Why Does My Cat Bury His Face In My Arm?

Why Does My Cat Bury His Face In My Arm

Cats are known for being aloof, but many are also affectionate. Certain breeds tend to be more affectionate than others, such as the Ragdoll, Scottish Fold and Maine Coon. Lovable cats can bond closely with their humans and will happily hop into their laps or even sleep next to them. They also tend to bury their faces in the arms of their favorite humans. 

Why does my cat bury his face in my arm?

1. Your cat wants you to pet him more.

Your cat may be doing this to get your attention if he wants you to pet him more. If he likes how you pet his face, then burying his face in your arms is his way of nudging you to do it more. 

You can rub up and down his nose and the middle of his head. Cats like to be touched in these areas, and may purr to express their happiness. Some cats may even fall asleep with their head in your arm when you pet them. 

2. Your cat is expressing his affection. 

Your cat may be burying his face in your arm to show his love and affection for you. It means you are his favorite human and he trusts you enough to make himself vulnerable. Some cats also do this to other cats that they trust, such as their siblings.

3. It gives your cat a sense of security. 

Your cat feels secure and protected when he buries his face in your arm. It is reminiscent of the warmth and security he felt when he snuggled against his mother as a kitten. If he trusts you, he will feel that your arm is a safe place for him to nestle, and that you are his protector.

4. Your cat is afraid.  

Another reason your cat might bury his face in your arm is if he is afraid of something or someone. He may be seeking protection, and hiding in your arm is his way of becoming invisible: if he can’t see anyone, then nobody can see him! 

5. Your cat sees you as his property. 

Your cat may bury his face in your arm to rub his scent glands against you. A good rub with his face releases pheromones from these glands, which is your cat’s way of marking you as his property. If he does this, consider yourself very fortunate and loved. 

6. Your cat is happy to see you. 

Cats that are closely bonded with their humans will rub their faces on their owner’s hand if the hand is extended to them. This action signifies attachment because, as mentioned above, the cat is rubbing his pheromones onto your hand. He may do this even more if you have been away from home all day, to get his scent back onto you and reconnect with you. After rubbing against your hand, he may then go on to bury his face in your hand or arm. 

7. Your cat likes the warmth of your arm. 

Your cat burying his face in your arm could also be a way of keeping his nose warm. This is often the case if the weather is cold. A cat’s nose and ears can get very cold during winter, and your hand and arm are like a blanket where he can warm himself up. 

8. Your cat is using your arm to block out the light. 

If you and your cat are sitting near a sunny window and your cat suddenly buries his face in your arm, it is quite likely that the bright light is disturbing his sleep. He is therefore burying his face in your arm to block out the light so that he can sleep in complete peace and darkness.

9. Your cat is comfortable.

Your cat may have discovered the perfect pillow that is warm, comfy and secure: your arm! For your cat, this is a place with a multitude of advantages. 


Many cats are affectionate and bond closely with their humans, although this may depend on their breed. Affectionate cats tend to bury their faces in the arms of their favorite humans. They do this to express affection, for a feeling of security, or because they are marking you as their property. They may also do it when they are scared, to get your attention, or to block out the light. 

Image: istockphoto.com / Ekaterina Fedulyeva