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Cats are pretty mysterious and hard to predict. Unlike dogs, they are cool but aloof, non-transparent, and want to be loved on their own terms.
Their behaviors from head butting against surfaces, jumping three times their heights, and rigorous grooming habits continue to amaze us.
Ever had your cat come up to you to check if you are breathing?
If you have owned many cats before, you must have witnessed this already.
While the behavior is cute, it does bring up questions.
So, Does Your Cat Check If You Are Breathing?
The straight answer to this question is a resounding yes. Granted, not all felines have the habit of checking up on their owners to check if they are breathing but many of them do it.
A quick search on Google will confirm this. Quora, especially, has a long list of pet owners claiming that their pets check on their breathing from time to time.
Some cats sneak into their owners’ bedrooms and sit on their chest as a way of finding out if they are moving or not.
Others place their tiny noses and mouth against those of their human parents.
It is also not uncommon for some cats to get aggressive by pawing at their owners’ faces until they wake up.
As soon as the owner is up, some of the felines will exit the bedroom. Others will stick around until they are given a treat, cuddles, or played with.
What are some of the reasons why your cat would check if you are breathing?
I. They Love Your Smell
Cats rely on their sense of smell to navigate their environment.
According to Wikipedia, our feline buddies’ incredible senses are 9-16 times stronger than ours (humans).
One cat has an estimated 45-200 million smelling senses in their noses. Ours is within the range of 5 million.
To add to that, cats also have a special organ called Jacobson’s scent organ in the roof of their mouths to make smelling that much more efficient.
All this is to say that when your kitty sticks her nose near your mouth, she may just be attracted by your smell.
Our mouths carry lots of scents that your cat uses to distinguish you from everyone else.
II. Warmth of Your Smell
The warm air emanating from your lips also appeals to some kitties.
Since a cat’s resting body temperature is higher than that of a human, the breath offers comfort to the pet.
If you have just had your meal, your cat may be naturally attracted to your breath particularly if they are hungry.
This rings true if you just had a favorite of your pet’s – fish, meat, yogurt, or chicken.
Do Cats Check If You’re Breathing At Night?
Yes, cats love checking on their owners as they snooze away at night. Here’s why?
I. To Confirm Whether You Are Alive Or Dead
When you sleep, you are not moving. If your mouth is closed, you may appear just as dead to your kitty.
What better way to check if you are alive than by determining whether you are breathing or not?
Your kitty knows this and will sit on your chest and find out if it is moving or not.
She may also physically put her nose against yours in the hope of feeling your breathing.
If you have apnea and stop breathing at one point or the other, the kitty will try and nudge you to wake up.
II. To Ask For A Snack Or Treat
While some kitties genuinely care about your wellbeing, some check on your breathing just to demand to be fed.
You can take care of the problem by placing enough food and water in your pet’s bowls before going to bed.
III. To Seek Attention
Cats can check on your breathing just to seek attention for themselves. This happens when they are bored and looking for something to do.
They may want you to pet them, play with them, or just snuggle with them.
IV. To Check If You Have Trouble
Cats are some of the most intelligent creatures. There have been reports of kitties saving their owners from fires, seizures, and other illnesses.
When your pet checks on you as you sleep, she could also be doing it to alert you of certain dangers.
Related Post: Do Cats Protect You While You Sleep?
Do Cats Like The Feeling Of You Breathing?
If you’ve ever shared your bed with a cat, you’ve probably noticed that they often like to curl up next to your head.
While it might seem like they’re just trying to stay warm, there’s actually a deeper reason behind this behavior.
Cats have a keen sense of smell, and they use their noses to communicate with the world around them.
It is, therefore, plausible that when they sleep next to you, they’re taking in your scent and getting to know you better.
In addition, cats also like the sound of your breathing. The rhythmic pattern helps them to feel safe and secure, and it’s soothing for them to listen to.
Why Do Cats Breathe Your Breath?
When you see your cat purring and rubbing against you, it may seem like they’re just trying to show you some affection.
But there’s actually a more scientific explanation for this behavior. Cats have a very keen sense of smell, and they use scent to mark their territory.
It is therefore possible that cats breathe your breath as a way of claiming you as their own.
This behavior is most commonly seen in outdoor cats, which need to be extra careful about defending their turf from intruders.
However, even indoor cats will occasionally do it.
Do Cats Try To Suffocate You?
Contrary to common belief, a cat sleeping on your face is not their way of trying to suffocate you.
Cats are attracted to the warmth of their owner’s breath, and they enjoy close physical contact.
Sleeping on your face also gives them a better view of their surroundings, which helps them feel more secure.
So, if your cat likes to snuggle up close to your face, it’s nothing to worry about.
Just enjoy the moment and let them have their way.
Further Reading: Do Cats Steal Your Breath While You Sleep?
Why Does My Cat Sniff My Face When I Sleeping?
One possibility is that your cat is showing affection.
When cats rub against you or sniff you, they are trying to spread their scent and mark you as part of their territory.
This is a way of claiming you as their own and showing that they care about you.
Another possibility is that your cat is trying to get your attention.
Cats are very good at reading human body language, and they may have learned that sniffing your face is a surefire way to get you to wake up and give them the attention they crave.
Lastly, it could simply be that your cat enjoys the smell of your skin.
We humans use different perfumes and lotions, which can be appealing to our furry friends.
Whatever the reason, there’s no need to worry—it’s perfectly normal for cats to want to sniff their humans’ faces!
Why Do Cats Walk On You While You Sleep?
Have you ever woken up to find your cat walking on you?
While it might seem like a nuisance, there are actually a few reasons why cats walk on their humans while they sleep.
For one thing, it’s a way for them to show affection. When your cat walks on you, they are claiming you as their own and marking their territory.
In addition, walking on you gives them a chance to check your temperature.
Cats are very sensitive to changes in body temperature, and they often use their paws to gauge whether or not their humans are too warm or too cold.
Finally, walking on you gives your cat a chance to get your attention.
If you’re not paying enough attention to them during the day, they may wake you up at night so that they can have your undivided attention.
It is a common misconception that cats check to see if their owners are still breathing to determine when it is safe to eat them.
In reality, cats are smart enough to only hunt and eat prey smaller than they are.
Furthermore, cats typically only eat small amounts of tissue, so even if they did start snacking on their owner while they were still alive, it would probably not be fatal.
So, why do some people believe that cats check for breath?
One theory is that it stems from the fact that cats are attracted to the warmth of a sleeping body, and may mistakenly believe that their owner is dead if they don’t see them breathing.
However, it is also possible that this belief is simply an urban legend with no basis in reality.
Whatever the case may be, it’s safe to say that you don’t need to worry about your cat eating you alive in your sleep!
Related Post: Do Cats Steal Your Soul?
Isn’t it a cute thing to have your kitty check if you are breathing?
If you have such a pet at home, count yourself lucky.
Of course, if the behavior goes overboard, ask a behaviorist to help calm the cat.
Hi! I am Eleanor Price. I started this website after my cat, Louie, almost died from a case of botulism (a type of food poisoning often caused by bacteria that grow on food items). Turned out that my cat’s diet was the problem. I have made it my duty to provide the best information and recommendations about everything cat lovers need to know about their felines’ health and wellbeing. My goal is to find the most informative content on anything feline-related and share it with fellow hardworking kitty lovers.
Disclaimer: While I ensure that the advice and tips given here are in line with the latest evidence-based veterinary information and health guidelines, under no circumstance should you misconstrue my suggestions as medical advice. Please contact your veterinarian in all matters regarding your kitty’s health.