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Pawing my face! Help!


Aug 21, 2010
I have an adorable baby boy, Tommy (well, he's not a baby anymore, 4 yrs old, but he's *my* baby).
Anyway, he got into this terrible habit of pawing at my face!
He started doing it for attention, if I'd stop petting him for a second, he'd paw at my face until I'd continue. I'd try to stop him, block his paw when I saw it coming, but now it's getting worse & worse! He'll be laying on my chest, I'll be petting him, and he'll paw at me anyway, even if I don't stop! He wakes me up in the morning by pawing at my face.. it was cute in the beginning, for about a second, then day by day, became just more & more annoying, until I really started to think about it.. He digs around in his catbox, then comes & rubs his paws on my face!! Uggggggh... (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. lol)
I've tried blocking it when I see the paw coming, I've tried stern "no's", I've tried getting up & walking away (I'm sure all you Sphynx owners out there know there's no escaping when a sphynx wants attention! He'll just follow me around until I stop moving, then jump up for more!), I've tried grabbing his paws & holding them, which works great - until I let go, lol.
I've tried a gentle flick on the incoming paw (depending on my level of annoyance, sometimes the"gentle" is a little less gentle...).
I've tried pawing his face, lol. He paws my face, I paw his back... He likes having his face "pawed" about as much as I do, but still doesn't deter him. In the mornings when he wakes me up, he sometimes flies across the bed (my unconcious reaction to being woken up to someone pawing at my face). If I completely cover him up with a blanket, that's about the only way I've been able to get him to stop. (At night when I put the blanket over him, or bring him under the covers with me, he knows it's sleepytime, and he'll usually just lay there & go to sleep)
Now his latest thing, (omg, so cute, but no!) he'll paw at my face, and when I block it, he'll let out a tiny littile "why?" (okay, it's really just a little meow, but I hear words, lol)
He is usually so smart! When he's doing something he's not supposed to, and I tell him"no", he actually listens. But not this....
Anyone else out there get catbox diggin' paws to the face?
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Hairless Blessing

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Nov 9, 2010
It's not funny, but, it is, by your description.
I haven't had, this problem. I would just, continue
to say no, put him down. If he, jumps back, on you and starts
again, do the same thing.
Get a stuffed toy and tell him, no and redirect him, to the toy.
It might, take, a little while, because, he's, being doing, it,
awhile. Just, stick it out.
Someone else, might, have other suggestions.
I look at it, the, same way, with, ones that, have had, problems,
with, their babies,suckling. This, is what, they, do.

Yoda mom

Staff member
Apr 23, 2012
@Sanctuarie , I often redirect and train them like a dog lol
I use Kong kicker toys or firehose material dog toys I have on hand - amd rub on a little catnip
Make something else besides pawing your face more interesting and fun

Timing is everything ..
Watch body language as you do ..
Make sure to redirect right before the inappropriate action or it will be rewarding / reinforcing the bad behavior
Encouraging more pawing ..
My girl bites my nose and I can see it coming with the set of her ears head tilt
So I catch it before thr piranha bite amd redirect

Be firm fair amd consistent
Like you said they are smart .. They will try to train us amd take a mile if we give them an inch

Toa and Ross

Staff member
Jan 23, 2015
My girl paws me in the face every morning, really early around 5.00. And I just refuse to think about where her paw has been before pawing me:).
I tried a lot but she keeps doing it. So now I just say 'hi' and paw her back (petting her) untill she stops and allows me to sleep again
But it seems like your boy is more demanding. Would ignoring him when he paws you help?