Why do cats hide their face in your arm

Cats are indeed fascinating domestic creatures. They express their emotion and intentions through their gestures and facial expressions. Sometimes it becomes difficult for us to understand their strange movements, such as hiding their faces.

Cats usually hide their face to feel more secure. Therefore, you may have noticed that cats put their paws in front of their face while sleeping. But what does it mean when they cover their face in your arms?

Well, it’s a sign of trust. If a cat hides their face in your arm, it means they trust you. Because cats prefer to be with people they trust and feel safe with. Furthermore, it could be a sign of affection that they desire from you.

Compared to other domestic animals, it is much harder to gain the cat’s faith. At some point, it may become difficult to build a trusting relationship between the owner and their feline friend. But once they start trusting you, they will always be around you and feel safe. Even research says that cats hide their faces in your arms as a sign of trust and affection.

Hiding Face is a Sign To Trust Their Owner

Cats are usually responsive when they feel scared or shy. It is common for them to hide if they sense an unfamiliar or frightening situation. Aside from that cats can also prefer hiding when they feel sick or injured.

Because it is their natural instinct to hide and protect themselves from any stressful or dangerous situation. So, if you see that they are purring and rubbing while trying to hide their face, then it means they trust you and feel safe around you.

Suppose when you pet or stroke your cats during their nap time, it makes them feel relaxed. And if you notice, you will see them holding your hand against their body and rubbing their faces with a feeling of comfort and warmth.

Besides, when they get a gentle massage, face scratching, or sunbathing while held on a warm lap, they rub their heads and try to hide their face in your arms to get closer to you. Because they trust you and feel more comfortable. 

Furthermore, cats hide their face during grooming such as when you comb or brush their soft fur. When a cat is cuddled by a trusted person, they feel more at ease and try to hide their face in that person’s arms, which can be interpreted as trust in their human companion.

It is important to build a trusting relationship between you and your cat. As there is a saying, “ Cats choose us, we don’t own them”, so make sure that your feline friend trusts you and feels safe around you.

Otherwise they won’t feel comfortable or may become aggressive. Because having trust between your feline friend is not only great for your bonding, but also important for your cat’s protection and safety.

A Sign of Affection by Hiding Their Face

Like other animals, cats seem to express their emotions through body posture or vocalizations when they feel relaxed, happy or loved. Such as if they meow at you that means they need your attention.

Also, cats tuck their head under your hand when showing their fondness. Similarly, they hide their face when their owner scratches their soft and furry body.

Because in this way they express that they are being adored and shown affection.

There are also other situations where cats may hide their faces as a sign of affection. For example, cats rubbing their head or body against you, blinking slowly at their owner, jumping on their lap and so on.

Because it is not only about getting warmth and comfort but also seeking some affection from you. Besides, there is a saying that “ A cat’s purr is the sound of love”. So,  purring can be another sign of affection while petting them.

Every living being likes to be loved and cats are no exception. Even they can ignore their food, just to get some affection from you.

And if you feel that cats rubbing their face, touching you carefully with their paws or hiding their face in your arm, then don’t get confused. It is their expression of love and affection! 

And yes, you need to show affection to your feline friend before you expect some in return. Because showing affection is a vital step for building trust with your cat.

It strengthens your cat-human relationship, and can also help to reduce cat’s any type of fear or stress. Aside from that, showing physical affection such as scratching or petting can also improve their emotional state. 

Sometimes we become concerned about making our cat more affectionate. If so, then don’t worry! You can visit our other/must read article about How can I Make My Cat More Affectionate?  

Other possible reasons of their face hiding

There is another saying that “Cats are telling us things with their faces, and if you’re really skilled, you can spot this.” As cats express their emotions subtly, you need to observe their body language to understand what they are trying to tell us.

We already know that the reason behind cats hiding their face in your arms is showing trust and affection towards their owner. 

But it is not only to show their faith or endearment but also there are some other possible reasons for their face hiding. Such as they are in pain or illness, frightened or feeling stress, hiding from any danger or unfamiliar objects and expressing insecurity. 

Cats usually hide their face when they are in pain due to any injury or illness. They try to avoid getting touched that may show signs of discomfort. Aside from that, if any other animal attacks or harasses your feline friend, it will be the cause of their hiding.

Because it is their natural defensive survival tendency. On the other hand, when they hide their face in your arm or rub their head against your body that means they feel safe and comfortable with your presence. 

So it is quite understandable when your cat hides their face to protect themselves from a threatening situation. But you might be wondering how long our little kitties will hide when they are scared!

Therefore, to ease your worries and get a proper understanding of their hideouts, you can visit our other blog How long will a scared cat hide?  


Cats hide their faces in your arms as a sign of trust and affection. As they don’t seem to express their emotions with words, they try to understand us using gestures like hiding or covering their face.

But in some circumstances, they hide to protect themselves or avoid any physical touch. So in that situation, it will be convenient if you show more affection and build trust bonding with your little friend.

So, at the end of our journey, I believe our blog helps you to get a clear knowledge about why our feline friend hides their face in our arms. But if you have any other opinions or thoughts, please share them with us in the comments section.

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