Why Do Cats Rub Their Faces on You?
Is it a sign of love? Is your feline trying to tell you something? What does a head rubbing against your head means? Read on to discover.
You are just watching your favorite TV show, and your feline just comes to you and rubs her fluffy face on you.
Does this scenario sound familiar? If you are a feline owner already, you are probably familiar with this adorable practice.
If you are thinking about getting a cat, you will see this scene many times for years – and, of course, you will love it. If you want to get a cat, think about adoption as well.
There are many adorable fluffies in animal shelters, waiting to be your friend forever. Now, let’s see what this cute and unusual practice of rubbing the head against your means in a feline world.
Why Do Cats Rub Their Faces on You?
Cats are fascinating creatures. They are so unique that people really must explore their behaviors to understand them better.
Since they don’t talk about the human language, they have learned how to communicate using their body language and being vocal.
Did you know that cats have different sounds for different needs? Although their behavior is unusual and interesting, it can sometimes be frustrating for owners.
Therefore, knowing the cat’s psychology can actually get you inside the cat’s minds and behavior. So, how does head rubbing fits here, you may ask.
Cats love to rub against your head for many reasons. Here are the most common reasons why they practice this action.
1. Cats rub their faces on you for scent marking
You need to understand one thing first about cats and rubbing your face – they don’t do it because they are itchy. Cats love to show you that you are their person.
It’s similar to dogs using urine to mark their territory.
Cats have glands in their chins, ears, necks, and sides. So, when a cat it rubbing against you or against an object, glands are activated.
This is a form of cat communication, and it’s called headbutting or bunting. Cat experts claim that cats communicate with other cats by leaving a scent mark via rubbing that contains feline facial pheromones.
Cats are marking objects with a scent that lets others know they were here. It’s part of claiming their territory – and it seems that the territory extends to their favorite humans, as well.
2. Your cat is saying ‘I love you’
Some cats may seem like bossy creatures, with a certain attitude of not caring for their environment. However, cats are gentle, fragile, and, yes, independent little beings with an immense love for their people.
Plus, cats love to snuggle up to you when you are in pain, and many claim that they have healing powers?
Would a creature that cares for you when you are sick or sad, could not love you? Or had a harsh attitude toward you?
If you care about your cat and provide great food, freshwater, and extra love you can expect anything but love.
So, to return you for all the love, care, regular veterinarian check-ups, and playing time, cats will rub against your face to tell you they love you.
Rubbing their face against you is their gentle and unique way of saying that they are loyal, lovely, and have an enormous amount of love toward you.
So, bunting is love! Cats ‘bunt’ primarily as a way of bonding. They do this with other cats and even dogs, especially if a cat and a dog are raised together.
Bunting is your cat’s way of communicating their affection for you and identifying you as one of their friends. Appreciate it!
3. Possible sign of anxiety
In some rare cases, rubbing head against you can be a sign of a deeper problem, like anxiety. This is why it’s important to observe your cat and know here behavior continually.
By knowing your cat’s behavior, actions to certain things, you can actually know if a veterinarian should check your cat.
Plus, some cats really don’t do well in an unfamiliar environment, or any routine change, so it can make them anxious.
Cats’ Pheromone Glands
As mentioned earlier, cats have glands that are located all over the body. They are located between the toes, the temples, beneath the chin, along the length of the tail, and the ears.
That’s why sometimes cats use their entire head for luxurious rubbing displays. Which part of the head is used depends on the height of the target object.
The ears and the forehead are usually rubbed on the highest objects, while head-height objects are usually marked with a swipe from the corner of the mouth to the ear.
Cats may use chin and throat to get rubbed with lower objects. When cats but each other, they are actually performing social bonding. It’s usually done among cats who are friendly and familiar.
In most cases, this practice is initiated by the more dominant cat to make all the cats in the colony “smell” the same.
Why Do Cats Rub Against The Legs Of Their Owners?
Cats have unusual rituals and strange behavior, as mentioned earlier. One of the things that makes people question why cats do what they do is rubbing against their owners’ legs.
This may look adorable on a movie screen. You are all blue, and suddenly a cat comes up, rubs against your legs, and everything seems better now.
However, in reality, you are probably most likely doing chores around the home, and your cat is trying to trip you. It can be dangerous both for you and your cat.
You probably know that the highest number of accidents happen inside the home.
So, if your cat loves to make sudden moves, jumps on you and rub against your legs while you are walking, avoid caring sharp objects in your arms, or wearing too big slippers.
All in, you get the picture – be careful! So, why do cats rub against the legs of their owners?
People usually believe that this move is a gesture of affection, while in reality, it’s just scent marking. Your cat wants the world to know that you are hers.
During the ritual, an essential exchange of odors occurs that serves to create a common and familiar smell among all individuals who share the territory.
In rubbing, cats deposit the secretion of the sebaceous glands that they have in the temple area and around the mouth and of course, at the base of the tail.
As mentioned earlier, these glands are specific by creating substances called familiarisation pheromones that turn marked objects into familiar objects.
Cats will only rub against the people and animals who live with them.
Yet, they will rub against objects in their environment. When the olfactory mark fades, cats rub against it again, which is why this scent marking is a repetitive action.
Rubbing is not a demonstration of affection as humans understand it. However, it’s still a behavior that cats exhibit only with individuals who are part of their world and who give them a sense of security.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cats Behaviour
1. How do you tell if your cat loves you?
Cats will show their love in a rather unusual way, from a personal point of view. They may follow you around all the time. They may even open the toilet door while you are inside.
Gifts may often include small dead animals, so be prepared.
2. What does it mean when a cat rubs against you and purrs?
Purring is usually a sign of contentment, although it doesn’t have to be connected with happiness. A cat that’s ill for some reason or anxious will sometimes purr as a comfort.
Kittens are more likely to spend a lot of time rubbing against you and purring loudly, which is a sign of affection. Sometimes it can be a sign that your cat wants something, like food.
3. How do cats say sorry?
Yes, cats do feel sorry, although the common belief the opposite. Cats feeling and emotions are more complex than people believe it to be.
They never say sorry the same way a human would, but they do apologize. You may even expect some head bumps.
4. How do cats choose their favorite person?
Cats have their favorite people. They will usually be clingy with the person who plays with them the most. Or, they might choose someone who sends a ‘secure’ vibe.
Cats might also choose their favorite person based on the best smell.
5. Do cats forgive abuse?
First of all, cats should never be abused, no matter the reason. Responsible pet owners understand that pets are part of the family and that they have to deeply provide for them and care. So, no! No cat would ever forgive any form of abuse.
The Bottom Line
Cat comes to you to greet you, and she bumps her head against yours. They just love rubbing their faces all over us.
So far, you know that they do so to leave their scent and tell the world that you are the part of their ownership.
When your cat comes to say hello in this manner, you should just enjoy it.
Make sure that you know how your cat behaves from day to day basis, so you don’t miss if she is in pain or suffers from some underlying issues.
Discover more on Meowing Royalty