Why Do Cats Put Their Butt in Your Face?

Every cat owner has experienced it: You’re curled up on the couch when your kitty approaches, jumps on your lap, walks alllll over your body in search of a comfortable place to sit, and inevitably sticks its butt directly in your face. Why? Do cats not know how gross their butts are? Or are they purposely trying to annoy you? In fact, the answer is neither; they’re doing it because they like you. Gee, how touching

Writing for PetPlace , Dr. Debra Primovic notes, “Some believe the ‘sniff’ can actually relieve tension and stress by helping an individual feel more comfortable about the other cat.

The answer to the question, “Why does my cat stick her butt in my face?” is that cats communicate in many ways. The various forms of feline communication include visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile cues. Why your kitty likes to stick her behind in your face is perhaps a combination of several of these forms.

As humans, we have some societal restrictions (to say the least) with exposing our rears to other people, both new friends and old. For us, it is better to shake hands with new people and reaffirming bonds does not include asking your friends to scratch your rear. But if you were an animal, you would see things differently.

Ahh, there’s nothing quite like that special moment when your cherished feline friend decides to come in for a snuggle. But while time spent petting a sweet, purring kitty is always time well spent, there is one rather unseemly aspect of cat cuddling that’s not oft-discussed:

Cat Signs Are Subtle

Visual communication is performed via body language. The position of a cat’s ears, head, tail and body all convey a message to other cats and to owners as well. For example, crouching down, flattening the ears and drawing the head toward the shoulders are universal signals that a cat does not want to engage further with other cats — or with you. Direct eye contact, standing tall and piloerection — which is the scientific term for puffing out the fur — are signs that the cat is ready to escalate into an aggressive confrontation. On the other hand, a tail that is held vertically in an upright position while your cat is also calmly gazing and blinking at you is generally associated with friendly behavior. Many times we miss our cat’s subtle body language due to their smaller features compared to dogs. Sometimes the signaling occurs so quickly and the changes are so rapid that we simply don’t see them.