Why does my cat try to suffocate me? Cats are generally affectionate and seek comfort and warmth, and some of their behaviors may lead to moments of inconvenience for their owners, but they do not have malicious intentions.

In this article, we will explore various feline behaviors that may give the impression that a cat is trying to suffocate their owner and provide explanations for these actions.

Snuggling and Cuddling

One typical behavior that may make it seem like a cat is trying to suffocate you is when they snuggle or cuddle up close to your face, particularly at night. Cats are drawn to warmth, and your body generates heat, making your bed an inviting place to sleep.

When they curl up on your chest or near your face, they seek warmth and companionship. However, this proximity can sometimes lead to discomfort or difficulty breathing for the owner.


Cats often knead their owners with their paws, which can involve gently pressing their paws into your chest or neck area. While kneading is a sign of contentment and affection, it can inadvertently feel like your cat is applying pressure to your chest or throat.

This behavior is a remnant of kittenhood when kittens knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk flow.

Covering Your Face

Some cats may exhibit the behavior of covering your face with their body or paws while you’re sleeping. This is not an attempt to suffocate you but rather a display of affection or a way to seek warmth.

Cats are known for their love of small, enclosed spaces, and they may perceive your face as a cozy spot.

Nesting Instinct

When cats knead and “make biscuits” on their owners or blankets, they may inadvertently place their paws on their neck or chest, which could feel like pressure on those areas. This behavior is a sign of comfort and a manifestation of their nesting instinct.

Lack of Awareness

Cats are only sometimes fully aware of the size and weight of their human companions. They may not realize that their actions can sometimes overwhelm or cause discomfort. Their intention is not to suffocate but rather to be close to you.

Seeking Attention

In some cases, when a cat feels ignored or wants attention, they may engage in behaviors perceived as attempts to suffocate. For example, they may walk across your chest, lie on your face, or nuzzle your neck. These actions are more about seeking your attention and affection.

Anxiety or Stress

Occasionally, if a cat feels anxious or stressed, they may exhibit unusual behaviors, including seeking close contact with their owner. While this behavior is not an attempt to suffocate, it may result in the cat being close to the owner’s face.

How do we address this issue?

It’s important to remember that cats do not have harmful intentions when they engage in these behaviors. They are simply following their instincts and seeking comfort and companionship. If you find your cat’s actions uncomfortable or disruptive, there are steps you can take to address the issue:

  1. Provide a Comfortable Sleeping Space: Ensure your cat has a cozy and warm sleeping area, such as a cat bed or a designated blanket. This can help reduce their desire to sleep on or near your face.
  2. Use a Barrier: If your cat’s closeness during sleep is disruptive, consider using a physical barrier like a body pillow or a pet gate to keep them at a comfortable distance.
  3. Gently Redirect Behavior: When your cat engages in behaviors that make you uncomfortable, gently redirect them to a more suitable location or provide a plush toy for them to knead and cuddle.
  4. Spend Quality Time: Cats often seek attention when they feel neglected. Spend quality time with your cat during the day, engage in play, and provide affection to meet their social and emotional needs.
  5. Consult a Veterinarian: If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly or is accompanied by signs of distress, anxiety, or illness, consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues.

Conclusion: Why Does My Cat Try To Suffocate Me

In conclusion, while it may seem that your cat is trying to suffocate you, their actions are driven by their wild instincts and a desire for warmth, comfort, and companionship.

Understanding these behaviors and providing a suitable sleeping environment and attention can help you and your feline companion coexist comfortably and harmoniously.