Imagine yourself going all-around your house rubbing your face, neck, and lambs against your furniture. Let’s not stop there and extend this imaginary situation. Let’s say that you’ve friends and family coming over, and so you open the door and start rubbing their cheeks against yours to express how much you love and missed them. Crazy, right?! Well not for your cat. (Cats rubbing)
Most of the time, when we think of cats rubbing we think of the pieces of furniture that your cat broke while rubbing, or the five minutes you always have to spend in front of the door in your hallway before going out, because your cat is enjoying rubbing her neck against your feet, or the texts you had to give up typing because your friend is rubbing against your laptop WHILE you’re working.
In general, cats rubbing is what most of us thinking of when we mention kitties. It’s heartwarming, sweet and blessing. But, for some others, it’s unjustified drama.
If you’re one of many people to ask “why do cats rub on your legs?” ”Why do cats rub their paws on you?” and “why do cats rub their face on things?” here’s everything you need to know about cats rubbing!
A brief history of cats rubbing, why do cats rub against you?
Back then, in the wilderness, your kitty’s ancestors needed a way to communicate and survive, which made hem come up with the concept of chemical communication. According to Mousumi Poddar-Sarkar and Ratan Lal Brahmachary, in their book Neurobiology of Chemical Communication, the pheromone produced while head-bunting helps big cats attract mates. They mean to show off their virility to their female counterparts. In human words, it says something like: “Hey beauty, I’m sexy and I know it, and you’re right where I wanted!”
It’s also proven that big cats mostly have overlapping territories, which, in general, is a life or death situation in case one of them decides to mess around in the others’ territories.
Moreover, the scent spread all around the area could also have a different meaning: MY territory, MY kingdom! Thus, keep in mind that what might look like a cute cat behavior now, used to be a serious survival tactic!
Some of the research papers have proven that a lot of other messages can be decrypted from the spread scent. According to Christian Nordqvist in his article from Medical News Today, the pheromones spread a lot of life-saving information, these among others:
- Creating bonds
- Indicating the food location
- Sexual arousal
Why do cats rub their face on you?
Targeting a long-lasting message for scent mixture:
Your furry friend has gland secreting pheromones in many body parts:
- In their cheeks
- In their anal areas
- In their paw pads
- In their necks
- In their tails
- And in their foreheads
And according to the certified animal behavior consultant Amy Shojai, who has more than thirty books about the cat behavior, whenever your kitty caresses you he sticks his scent into you and he mixes it with yours. She also explains that cats don’t use scent communication to only fill their purpose, but also to build a long-lasting bond.
Amy also explains that to establish a vocal communication with your kitty, you both need to be present, whether to hear his purr or hiss or his meow. While on the other hand, scent communication lasts even when the cat leaves the building.
Otherwise, cats rubbing can also be triggered to mark the territory. But, in this case, it’s more directed to objects and spaces and it, generally, involves clawing and chewing.
You’re my person and all my family!
According to Krieger, feline tribe’s members rub against each other and bunt their heads among themselves, as a form of acceptance and communication. The more scent is spread the more friendly it gets. Therefore, when cats behave the same way with humans, it genuinely means that they’re mixing up their scent with ours to get friendly and have your acceptance, according to Krieger. She also adds that, if a cat dislikes you, she’ll probably avoid you and your scent, she’ll be mile:” Get your smell away from me, you stinky human!”
Dr. Krieger also translates that cat behavior, and she says that whenever your cat rubs against you, what he means to say is that he’s one of you and you’re one of his and you’re all part of one loving family!
What a wonderful way to show affection!
At this point, you can understand your kitty’s behavior better than anybody. You do get that whenever she starts rubbing right and left against every single piece of furniture in the household, she’s trying to emphasize and claim her property over them. But then you ask yourself: does that mean that she perceives you as one of them and marks you as her own?
Well, a lot of your cat is showing you affection in many ways, some are undefined, and some look random and weird. But to your eyes and professional eyes, all of these behaviors have meaning. And none of you can deny that the warmest meaning of all, which is love and affection, is shown when she rubs her face against you.
According to Pam Johnson-Bennett, cat behavior specialist and author, in her blog” Cat Behavior Associates », cat rubbing face is limited to exclusive with making social bonds, showing affection and comforting.
Whenever your cat headbutts you, he’s drowning you in his affection. Trying to mingle your cent together to bond and socialize better. It’s also a way he seeks attention with. You need to pay attention to his little details, such as when he comes and headbutts you then turns his head down or to the side. That might mean that he wants you to scratch and spend time rubbing him. Massaging areas such as the neck, cheeks, and back make him release endorphins, which are happy hormones.
What you need to keep in mind is that the more your cat rubs his face against you, the more he’s possessive when it comes to your relationship together. It’s his way of telling you that you are his, that he trusts and loves you enough that he chooses to be yours and that he will always love you!
Do different areas have different meanings?
According to Krieger, cats don’t have areas that they target in the human body when they want to rub. It’s spontaneous, and not calculated. Thus, whenever they feel the desire to express their love, they do it and they go for the accessible area.
However, that isn’t to exclude the fact that when the cat rubs your face, it means he’s expressing far more intense feelings The cat rubbing face’s a more intimate and vulnerable position that your kitty might preserve only for you. That translates to all the warm feelings he has for you.
Headbutting, which is when your furry friend vigorously bumps his head in you, is a special rub; it means “I’m your friend” according to Shojai. She explains that besides leaving pheromones that mark the family members and friends, the head butting puts the cat in a very defenseless position, which means that he trusts you, because, normally, only the most confident furry balls can have that kind of cat behavior.
Shojai also explains that when your cat walks closely by you, rubs his entire body against your feet, and finish up by wrapping his tail around your legs, it means that he considers you to be his friend; as this is the ways cats friendly greet each other, and now he’s extending this nice warm greeting to his human friend: You.
Want your cat to rub your face? Reward the cat behavior!
It’s a beautiful feeling when your cat starts rubbing against you, isn’t it? You suddenly feel like it’s all rainbows and butterflies. You feel like your kitten has finally accepted you as his parent and now he’s 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 he’ll give the more you’ll need, it’s a never-ending source of pure love, seize it!