4 min read

Why Does My Cat Rub Against Me?

Here's why it's the best compliment 😭😻

Nobody ever said understanding your cat was easy. So you might have wondered before: Why does your cat walk over and rub her head and body against you?

Is she marking her territory? Just being a creep? Or is it something else?

To understand more about this behavior, The Dodo reached out to Dr. Marci K. Koski, a certified feline behavior and training consultant at Feline Behavior Solutions in Vancouver.

According to Dr. Koski, cats rub up on their people for a few different reasons — notably as a greeting, a sign of affection and to “mark” their people.

Cats rubbing as a greeting

A cat might rub against you to say “hello” — and to let you know that she’s so happy you’re home. (Don’t leave again!)

Cats rubbing as a sign of affection

A cat may also rub against you as a sign of affection. This is to help show you that she loves you — and trusts you — throughout the day. How sweet! (And yes, cats can definitely be sweet, too!)

Cats rubbing to “mark” their people

A cat may also rub against you to let other cats know that you’re HER cat. By rubbing her cheeks on you — and other objects — your cat’s spreading her facial pheromone (and individual scent) as a way to leave her mark.

“When a cat uses her head to bump up against you, it's called ‘head bunting,’” Dr. Koski said, and the reason why she’s doing it couldn’t be more adorable.

“When cats smell themselves in their environment and on specific objects (or people), they say ‘Yep, this is a familiar place — I'm secure here!’” Dr. Koski said.

How cute is that?

“Scent is incredibly important in helping cats be secure in their environment and identifying other cats as friends, family or strangers,” Dr. Koski said. “So, when your kitty rubs up against you, take it as a definite compliment!”

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