Wednesday, April 10, 2024
HomeLifestyleWhy Does My Cat Rub Against My Legs

Why Does My Cat Rub Against My Legs

How Can I Get My Cat To Rub Against Me More Often

Why Does My CAT RUB Against My LEGS? ð?± Answer May Surprise You!

Every cat owner I know loves it when their cat rubs against them. However, what should you do if your cat doesnt rub against you too much? A positive response to rubbing can encourage that behavior to continue.

If your cat knows that you will react positively to their rubs they will be more inclined to repeat it.

Giving your cat a pet or scratch under the chin can make them understand that you dont mind their behavior. Even giving your cat a treat or two can leave this impression.

Next thing you know, they wont be able to have enough of you!

Cat Behavior: Why Do Cats Rub Against You

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.

According to Dr. Jill E. Sackman, senior medical director for BluePearl Veterinary Partners Michigan Region, head rubbing is a behavior cats learn as kittens with their mother. Its an affectionate gesture that can also be used as a form of greeting, she says.

Learn more about the reasons cats rub against people, things and each other, below.

Its All In The Pheromones

When you think of the word pheromones and its relationship to cats, your mind probably goes straight to . When a cat marks, she may pee or poop on an object or in a particular area to let other cats know, This is my territory. Keep out! This marking is so effective because of the pheromones in a cats urine and feces.

Don’t Miss: Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Rub Against Your Legs = You’re Back I Missed You

He could be , according to the Humane Society. But consider this tidbit from the video above: In the wild, cats will rub up against each other as a greeting after a long hunt. When you return from a day at work or have been away from your cat for a bit, this could be the message he’s sending with a rub.

Why Do Cats Rub Against Your Legs 3 Reasons For This Behavior

Why Does My Cat Rub Against Me? [Is It Love?]

Trying to understand any aspect of your cats behavior can be frustrating, to say the least, and as all cat owners know, cats certainly have a wide array of strange behaviors! One of these is rubbing up against your legs. Usually, a cat rubbing up against your legs is a good sign, whether its from a stray, a friends cat, or your own furry friend, and there is no reason to worry. In fact, out of all the strange behaviors that cats are capable of, this one is the easiest to decipher and its usually good news!

In this article, well look at the three common reasons that cats rub up against your legs. Lets dive in!

Recommended Reading: How Much To Feed A 3 Month Old Kitten

What To Do About Your Dog Rubbing Against You

Below are a number of things you can do about your dog rubbing itself against you.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for doing it. Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it rubs itself against you, to reward it when it behaves the way you want and to try to redirect its focus when it seems like it is about to rub itself against you.

Ensure that it is not due to an injury

As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been doing it due to a rash on its skin. If it seems like it might be doing it due to a rash or an injury, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Give it attention throughout the day

It would also help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, exercising it and playing with it so that it is less likely to feel the need to seek attention from you.

Train it not to do it

Another option would be to train your dog not to rub itself against by teaching it to go somewhere else. You can do this by teaching it to sit or to lay down somewhere and then by gradually training it to stay there over longer and longer time periods.

You can do this by applying the same techniques as in the video below:

This post may contain affiliate links. Petdogowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price that you pay and we are very grateful for any support.

Cats & Olfactory Senses

Smell is your cats primary sense. They use scent more than any of the others to learn things about their surroundings. Unlike people who only have 5 million odor sensors, cats have over 200 million! While they use their nose to navigate their surroundings, they also leave a trail of their own.

Cats have scent glands in their paws where they secrete pheromones. When cats knead a blanket or scratch their post, the pheromones transfer. Other cats use their ultra-sharp olfactory senses to recognize these hormones.

When a cat rubs you, theyre transferring their scent onto youkind of a claiming tactic .

You May Like: What Age Is Considered A Kitten

Head Butting Or Bunting

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 further explains. Affiliative behaviors serve to maintain a connection within a group of individuals. Head rubbing is a cats way of marking its people and its environment and grouping them together with the same scent. Head butting also shows trust, Amy Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant, explains to Catster. It also places the cats face and eyes in vulnerable positions. So, its not only expressing friendliness, but also trust.

Why Does My Dog Rub His Body On Me

Why does my cat rub against my leg and then bite me?

If your dog approaches you and begins to rub his body on you, chances are you must have come up with a thousand reasons as to why your dog would do this. However, since this is a fairly common dog habit, you are not alone; many dog owners also wonder about the exact thing.

So, why does my dog rub his body on me? The common reason your dog does it is because of scent, either to get his scent on you or to get a whiff of your scent. He might also be because he needs attention, wants to protect you, is afraid, or just likes the feel of your body.

