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Why Does My Cat Put His Butt In My Face

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Q&a: Why Does My Cat Keep Putting Her Booty In My Face

Why Do Cats Put Their Bum in Your Face?

You and your kitty seem to get along really well, except for that one weird little thing every time she hops up on your lap, she greets you courteously but then promptly turns around and flourishes her booty in your face, tail held high and proud.

So not cool, right?


Cats have glands all over their bodies, including at the base of the tail and to either side of the anus . These glands contain scents that are unique to each cat and can communicate a multitude of concepts, including identity, age, sexual status, health, and diet. Letting another cat have this much information puts your cat in a potentially vulnerable position, so she will only allow family members with whom shes comfortable to have access to the info. When she turns her back on you, your cat is actually saying she trusts you.

Combined with a raised tail cat language signalling non-aggression and a willingness to interact your cats behavior is akin to a hug from a family member or close friend. She would probably take it right kindly if you gave her a gentle scritch just above the base of her tail in return for her display of affection.

Weird Cat Behaviors Explained

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We all know that cats do weird things. And when we say weird we do not mean that in a bad way whatsoever. As a matter of fact, its these weird behaviors that make us love them even more. Do you ever think that your cat does weird things that no other cat does? While that might be entirely true, there are a handful of weird behaviors that cats do that other cats do as well that are equally as weird.

But hey, just more the reason to love them and all their oddities, right? After all, their unpredictable nature keeps us guessing and always watching with intrigue and curiosity.

It Means They Like You

When a cat shows you their butt, theyre offering up that vulnerable area as a way of saying they want to be friends. It also means they trust you. Theyre giving you full access to their scent glands so you can feel free to take a whiff . While a cats nose can determine anything from stress level to diet, your second-rate human nose wont do you any favors. 

PetPlace also points out that unlike humans, cats like to reintroduce themselves throughout the day. So even though youve spent all day with your feline friend, any change in their mood or behavior could be a new reason to position their butt toward your face. 

Can A Cat Put Its Butt In My Face To Mark Me

According to writer Elisa Cinelli, cats may put their butts in their owners faces to try to mark them.

Cats will often rub against each other in a behavior known as allorubbing. This is a friendly behavior that allows a cat to designate others as being part of its group. Remember that, to a cat, you are part of this group along with other household cats.

The scents that cats release are known as pheromones are and are essential pieces of information that tell cats a lot about each others status. Because you are part of your cats social group, it is trying to keep you updated.

Some conflict that occurs in multi-cat households occurs because of uncertainty about the pets respective place in the family. Exchanging scents in a way that helps to secure the cats place makes all the difference.

Your Cat May Be Testing You

Why does my cat put his bum in my face?

Another reason why your cat may be touching your face with his paw is that hes putting you to a test. This is usually the scenario if you adopted your cat from a pet shelter or if he was a rescued stray.  He may have a traumatic background resulting in a lack of trust toward humans. Building trust is not an automatic thing and it takes time but with your patience and care, your cat will ultimately warm up and eventually trust you. 

Staring With Their Mouths Open

via Giphy

Have you ever seen your cat gaping with his mouth partly open, looking a bit like he has smelled something bad? It might also be described as grimacing or appearing to pant. He is probably showing what is called a Flehmen response, sometimes shortened to flehming.

The term comes from a German word referring to curling of the lips. The cat opens his mouth to allow scent to reach the vomeronasal organ in the roof of his mouth. That organ provides more information about certain scents than smelling them through the nasal passages alone. The resulting facial expression could also have you thinking your cat is chuckling about something! And who can say that isnt true?

They Make Biscuits In Your Lap


Whats kneading all about, anyhow? When kittens feed, they knead their mothers teats to stimulate milk flow. As adults, cats knead when they feel safe and content. In other words, you are your cats human security blanket.

Kneading may also be a way cats mark territory, as they have sweat glands in their paws that release chemicals as they knead. So if youre the territory theyve chosen to mark, take it as a compliment. Cats tend to knead places where they feel safe. But be sure to keep your cats claws trimmed; otherwise, being loved so hard can hurt!

Head Bumping And Head Pressing: Theres A Difference

Cats head press when theyre feeling severe discomfort in their head. This could be caused by hypertension, brain tumor, or other neurological problems.

