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Why Do Cats Put Their Butt In Your Face

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Cats put their butt in your face as a form of communication through chemical scents.
  • Sniffing each other's butts is part of proper social etiquette in the feline world.
  • Cats may put their butt in your face to get attention and affection from you.
  • When a cat shows you its butt, it is a sign that it trusts you and feels safe with you.
  • Cats sticking their butt in your face is a way of expressing love and approval towards you.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Veterinarian and veterinary microbiologist working as a veterinary science lecturer at the UVAS, Lahore.
Published on
Monday 25 September 2023
Last updated on
Monday 25 September 2023
Why Do Cats Put Their Butt In Your Face
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Feline behavior can be strange and unpredictable. Cats are intelligent creatures yet sometimes, they express emotions in weird ways. They even end up sticking their butt in your face. As a cat parent, you probably experienced this numerous times. But, why do cats put their butt in your face? Let’s find out. 

Why Do Cats Put Their Bum In Your Face? 

No matter how annoying it is, cats may have good intentions for putting their bums where it doesn’t belong, including your face. We all know, no one would want to be staring and smelling a cat’s bum. But, once you discover why they do so, you may start appreciating the gesture. 

Similar to dogs, cats communicate through chemical scents. As you may have noticed, cats greet each other by rubbing their bodies, starting from their heads and ending by sniffing their butts. According to a study, cats may even outsource microbes to maintain the stinky pheromones in their anal glands. This will help them in sending chemical scents to other cats to communicate their intentions, such as mating. 

Now, cats may have extended this type of communication to their humans. So, you don’t have to keep wondering why cats get in your face. They do so for three possible reasons.   

A Friendly Gesture

Sniffing each other’s bums is part of the proper social etiquette in the feline world. A cat’s butt contains a plethora of scents that not only confirm its identity but also tell you how they feel, its intentions, and many more. Similar to saying hi, hello, or how are you to a friend, cats “offer” their butt for you to smell as their greeting. It’s their way of being polite and friendly

Aside from the butt-sniffing, cats also rub their bodies against other cats and even their humans. As they rub their own scent, it also helps them relieve stress or tension. Additionally, the position of their tails determines how ready they are to socialize. Cats with raised tails are more sociable as they are likely more open to bum-sniffing. 

Wants Attention and Affection

When a cat puts its bum on your face, he may just want your attention. After all, who could ignore a cat’s butt that’s right in front of your face? Despite cats’ independent nature, they appreciate affection such as petting. Although every cat may have different preferences, most of them would love some petting between their ears or on their cheeks. They will also enjoy it if your pet the area along their spine toward the base of their tails. 

Giving some love through petting is not only beneficial to your cat but to you as well. Aside from the oxytocin surge that improves your mood, it also helps prevent diseases. In fact, according to a study, owning a cat may help prevent cardiovascular health problems. So, the next time your view is obstructed by your cat’s bum, give it a gentle pat to boost both of your moods. 

Shows Trust 

You may have asked, why cats turn their back on you along with why they stick their butts in your face. Well, this could just be a sign that they trust you. For cats and dogs, turning their backs is showing their vulnerability. This dates back to their way of life in the wild. Since there are numerous predators, they have to stay alert and watch their backs all the time. 

So, if they present their backs to you, that means they feel safe and secure with you. However, do take note that other cats may have different ways of expressing trust. So, don’t fret if your cat doesn’t turn its back on you. 

What Does My Cat Communicate When It Sticks Its Butt In My Face 

Call it a gross greeting, but cats who stick their butts in your face are actually sending you a message. They are giving you their seal of approval as their friend. Cats living in the same home share a “colony scent”. When cats rub their bodies against each other, they spread this colony scent so that they can determine who belongs to the group. They now have a common scent as their identification for being a member. And since you are in the same home, you are considered part of this exclusive club, too. You are part of their colony, you are an ally.

But, what else does your cat communicate when it sticks its butt in your face? Your cat may be expressing its health and well-being by sticking its bum in your face. The glands around the bum area play an important role in sharing information about a cat’s health, age, and gender. But, since we don’t share the same level of olfactory abilities as cats, we may not be able to smell these. But, you can still check your cat’s health by looking for any rashes or flea bites in the area. If you find any, it may be time for a vet check-up. 

Lastly, your cat is expressing its love and trust by putting its butt in your face. Your cat sees that you are not a threat, but a companion instead. In return, it raises its tail and shows off its butt to say they aren’t harmless either and that they mean well. Although it may not be the best gesture by human standards, it’s the greatest compliment you can receive from your beloved kitty. 

Should You Stop Your Cat From Putting Its Butt In Your Face? 

Showing off the butt is a cat’s natural behavior. Although it may seem the contrary when compared to human behavior, you shouldn’t reprimand your cat when it sticks its butt in your face. Doing so will leave your cat confused or frightened. It may also affect the bond that you have already built with your kitty. 

Understanding feline behavior may be a challenge, but you can start by appreciating it when they turn their back on you. The next time your cat puts its butt in your face, just gently reposition or give some love through soft pats. You can even go a little extra and give your kitty some treats for the kind feline gesture. 

It may sound ironic, but a cat sticking its butt in your face is a sign that you’ve been successful in building a strong relationship with it. Instead of getting annoyed, rejoice the next time this happens. We all know it isn’t that easy to please our kitty pals. 

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