Want to know all the reasons for this behavior? Keep reading to find them all.

Page Contents

Don’t Miss: Why Do Cats Walk On Keyboards

Why Do Cats Go Around Your Legs

We know why cats like to rub against your legs, but why do they love to circle them?

No cat is happy to simply rub against your leg.

They seem driven to actively circle the legs, routinely doing figure eights around and in between the legs.

Its all a part of their greeting and scent-marking process.

When cats rub against our legs, theyre both greeting us and marking us as their property. T

o really get their scent all over us, they intertwine between our legs while rubbing,

This maximizes the scent transfer and mingling that we talked about earlier. Its just a more effective way to do the things we already talked about earlier.

Why Do Cats Rub Against You When You Feed Them

Cats are considered mysterious and hard to fathom due to a range of unique and unusual behaviors. However, experienced owners understand feline body language and vocal cues, especially regarding a cat expressing hunger.

A cat knows that rubbing its head or body against your legs will rarely be ignored by an owner. Once a cat has your attention, it will let you know that it wants to be fed. Cats also rub against humans after eating food as an act of gratitude or an expression of affection. A cat could also be marking you as its own property.

Cats arent shy about requesting food, usually with verbalization. Even if a cat is quiet, it will meow for food. As per the Journal of Veterinary Science, cats have at least 21 forms of meow. These verbal cues are used to manipulate owners.

Read Also: When Do Cats Lose Their Baby Teeth

Prepare A Budget And Purchase The Necessary Cat Supplies And Materials

Having a pet cat can be expensive so you should be able to prepare a sizeable budget.; With a good budget, youll be able to purchase all the necessary supplies like food, treats, accessories, toys, collar, and litter. You may also consider pet insurance especially if youre taking in an older stray cat to cover for dental and medical care as well as unexpected expenses.

Why Do Cats Rub Round Their Owners Legs

Why Does My CAT RUB Against My LEGS? ð?± Answer May Surprise ...

05th October 2018

A cat lives in a world where smell is vitally important. All creatures within its social group, as well as objects, will be anointed with its unique smell using scent glands in its face, body and tail. When your cat rubs around your legs to greet you it is doing the same as it would in greeting another cat by mutual rubbing of the face and body.

As your face is a little too far away your cat will, for convenience, use your leg. Some cats really try to make the effort and stand on their hind legs to attempt a headbutt on a body part as near to their owners face as they can manage. Once you have been suitably rubbed your cat will then take himself off to groom his body and check out your scent.

Recommended Reading: Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Dog Food

As A Way To Investigate

According to Dr. Stephanie Borns, professor of Animal Behavior at Tufts University in Massachusetts, cats utilize their olfactory senses to size up, investigate, and gather information about their surroundings, including people. It is their method to estimate you and if they feel that you are an amicable character, they will persist in doing it. This tendency to investigate holds true for domesticated cats as well.

Do Cats Rub Against Other Things

As the pet parent, you would have to be your cats favorite rubbing spot, but that doesnt mean that they dont have other preferences.; Kitties will want to mark everyone in their family: people, cats, dogs, and any other living breathing critters that will tolerate it.; But the rubbing behavior doesnt stop there.; Cats will want to leave their pheromone stamp on everything they consider theirs, so dont be surprised to see them rubbing on their bed, the table leg, the door jam, or even the sides of the litter box.; This rubbing is like using a Sharpie to write their name on their most prized possessions to keep other animals from using their stuff.;

Read Also: Is Wet Cat Food Better Than Dry

As A Way To Display Their Love And Affection

Encountering a stray cat in the park or a picnic area may terrify people who may think that they are untamed or feral. However, while stray cats may be initially cautious in approaching people, they may show affection by rubbing against your legs as a means of acceptance. Cats are typically affectionate and loving and the same holds true for stray cats, once theyve become accustomed to you.

Want Your Cat To Rub Against You Reinforce The Behavior

Behavior of the cat WHY IS IT RUBBING on my LEGS

As long as your cats arent knocking things out of your hands, you probably enjoy it when they rub up against you. Pet your cats when they rub against you to reinforce and reward the behavior, Krieger recommends.

When cats come up to you and they havent seen you all day and they rub you on the legs if you automatically pet them, you reinforce that behavior and you put your scent back onto the cat, she says. They enjoy the affection and they like that.

Originally published in 2018.