They may walk up to a corner and push on both sides of the wall. Their face is wincing. Their head is throbbing. Its like us pushing into our temples when we have a headache. They may express excessive vocal irritability. They may howl like theyre disoriented, Johnson said.

If your cat has suddenly started pressing his head against walls or furniture, or if you notice any of these strange vocal behaviors, its a medical emergency situation and you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

Johnson-Bennett says the best way to differentiate between these behaviors is to know your cat and be aware of any change in its behavior.

Its those little things that pet owners discover about their cats behavior that can make a real difference in the relationship. If you misunderstand subtle signs it can have a huge impact on whether you have a close bond or not. We misinterpret cat communication all the time. We think we know what theyre saying or we think their behavior is like a dogs behavior. Head bunting is another piece of the puzzle to have a better relationship with your cat. Thats what we all want. We dont want a cat who hides under the bed and doesnt want to be near you, Johnson-Bennett said.

Is My Cat Trying To Tell Me Something When He Sticks His Butt In My Face

Why Do Cats Put Their Butts In Your Face? | Two Crazy Cat Ladies

Dr. Woodnutt said that because cats communicate with each other mostly through smell, they often try to do the same with their human companions. “The anal glands are some of the most important scent glands in the cat,” she said. Claudine Sievert, DVM, elaborates: “A cat that displays its butt wants you to learn how its health and being is. Cats have glands all over their body, and the glands at the base of the tail can inform about such things as the pet’s age, health, and gender.”

Your cat might also be trying to tell you that something is wrong. “If cats are particularly itchy in this area, or if owners notice a thin coat or irritation near the tail base, this can be an indication of an underlying allergy to flea bites. In these cases, the cats should be evaluated by a veterinarian to address the allergy, start effective flea prevention, and discuss a strategy for treating the environment if needed.” said Dr. Washington.

Do Cats Display Their Butts As An Act Of Trust

Because the rear end is a vulnerable part of the body to expose, a cat will only show this area to someone it trusts. A cat that shows its butt to you feels a sense of trust. Even though it might not seem like it, consider this a type of honor.

Think about what happens when a strange cat approaches that is unfriendly to your cat. If your cat turns its back for eve a minute, the other cat might take advantage of this situation to pounce, either playfully or not.

Although a lot of what happens when one cat sneaks up on another is harmless, at the least, the behavior can be annoying. The cat that turned its back might react in a hostile way, potentially leading to a fight or even injury.

Your cats willingness to turn its back on you says a lot about the high degree of trust your cat has towards you. The cat is signaling that it knows you will not hurt it. In most cases, cats in a family setting will adopt this habit quickly.

If your cat is timid by nature or comes from an abusive setting, knowing that your cat trusts you this strongly should come as a relief. When a cat reaches this level of trust with its owner, this should be reassurance for the owner.

We know that a cat putting its rear in your face can be a type of marking, as well as a display of trust. In either case, this is a strong sign of acceptance from your cat. There are also other reasons that are health and instinct-related, as well.

Why Does My Cat Put His Bum In My Face

12 August 2021
Blog Post
26 July 2021
Does your cat put his rear end in your face? Find out why your cat puts his bum in your face.

Its an all too familiar sight youre sitting down after a busy day at work, your cat greets you courteously, but then promptly turns around and puts his bum in your face, tail held high and proud. But, why?

First and foremost, he is not trying to be offensive by walking up to you and putting his rear end in your face he is doing what comes naturally, and allowing you to gain information about him.

Cats have glands all over their bodies, including the base of their tails and either side of their anus. These glands contain scents that are unique to each cat and can communicate many things, including, age, health, and sexual status.

Letting another cat have this much information can put your cat in a potentially vulnerable situation, so the fact that he has presented his rear end to you means he is very comfortable, and assumes that you are comfortable too! He trusts you.

The next time your cat puts his bum in your face, give him a little scratch at the base of his tail in return for his display of trust and affection.

So Why Do Cats Put Their Butts In Our Faces

Now that you know why cats show their butts to other cats, you can pretty much guess why they do it to you too.

They like you, accept you, and trust you. Showing you their butt is the seal of approval.

Even though this behavior is rooted in how cats greet other cats, that doesnt mean that your cat wants you to give their bum a sniff. This is not advised for obvious reasons.

I Just Bumped To Say I Love You

Why does my cat put his paw on my face when I hold him?  PoC

Cats who are bunting may stride toward you while purring or flop over on the floor a few times before they make contact with you.

