Why Does My Cat Rub Against Me?

One of the benefits of working at home as a freelance writer is spending more time with my cats but countless times, they have messed up my typing and even accidentally shut off my computer by rubbing their faces and butting their heads on my hands. So, what gives? Why do cats rub against you?

What does it mean when a cat rubs against your leg?

According to PetPlace.com, that habit is your cat’s way of claiming you as his own. … Pheromones exist in the glands on his face, and he can transmit them to humans, objects and other cats to mark his territory, similar to how a dog sometimes claims property with his urine.

What are cats saying when they rub against you?

Cats release friendly pheromones from glands in their cheeks and chin, so when your favorite feline is rubbing its face on you, it usually means they are marking you as a friend. “It’s an affectionate gesture that can also be used as a form of greeting,” Dr. Jill E.

Why does my cat keep purr and rub against me?

Purring is usually a sign of contentment, although it doesn’t always indicate happiness. … However, most of the time if your kitten is rubbing against you and purring loudly, it’s a sign of affection or she’s asking for something, such as food.

How do you know if a cat likes you?

One of the most convincing signs your cat loves you is her being happy to snooze on your lap. As a natural hunter, your cat doesn’t like to feel vulnerable – and is especially wary of feeling this way while asleep. By sleeping on you, she’s exposing herself at her most defenceless, and showing her trust for you.

Every morning when I open a fresh can of wet cat food I anticipate two things: 1. The melodious meows of my very happy senior cat and 2. The floofy nuzzling and rubbing of his furry body across the bottom of my pant leg. He loves mealtime and to me it appears he is showing his excitement and affection for his favorite human. But it’s probably more about the chicken pt I just put on his plate.

Interestingly, two cats that happen to be close buds might engage in this affiliative behavior (being social), sometimes even locking tails for a moment, as a way to greet their pal and check-in. So when your cat feels like you don’t smell good (meaning like them ) or they just want to re-deposit their personal perfume on you, they might swish their tail all over your leg or brush their soft body against your cheek.

If youre a cat owner, youve likely wondered why cats rub against one person but not another. Your fluffy companion might greet you at the door and rub against your legs, but be aloof when your partner or friend enters through the same door.

Our feline roommates rely heavily on scent for communication, and this type of physical contact stimulates their pheromone glands. Pheromones create unique scents produced by individual cats which they use for marking territory and correspondence.

If your cat decides to rub these areas against your body, it means that they are marking you as familiar to them which is a very good sign. The scent exchange is a way to indicate that your cat is marking an object or a person as part of the unit. This fuels their fire and shows them that we are taking part in the scent exchange ceremony.

They think that we are marking them back and telling them that we are appreciating our position within the family bond that they have created which is true. Next time when your cat is rubbing up against you, pay close attention to their body language. And our household furballs still share some traits with their wild ancestors like territorial marking.

Cats may share spaces in close proximity to one another, and keeping the pheromonal territory up-to-date is a full-time job. They can tell the readiness for mating, aggression, possessiveness, and both the mental and physical health of the other cat. b. Headbutt If your feline friend pressed their head up against yours, in any manner, theyre showing you the ultimate sign of affection or closeness.

They have a sympathetic olfactory sense and they tend to rely heavily on it in order to survive. We tend to oversimplify the feline body language, immediately pinning it as a sign of affection that should be reciprocated. Try to reposition yourself away from an automatic anthropogenic response to your cats behavior, and rather aim to fully understand their intentions.

This will help you to forge a stronger bond with your feline friends and aid in better communication in the future. Enjoy all the rubbing and petting, but remember to be on the lookout for the small changes in body language that may indicate that they need more than just attention.

Trying to understand a cats behavior can be downright maddening. Oftentimes, feline actions are dictated by stress and fear but fortunately, one cat behavior in particular usually comes from a good, friendly place. When your cat rubs up against your legs or pushes his head against you, its a very positive sign.

Cats are very olfactory creatures that rely heavily on their sense of smell to give them information about their environment, says Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil, a resident in Animal Behavior at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, Mass. When meeting someone for the first time, a friendly cat may rub up against the visitor in greeting and as a way to get information about the new person, like where they come from and if they have animals of their own, says Borns-Weil.

Why Do Cats Rub Against You?

Nothing gives you happy butterflies quite like seeing this adorable kitty behavior.Every morning when I open a fresh can of wet cat food I anticipate two things: 1. The melodious meows of my very happy senior cat and 2. The floofy nuzzling and rubbing of his furry body across the bottom of my pant leg. He loves mealtime and to me it appears he is showing his excitement and affection for his favorite human. But it’s probably more about the chicken pâté I just put on his plate.Your face, your legs, the couch, or the dog, cats seem to love to rub all over things, whether it’s by way of their smooshy cheeks or their whole fluffy body. This behavior can sometimes look really silly, like when my own cat rubs his tail across the chin of my dog, but much like head butting, there is function behind this behavior.