You May Like: What Is The Cat’s Name In Hocus Pocus

He Wants To Get His Scent On You

Now, this is not a bad thing, when you remember dogs originally come from a long line of pack animals, it becomes easy to associate some of their behaviors to their ancestors.

As pack animals, dogs usually rub on each other to get their scent on themselves. This was a sign of bonding and togetherness among them. Your dog would also want to do the same to you as a way of making the bond between both of you even stronger. It could be that your dog is marking his territory, like the way you put things into a room to show it is yours.

Reasons Why Cats Rub Against Our Legs

Before we go into detail about the reasons cats walk between our legs and rub against them, we want to provide a summary of them. Cats may rub against your legs because they are:

  • Sending signals to themselves and other cats
  • Stress
  • Showing appreciation

To better understand these behaviors, keep reading below.

Read Also: How Far Can A Cat Jump

Things To Avoid When Your Cat Bites

We have outlined how to make your cat stop biting as well the reasons why she might bite above. Below, we are going to outline the things to avoid while teaching biting inhibition.

Do not hit her

It is going to take some time before you can fully train biting inhibition to your cat. During this time, you may get frustrated and think of punishing your cat. We have previously mentioned that cats lack the ability to learn the concept of punishment. Therefore, do not hit her or yell at her even when the bite is painful.

Punishment will only make your cat afraid of you. Well, you do not want her to curl up in a corner when you come home, do you? Do not hit, yell or spray water to make her stop. If the bite is causing too much pay, try to push her gently from your hand. She will loosen the grip she has on you.

Do not ignore her body language

When your cat starts the biting behavior, it is only natural to think about feline aggression. To determine why she is doing so, observe her body language. It should let you realize the reason behind the habit. For instance, when you observe her ears, they will be flattened on her head. It is a sure sign of aggression. Also, observe her tail movement.

Avoid petting your cat when she is aggressive

Five Reasons Why Your Cat Might Bite You

Why do Cats Rub Against Your Legs?

We already mentioned that cats are both sociable and expressive. Almost every move your cat makes will mean something. Therefore, in addition to observing your cats body language, we must understand other behavior such as biting and rubbing against you.

Below, we are going to outline the common reasons why a cats bite. They include:

The cat love bite

When a cat bites you gently, she might be trying to show her affection. It is common for your cat to bite on your hand when you are petting her. Well, we cannot fully understand feline as they are strange animals.

In most cases, it does not hurt when your cat gives you a love bite. However, do not withdraw as it will trigger her predatory instincts. Observe her body language and posture to determine whether she is feeling aggressive or not.

If at all there is any form of vocalization, it could be a whole different story.

Acquired undesirable habit

We sometimes initiate undesirable behaviors in our cats. It often begins during kittenhood where you are okay playing with your kitten. It could be that your cat is used to mouthing hands and sometimes feet. Once a kitten is used to mouthing hands, it is going to be difficult to make her stop.

This is related to play induced kind of aggression. You need to invest in toys and avoid playing with her bare hands.

Redirected aggression

Pain induced aggression

You may need to observe and note her tickle areas.


You May Like: What Does It Mean When A Cat’s Pupils Are Big

Prepare Your Other Pets For The New Arrival

If you already have pet cats or dogs in your house then make sure to prepare them for the new arrival. You may schedule animal playdates or seek the help of a pet trainer so your current pets will get accustomed to the idea of having an additional pet in your home. Its also important to ascertain that the new cat will be able to adjust well and treat the other pets nicely.

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Cat Rub Around My Legs

Cats normally rub on things as a greeting and we humans instinctively know that the cat is relaxed and happy to see us, even though we do not technically speak the same language. People have tried to make the rubbing out to be more nefarious and postulated that cats rub on us to declare ownership, but since the scent of one cat on something or someone does not seem to actively deter another cat, this theory may not be feasible. It seems to be something more benevolent and caring.

In fact, when a cat rubs on something, he does deposit a facial pheromone, but science has shown us that the chemical is actually a good thing and not a deterrent for other cats. This quirk of the feline species has been commercialized for use in stressful settings for cats. Many cat savvy vets and grooming facilities use Feliway®, a synthetic feline facial pheromone to help cats feel calmer in these situations.

The action of rubbing itself can be a part of the behavior known as bunting. Veterinary behaviorists seem to believe that bunting is more of a familiarity and; an outward sign that the cat feels safe and calm rather than a territorial marking. Your cat looks to you to have her needs met and sees you as a part of her family. She wants to declare that she feels glad to see you, not mark you as her property.

Find our more fun feline facts by following me on !

Read Also: What Is A Normal Temp For A Cat


Most Popular