Johnson-Bennett says theres softness to a cats face when hes in head bunting mode.

Their whiskers and pupils are relaxed. Their ears are also relaxed. Theyre not pricked up like theyre getting ready to hunt, she said.

The process may also involve a bit of alternate head rubbing on a cats targeted person or animal and the leg or arm of the furniture. Although contact with the furniture or other objects likely incorporates more jowl rubbing along the glands in their lips.

Its like a mutual love session between a person and the furniture. We dont always realize that cats live in a very scent laden world. Humans are visual. We forget that there are so many scent glands on them. Its like theyre leaving little kitty text messages, Johnson said.

But those messages say more than just Fluffy was here; theyre a universal expression of friendship and affection regardless of species.

Johnson-Bennett says her cat frequently head bunts her dog.

My dog usually backs away. He looks like hes thinking I dont get your behavior. It does nothing for me but youre nice around me. He doesnt get it but it works out for them anyway, she said.

Understanding Cat Body Language

Cats are versatile creatures, and they have a lot of different movements! Nevertheless, there are some actions that house cats are liable to do when they’re around you. Although it may not seem like it, they are using their body to tell you something! Here are some of the most common phrases in the feline language.

Cat Love Bites Can Be A Behavioral Holdover From Kitten Days

My Himalayan mix, named Slayer, will out of the blue come over and bite my arm its more like a nip. Whether Im on the couch or in bed, he hops up and makes this random gesture. Then hell plop down and expose his belly. This ritual ends with me giving him a few strokes. But not too many!

So, whats this about? Dr. Karen Becker tells Huffington Post that its reminiscent of the ways cats and kittens playfully interact with each other. Its another form of cat love bites, but its not a result of too much stimulation. Its your cat just being playful and using his nonverbal communication skills to let you know hed like some attention, now, please.

Surprising Ways That Cats Show Affection

Cats have a reputation for being standoffish. But if youve ever lived with one, you know thats not true. Cats may not show affection as obviously and enthusiastically as dogs, but they express love in their own way. And sometimes, their way is downright weird.

Once you know what cat affection looks like, youll see it in every interaction with your feline friend. From head butts to butt-butts, these are some of the surprising ways cats show affection.

Cat Love Bites What Do They Mean And Why Do They Happen

Why does my cat put his paw on my face when I hold him?

Cat enthusiasts are probably the most passionate demographic around. We love our cats! We wear our love, we record it, we photograph it and we share our love, wholeheartedly. While we love our cats and want our cats to love us back, sometimes we get a little too zealous in demonstrating said love to our cats. Yes, we want to cuddle and stroke them nonstop, and very often they enjoy the attention up to a point! Cat love bites are the result of our demonstrative nature run amok. Anyone who has lived with a cat probably has a story or two about cat love bites. Lets find out how to identify cat love bites versus real cat bites and what to do when cat love bites happen.

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Cat Put Her Rear In My Face

As humans, we have some societal restrictions with exposing our rears to other people, both new friends and old. For us, it is better to shake hands with new people and reaffirming bonds does not include asking your friends to scratch your rear. But if you were an animal, you would see things differently.

We know that cats are tuned into certain smells and their environment gives them much more information in scents than ours does for us. She is not trying to be offensive by walking up to you and placing her butt in your face. She is doing what is natural to her and allowing you to gain information about her. Because of her anatomy and her ability to learn from olfactory clues, she is very comfortable with presenting her rear to you and assumes that you are comfortable too. She trusts you or she would not show you her vulnerable back side so easily.

For cats, rubbing is a sign of affection as well. They are able to release pheromones that label you as safe when they rub on you and as they rub, they just naturally also present you with their back half.

Even if your cat does not have fleas or flea allergy, cats seem to like being scratched, rubbed or petted in this tail head area. So if your cat puts her butt right in your face, dont be offended. Just know that she is treating y0u like she would want to be treated. She is merely following the Golden Rule!

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Why Do Cats Put Their Butt In Your Face

Why do cats put their butt in your face, AKA why do cats make things so awkward? Believe or not, cats presenting their rear to you is another method of happy communication. As youve probably gathered, cats learn a lot about the world around them through their sense of smell. This includesyou guessed itsmelling other cats butts.

