Whats The Deal What Does It Mean When Cats Rub Against You
Its a pity cats cant talk. Imagine what they would say if they could? But until that day arrives, we must learn to interpret our cats body language and the signals our cats send us.
The great news is that its usually a good sign when your cat rubs against you. You may even consider it a compliment. These are a few of the reasons that cats rub against you:
Why Do Cats Rub Against You After Eating
Do not be concerned if your cat rubs against your legs after it has finished eating. It does not necessarily mean the cat is still hungry. Immediately rushing to offer more food can lead to obesity.
There are a handful of reasons why cats rub against their owners after being fed. Lets assess the three most common explanations for this behavior.
How Often Do Cats Deposit Their Pheromones
A cats pheromone deposit will last longer than a friendly meow or angry hiss might, but this scent marking doesnt last forever! Your cat will likely rub against you whenever she notices that her scent is no longer noticeable on you. Dont be surprised if your cat rubs against you after you hop out of the shower, throw on a set of recently-washed clothes, or spend some time with a friend who also has a cat.
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What Cats Are Doing When They Rub Against You
According to Pet MD, the behavior of rubbing against you or other objects is your cats way of using her sense of smell to relay and distribute information about the environment. When your cat rubs her head against you, shes marking you with her scent. Your cat has scent glands all over her head and neck, including in her cheek, chin, and forehead, as well as on the base of her tail. When your cat rubs against you, shes leaving behind her scent.
Your cat who knows you well may mark you, but a cat whos meeting you for the first time may also rub against you, marking you but also gathering information about you. Since the scent doesnt stay behind for all that long, a cat who knows you well may repeatedly mark you to make sure her scent remains.
Telling You They Need Something
We often wish our cats could talk to us to tell us what they need. Cats do communicate in their own way they will often use rubbing, headbutting, and sometimes gentle biting as a sign of need.
If your cat is rubbing against the cabinet that contains their food/treats, it is likely that they are alerting you that they are hungry. Sometimes cats will aggressively rub against us to signal that something is wrong. This could be illness, or perhaps its a gentle reminder to clean out their litter box or that they need fresh water.
Thats why it is important to monitor and learn your cats behavioral prompts so you can understand when they need something from you.
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Want Your Cat To Rub Your Face Reward The Cat Behavior
Its a beautiful feeling when your cat starts rubbing against you, isnt it? You suddenly feel like its all rainbows and butterflies. You feel like your kitten has finally accepted you as his parent and now hes soaking you in his love.
According to Dr.Krieger, if you want this love sign to continue you need to reward your furry ball every time he comes and rubs his face against you. Treat your baby every time he comes and gives you a fragrance of his scent. Pet him and rub him back. And trust me, the more hell give the more youll need, its a never-ending source of pure love, seize it!
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When Cats Rub Their Heads Against People Or Things It’s Called Bunting
Cats can be a bit standoffish or seem like they are judging you for daring to drink a cup of coffee in their presence without offering them a sip, so its always nice when they come and rub their face against your leg. It feels nice and seems affectionate, but cats can be tricky little critters, so are they being sweet or is there something else going on? Turns out its a little bit of both.
When your loving cat comes up and affectionately head butts you, this is his way of bonding with you, writes Katelyn Schutz at Wisconsin Pet Cares website. Cats like many animals use pheromones, those naturally-occurring scent chemicals, to communicate to other cats. They use pheromones to mark their territory or bond, as well as delivering other messages. The behavior, which is also known as bunting, can spread those pheromones around broadcasting their feelings or letting other cats know they were there first.
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. Its an affectionate gesture that can also be used as a form of greeting, Dr. Jill E. Sackman, senior medical director for BluePearl Veterinary Partners Michigan Region, told PetMD.com. Cat mothers teach their little kittens that head rubbing can be a form of affection, so when they find a human they trust, they rub their heads on them.
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What Should You Do When A Stray Cat Rubs Against Your Legs
Obviously, the cat thinks you are friendly enough for it to approach you and get this close. Dont be alarmed keep the cat within sight but do not maintain unbroken eye contact. If you stare at a cat without dropping your eyes occasionally, the cat will consider that threatening behavior.
Again, just because the cat decides youre safe to approach doesnt necessarily mean it wants to be touched. If the cat starts rubbing its face on your leg, stand still and look for more signs of welcome. Purring is a good indicator, along with a raised tail.
Bend at the knees and put your hand out in a loose fist for the cat to rub on your hand. Once it rubs on your hand, then you may try to pet it.