1. Your cat is trying to communicate.

Cats are talkers even though they don’t use human language. Although cats often enjoy vocal communication like meows, growls, and hisses, they generally prefer to communicate by way of body language. A cat communicates with their whole body, from their front paws to the tips of their tails, and kitty tails are especially good communication tools that say a lot about how a cat is feeling. When cats are feeling particularly good or wanting to display their contentment or show affection, they might rub their body and their tail against a nearby object (or their favorite human).Interestingly, two cats that happen to be close buds might engage in this affiliative behavior (being social), sometimes even locking tails for a moment, as a way to greet their pal and check-in.

1. Family Scent Exchange

Keeping the family unified is a job that our cats take very personally. The scent exchange is a way to indicate that your cat is marking an object or a person as part of the unit.When a cat rubs on us, our first reaction is to pet the furry friend back. This fuels their fire and shows them that we are taking part in the “scent exchange ceremony”.They think that we are marking them back and telling them that we are appreciating our position within the family bond that they have created – which is true.

2. Marking Inanimate Objects

You may have seen your cat rubbing itself on a new pair of shoes or a new house plant before. They will do this to mark that object as a recognized part of their territory.Putting their unique pheromonal scent on strange objects is their way of including said object into their space of the household. It also warns other cats that this space is taken and protected.⇒ Thinking about getting your favourite feline a new collar? Check out my posts on

3. Your Cat Is Yelling At You

Teaching your cat not to scratch or bite is an important chapter of the cat parenting manual they all so thoughtfully come with – ha ha. But, this might be stripping away their ability to communicate frustration or aggression.Luckily, cats have learned how to show those feelings in the best and most sensitive way available to them. If your feline friend is erratically rubbing up against you and seems to be more forceful than normal, they might be actually yelling at you.Cats tend to use this manner of communication to indicate to their cat parents that they are feeling angry, misunderstood, or even sad.Next time when your cat is rubbing up against you, pay close attention to their body language. You might be surprised.

4. This is My Space

Domesticated felines come from a long lineage of feral cats. They have only become domestic pets about 10 000 years ago. And our household furballs still share some traits with their wild ancestors – like territorial marking.Cats may share spaces in close proximity to one another, and keeping the pheromonal territory up-to-date is a full-time job. They use their unique scent to set boundaries for one another, whether it be on a human or on an area or object.⇒ Getting a new kitty? Check out my guide toTo other feline neighbors, these scents reveal a lot, like Kitty Twitter. They can tell the readiness for mating, aggression, possessiveness, and both the mental and physical health of the other cat.This will help them navigate their way around the area and also the hierarchy of the feline community.

5. Showin’ Some Lovin’

Not everything in the feline queendom is strategic, however. Sometimes our cats just need to show their affection and gratitude towards us. But different kinds of physical touch can mean different things to the feline.

a. Tail Wraps Around Your Leg

If a cat is rubbing up against your leg and suddenly their tail coils around, you are experiencing the closest we will ever come to a hug. This is a very common way for the cat to show their affection.It’s the human equivalent of throwing your arms around a friend.⇒ An entertained cat is a happy cat. Check out my posts on

b. Headbutt

If your feline friend pressed their head up against yours, in any manner, they’re showing you the ultimate sign of affection or closeness. Headbutting is the human equivalent of yelling “I love you” to someone’s face.Cats may only do this with a select posse of humans, so feel honored if you have become the chosen one.

c. You Have Something That I Want

If your furry roommate rubs up against you, they may also be looking for affection or cuddles. But, your cat has very interesting ways of showing their needs, including rubbing up against a door (Let me out), or rubbing up against the kitchen cabinets (Gimme a snack, man).However, if a strange cat rubs against you, they might only be saying hello. Don’t try to over-pet or pick up the cat. He is simply welcoming you into their space.⇒ Keen to get your cat out and about? Check out my posts on

Looking for Information

Cats are very olfactory creatures that rely heavily on their sense of smell to give them information about their environment, says Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil, a resident in Animal Behavior at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, Mass.When a cat rubs or pushes its head against you, also known as head butting or bunting, the cat is also marking you with his scent in a show of affiliation, Borns-Weil says. Affiliative behaviors serve to maintain a connection within a group of individuals. Head rubbing is a cat’s way of marking its people and its environment and grouping them together with the same scent.When meeting someone for the first time, a friendly cat may rub up against the visitor in greeting and as a way to get information about the new person, like where they come from and if they have animals of their own, says Borns-Weil. Whether or not this type of behavior serves as an invitation for affection varies from cat to cat, however.“Some cats don’t want to be petted but want information from you,” Borns-Weil says. In other words, don’t assume head rubbing from a strange cat is an invitation to be pet.Cats also greet other cats they know with a head rub or bunt. Feral cats, who tend to live in groups, use this behavior to show their affiliation with the group and single out their “preferred associates,” Borns-Weil says. When cats live together and all rub on each other, a communal scent is spread throughout the group.