So, cats are giving you the opportunity to learn more about them by putting their butt in your face. Odd, yes, but rude? Nonot in their eyes, anyway. In fact, this behavior is yet another compliment from your cat: Felines dont willingly present their vulnerable backsides unless they trust whomever theyre presenting to. Lucky us, right?

Why Do Cats Like To Put Their Butts In Your Face


Petting your cat is all head scratches and cuddles until their butt ends up in your face. Dont worry cat parents, weve all been there. Youre reveling in your cats shifting spotlight and all of a sudden, BAM! Youre confronted with an unobstructed and up-close view of your cats backside. Its not the most pleasant part of your day, and yet your cat seems perfectly pleased with the revealing situation. So whats the deal?

You can avert your eyes and hold your breath, but you also know its bound to happen again. Every time you get cuddly with your cat, theres risk of that unwelcome exposure. But while youd be more than happy to never see your cats butt in that much detail again, your cat has an entirely different train of thought. 

Should You Headbutt Your Cat

my cat puts his paws on my face. it

If you know your cat likes to put their head close to yours, go ahead and try out your own headbutt. Keep it slow and gentle and see how your cat reacts. Shell most likely return the gesture and headbutt you back. 

Your cat knows you dont speak the same language, but understanding feline body language is a great way to communicate. You can tell your cat how you feel about her in a way shell fully understand.

Related Questions And Curiosities

Here some funny things to know about cats showing their butts:

  • Why does my cat sleep with his bum towards me?

One of the reasons for this behavior is that he trusts you, and he doesnt have to guard his back since you are there.

If you have observed your cat, he always tries to sleep with his back against the wall, where he cant be attacked, and he rests from where he can see the room, either from a tall place or a corner.

Basically you are his wall and his security guard!

  • Why do cats put their bum on you?

Same as above, you are supposed to sniff it and socialize. Deep inside, arent you a cat? Or at least you should behave like a cat.

  • Do cats butt holes touch the ground when they sit?

Well, pretty much, yes. Some cats have longer fur, so it is not a problem, some other cats are not that lucky, and they do touch the floor with their rear end! It doesnt seem they mind at all.

  • Do cats bums spread bacteria when sitting on a table with their butt flat on it?

Unfortunately, since they use it to poop, that area is not really cleaned. Cats usually are clean creatures. They spend most of their day cleaning themselves up. But for sure, their bum has had contact with poop.

If you are worried about it, just make sure you clean often and disinfect surfaces before eating or cooking. It is a small price to pay for our babies.

  • Why do cats act weird when you scratch the base of their tail?
  • Why does a cat lick another cats bum?
  • Why does my older cat lick my kittens bum?

Why Does My Cat Make That Funny Smell Face

Has your cat ever smelled your foot and then suddenly made this strange face with their mouth partially open, as if theyre breathing out of their mouth and not their nose? Cats are not the only mammals that make this face, actually known as the Flehmen response. So what exactly causes this response?

Your cat has something called a Jacobsons organ, or vomeronasal organ, located in the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth. When your cat makes this strange face, it is because he has smelled something interesting and is drawing the scent into the Jacobsons organ to get a better smell. The tongue traps the scent and transfers it to the vomeronasal organ in the roof of the mouth for better analysis.

The Flehmen responses has been seen in both predatory and non-predatory species of animals, including but not limited to: elephants, horses, tigers, giraffes, goats and giant pandas.

Better Understanding Your Cat

If your cat strolls up and puts his butt in your face, hes not trying to offend you. In fact, hes probably trying to show you his affection, his trust in you, or to just mark you for himself. Sure, it may be an odd sort of greeting, but for your cat, its purr-fectly normal. Cats communicate through body language and scent, and whether your cat is marking you with his scent or communicating to you with his posture, hes sure hes sending clear messages.

You can better learn to read those messages by learning about cat body language and behavior. Cats have all sorts of behaviors that might appear unusual to us, but theyre often grounded in instinct and have practical reasons behind them. The same is true of your cats body language.

The more you study your cat, the more aware youll be of the small signals hes giving you all day long. Your cats body language may be subtle at times, but everything he does has a meaning that other cats can understand. You can learn to understand it, too. It will take time and youll need to watch your cat carefully, but you can look up the meanings behind different postures and then start to recognize them when your cat displays those behaviors. Soon, youll be much better at understanding your cats body language, and postures like sticking his butt in your face wont seem so strange.

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