Limit your ministrations to the cats forehead, bridge of the nose, and behind the ears. Remember, cats love to be petted on the head rather than their back.
Do Cats Rub On Different Parts Of The Human Body
When cats rub against a certain human body part, it doesnt mean there is a specific message that they are trying to pass across to you. They only move towards any body part that is easily accessible to them.
When you see your kitten rubbing against your face, its a sign that they particularly like you. Sometimes, they can bump their head on your with oomph, but relax, it only signals a message from them saying, I am your friend.
Besides the head-bunting behavior in cats leaving pheromone signals of friendly encounters, it also keeps the cats face and eyes in positions that are vulnerable. When your cat rubs against you, it is not only a sign of friendliness but also trust. Thats why head-bunting is common among cats that have a high level of confidence in their owners.
You might have also observed your cat walking closely past you and rubbing their bodies against your leg. This is also a sign of good bonding, and they always finish this by wrapping their tails around your legs. More so, it is a friendly greeting between cats, and they only do this with humans they love and trust.
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Why Does My Cat Rub Against My Legs
- Post category:Cats
- Post last modified:July 30, 2022
That best feeling is when you get home from work, and your cat greets you with a rub against the legs. That is a special feeling that only cat owners can experience.
Especially if you have a cat that isnt the most cuddly, it feels like you are being appreciated. Although it feels like your cat is giving you a special cat hug, it doesnt exactly mean that is what they are doing.
Cats rub against things to claim as their own and to collect information through exchanging scents.
This article will discuss what exactly is happening when a cat rubs against your legs, and what you should do about it.
Why Do Cats Rub Their Body Against Your Legs
Understanding the anatomy of a cat is one of the keys to answering this question. A cat has its scent glands at the top of its head, chin, cheeks, and the base of its tail. These glands contain a pheromone which the cat leaves behind when it rubs against you.
The rubbing behavior that a cat does is actually passed down from mother to kitten. In the cat world, it could mean affection, a need for attention, marking of territory, or even greetings. Your cat could also be gathering information by rubbing up against you.
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Be Aware Of Signs Of Feline Aggression
Its always important to be extra vigilant when dealing with a stray cat. Especially since you dont know if they might be carrying diseases like rabies. So, even if a kitty seems friendly, be on the lookout for potential signs of feline aggression.
The first indicators that a cats uncomfortable are a twitching tail, dilated pupils, and ears laying flat against their head. If you notice a stray exhibiting these signs, its best to stop your interactions and move away from them.
If you persist, the cat might puff up its tail and start hissing or even growling. Theyll also get a very intense stare and start to stand with a rigid posture, almost unmoving. These are definitely signs for you to back off because the following steps are swatting, scratching, and biting.
Rubbing For Pheromone Scent Transference
As mentioned, while Kitty is rubbing against you, they are actually “marking” you with their pheromones. Cats have special glands around their head and neck that secrete pheromones. These invisible and odorless biological molecules stick to whatever they rub against.
Your cat generally does this to make you smell familiar to them. They’re not doing this consciously, though. Marking their environment in pheromones is an instinctive behavior for cats.
Don’t spend too long trying to smell these pheromones. The human nose is not sophisticated enough for that, even though we are affected to some extent by human pheromones.
This behavior extends to other cats and even to objects in the cat’s environment. You’ve probably noticed kitties rubbing against the corners of boxes, tables, or many other things as well. Even dogs can sometimes get marked this way!
Cats like to be surrounded by their own scent, and by rubbing themselves against their surroundings, they are put at ease.
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Ask The Vet: Why Do Cats Rub Against Your Leg
Vets and animal experts have differing opinions on why our feline friends tend to saunter between our legs as we walk often zig-zagging in front of us in what can seem like a strong attempt to trip us up.
Lets take a look at the prevailing theories on why cats do this sometimes-perplexing behavior called bunting.
Why Do Cats Rub Against You When They’re Hungry
Cats rub against you as a form of communication, much as they do with their brethren when feral. If you notice a cat rubbing against you when it’s time to eat, this is their way of informing you they are hungry and ready to eat. If they have rubbed against you in the past and you fed them, this reinforces rubbing as a prompt for food.
We have a thread where this is discussed by several of our members. Check it out!
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How Can You Reinforce This Friendly Behavior
You will probably enjoy it when your rescued stray cat is choosing to have a civil existence within the home. It is ten times better for the cats to camp under your seat than knock things off the kitchen counters. How can you continue to foster this sweet and happy behavior?
