exhibit various behaviors that may seem puzzling to humans, and putting a paw on your mouth is one of them. While cats cannot communicate in human language, they have their ways of expressing themselves. There are several reasons why your cat might be putting their paw on your mouth:

1. Communication and Affection

Cats are known for their unique ways of communicating with their human companions. When your cat places a paw in your mouth, it can be a gesture of affection and closeness. Cats have scent glands on their paws, and touching you in this manner may be their way of marking you with their scent, a sign of ownership and love.

2. Exploration and Curiosity

Cats are naturally curious creatures, and they often explore the world around them using their paws. When your cat touches your face, especially your mouth, it might be their way of investigating your scent and learning more about you. Cats are highly sensory animals, and they rely on their sense of smell and touch to understand their environment and the people in it.

3. Seeking Attention

Cats are social animals that crave attention and interaction with their owners. By placing their paw on your mouth, your cat may be trying to capture your attention. If they receive a positive response, such as petting or gentle strokes, they are likely to repeat this behavior as a means of seeking affection and engagement.

4. Playfulness and Engagement

Occasionally, when your cat places its paw on your mouth, it may be signaling a desire to play. Cats frequently enjoy interactive play with their human companions, and this action might be their way of inviting you to join in the amusement. It’s an opportunity to partake in the playful realm of feline antics.

5. Comfort and Security

Cats often use physical contact as a way to find comfort and security. Placing a paw on your mouth might be a soothing gesture for your cat, especially if they associate the action with positive experiences, such as cuddling or being petted. It provides them with a sense of reassurance and safety, making them feel content and relaxed.

6. Mimicking Maternal Behavior

Kittens knead their mother’s belly while nursing, a behavior that continues into adulthood for many cats. This kneading motion involves using their paws to push in and out, a behavior rooted in kittenhood. Placing their paw on your mouth might be a variation of this kneading behavior, symbolizing trust and a sense of security reminiscent of their early days with their mother.


Understanding your cat’s behavior is essential for building a strong bond and a harmonious relationship. When your cat puts their paw in your mouth, it is a multifaceted behavior driven by their need for communication, affection, attention, comfort, and instincts. By recognizing the underlying reasons behind this action, you can respond appropriately, strengthening the bond between you and your feline companion. Remember, every cat is unique, so observing your cat’s body language and responding to their cues will help you decipher their individual needs and preferences, fostering a loving and respectful relationship.


Is it typical for my cat to place their paw on my mouth?

Yes, it’s a fairly common behavior among cats and often indicates a desire for attention or affection.

Can I train my cat to stop this behavior if it bothers me?

You can gently redirect their behavior with positive reinforcement, though it’s important to note that it’s a natural form of communication for cats.

Should I respond when my cat places their paw on my mouth?

Yes, it’s advisable to respond by offering affection or engaging in play if your cat seems playful.

Are there other ways my cat communicates with me?

Yes, cats employ various vocalizations, body language, and actions to convey their needs and emotions. Understanding these cues can deepen your bond with your cat.

Is it a sign of dominance if my cat puts their paw on my mouth?

No, it’s generally not a sign of dominance but rather a way for your cat to express their emotions and bond with you.

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