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Why Do Cats Rub Their Face on Things? 7 Reasons Why!

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Our beloved and pampered cats, who manage to keep you surprised now and then with weird and cute activities. They also perform one more adorable activity, which is rubbing their face on various surfaces of your home or on their humans!

This might raise the question that why do cats rub their face on things, they do this to release friendly pheromones from scent glands in their cheeks and chin.

why do cats rub their face on things

7 Reasons Why Your Cats Rub Their Face on Things

Cats rub their faces on things to release friendly pheromones from glands in their cheeks and chin. Now you might think that it’s a good sing, well it is mostly but not every time, so let’s see 7 reasons why do cat rub their face on things or on you!

1. They Are Considering You as a Friend

If you are just sitting on your couch or standing, and you feel a soft fury sensation wrapping around your legs. When you see down and find that it’s your cat rubbing their face and body onto you, take a pause to think that why do cats rub their face on things or me!

cat rubbing face on human

She probably wants to tell you that, hey human! I really love you and consider you my best friend.

So when your cat comes near you, with affection and rubs their face or gives you head butts, she wants to bond with you. Cats don’t always tend to transfer their scent to their loving humans, but they also pick up the smells from objects too.

2. Leaving Marks of Their Scent

Many times, our beloved and mysteriously powerful cats engage in certain activities to send messages to humans or to other cats. Leaving marks of their scent is one of them.

There are various reasons behind doing it.

cat rubbing face to leave scent

The major one to focus on right now is if you are someone who is worried that why do cats rub their face on things, especially if you have sifted to a new place. Then don’t worry, she is just leaving her scent on each and every object so that it seems familiar to her.

3. Territorial Cat Behavior

One of the most prominent answers to your question of, why do cats rub their face on things? It is that they want to leave their scent, in order to mark territory. You will find this more in male cats than females, marking territory and assessing the presence of other males.

cat rubbing face as territorial cat behavior

So if a cat wants another cat to know that she was present at a spot, they will rub onto that place to leave the scent.

4. Greetings : Cats Rubbing on Other Cats

Cats don’t shake hands while greeting others, they tend to rub on other cats for this polite gesture, they greet each other through nose touches.

Rubbing of the head against each other, and sometimes they even hook their tail, then rub them together. However, it’s very unusual of them to rub on each other’s back. This is the best way for your cat to greet each other through scent marking.

car rubbing on each other as greeting

If the two of them are very comfortable with each other’s company, you will find them rubbing against each other cheek.

5. Mating Time for Cats!

One of the crazy facts of sexually active cats, when they want to mate they will leave a scent on objects as a clue to let the cats of the opposite sex know during the mating season.

Female cats exude a powerful sex pheromone when they are in heat, they will spread it around to lure male attention. The male cats are more interested in the scent and marking of female cats.

6. Feeling of Anxiousness

One of the reasons, why do cats rub their face on things? Is also because they are feeling anxious.

When your cat finds herself in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation, she will rub her face into things or their humans. This helps them to release the anxiety and feel more comfortable.

cat face rubbing because of anxiousness

Cats also tend to follow this behavior pattern in homes with as many objects in sight, they transfer the scent to them which helps to feel safe in the environment.

If someone new comes to your house or brings their pet with them, you will find your cat rubbing and marking objects with their scent, this helps them to reclaim their home.

7. Want Your Attention

Cats are very curious in nature, they would be wanting your attention at times when you already gave up on getting any green flag from her to be petted.

She will surprise you with such kinds of patterns throughout her life. So when you see your cat rubbing her face on your legs or on any part of you, she is asking for attention!

cat rubbing to get attention

You better give her all the attention she is asking for because such events are few. And they won’t take a no for an answer!

So whenever you find yourself asking, why do cats rub their face on things? Or on me! She needs attention and you to pet her until she hops away from you and says, enough human! Now let me get back to being the cold and cute creature that I am!


Cats are very mysterious in nature, which gives you many layers to disclose in order to decode their actions! So there are many reasons, why do cats rub their face on things!

We had helped you to understand your cat in a much better way, by addressing all the possible reasons why your cat rubs face on things. Cats release friendly pheromones from glands in their cheeks and chin, that’s why they keep on rubbing it to either transfer or to wear the smell!


  1. The ritual of affection: Why do cats rub against you? — Abandoned Pet Rescue
  2. Bunting — Wikipedia
  3. Feline scent-marking: Cat communication — Tex Vet Pets

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