- Do not always rush to return the physical favor when they initiate the touch. Take time to observe their behavior before gently extending your affection and appreciation. Cats are not particularly obsessed with the human touch and tend to reject unwanted love, ultimately leading to consistent distance in the end.
- When the cat accepts your touch, it is imperative that you continue the treatment at least until they give you a cue to stop. They will be happy to come home to you for a little reunion after a long day apart of them hunting birds or mice.
- Be selective with your affection by gently stroking around the ears and head. Cats prefer touch around these body parts and more often despise full-body pets on a regular. Rubbing their back or head is a respectable way of fostering long-standing warmth within the home.
- Do not slam shut all doors behind you. Your affectionate cat will follow you into the bathroom or the bedroom to lay on your feet. Leave a crack of the door to assure them that they are always welcomed into your space.
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What Is The Scientific Explanation For This Behavior
Cats within our homes have the same display of affections or other expressions as stray cats according to Dr. Tricia Heine. Tricia is a veterinary scientist working at the University of Illinois College in the veterinary medicine division. She has several formal studies and casual observations of the biological behavior of cats. Dr. Tricia states that cats are by no means having a display of aggression when they rub against your legs.
Dr. Heine reveals that cats have sensitive smell glands around their chins, mouths, lips, and the forehead. Cats transfer these scents on anything they come in contact with, such your legs. Your cat is merely ensuring that it knows who is their new best friend the next time they come around. She, however, revealed that cats do not always require you reciprocate the affection. This especially happens if you have dark clothing on their favorite section of your leg. This behavior does not seem very loving and affectionate. So why exactly do stray cats rub against your leg?
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Information From Scent Mingling
More so, when a cat rubs against tables, couches, and even outdoor objects, their pheromones leave a personalized scent that shows other felines that the cat was there. So this type of contact helps to calm your cat when they can recognize their scent. It gives them a sense of belonging. And when they weave through your legs, they leave behind their scents, enabling them to feel secure with you, too.
When the olfactory mark fades on humans, cats tend to rub against them again. The pheromones produced reduce other types of marking, such as with urine. And recently, the marketing of synthetic analogs of such hormones has taken place to help control other forms of cat marking.
Cats do not only use the scent communication for signals when they go through motions. They also leave the smelly messages for long-term communication, says Amy Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant in Texas. She added, Vocal communication lasts for as long as one breath at a time, but scents create a long-lasting message and communicate even when your kitty has left the building.
More so, when cats rub against you, it may be a sign of claiming territory, but not just that it is more directed towards spaces and objects, involving cheek rubbing and clawing.
Cats Rub Against You To Communicate
Cats communicate in a variety of ways. Yes, they may be vocal, including meows, purrs, chirps, and hisses. But their body language communicates a great deal more than their vocalizations do.
Cats use their whole body to communicate from nose to tail. Tails, particularly, display a great deal of what your cat is feeling. When your cat is happy and content and wants to be affectionate, they may rub their body against you and curl their tail around your legs or arms, or neck.
You may have even seen cats display this kind of behavior with each other to show affection. They may walk alongside each other with the length of their bodies touching and their tails even interlocking at times in a sort of hug.
Why do stray cats rub against your legs? Its a way for them to investigate and learn more about you. They will rub against you to gather all sorts of information about you and where youve been. Also, strays are pretty street smart and are professionals at manipulating humans into handing over yummy morsels. Rubbing up against humans? Its a winning formula for securing a snack.
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Signs Your Cat Actually Loves You
Heres a list of 9 signs your cat actually loves you:
1. Your cat brings you their presents
Not for the faint of heart, when your cat brings you their kill it is actually meant as a present even though its a present you wont want to touch with your bare hands. Cats are natural hunters, so when they bring you these gifts they are trying to show you what they can offer you. Think of it as a love token, even if the sight of a dead bird/rodent makes you squeal.
2. Your kitty will flash you their tummy
Like most animals, cats do not show their stomachs to just anyone. If your cat rolls over on its back to give you a flash of that fuzzy belly, this is an indication that they feel comfortable around you. And not only this, but they feel loved and protected by you, rendering themselves defenseless while on their backs. Cats are prideful animals, so if they do this for you they have no concerns letting their guard down when in your presence.
3. Your cat has a thing for head butting you
Although you would never think of this as a friendly gesture with a human, to receive a head butt from a cat is a pretty big deal. When your cat shares this special privilege with you, they are actually depositing facial pheromones on to you. These serve to represent their feelings, and their possession towards you, as if they are leaving traces of their scent to claim you with.
4. Love bites but hopefully not too hard!
5. Following/Lingering around wherever you are