- May
Posted By : PawBoost
Cat Body Language – Why Cat Rubs Up Against You?

This article is contributed by guest writer, Sophia Clark (Creator of allpetsexpert.com).

Cat Body Language – Why Cat Rubs Up Against You?

Cats tend to rub against an individual to show affection. This cats’ behavior is usually exhibited whenever they’re happy and contented. Felines cannot tell their feelings; so, they resort to rubbing themselves against you while feeding to display their appreciation.

This behavior is taught to them at an early age by their mothers. Rubbing is utilized by felines to communicate their emotions plus to experience closeness with you. Another function of rubbing their heads against a person is to stake their claim plus scent marking. This article will elucidate the objective of the rubbing act, reasons why felines rub against an individual, plus your role in your feline’s conduct.

Photo Credit: Erik-Jan Leusink via Unsplash

Understanding Body Language – The Meaning of the Rubbing Sign of Cats

Even though it may look like a simple thing, rubbing against an individual can be somehow complicated if your cat feels like competing for your attention. Whereas a rub against your leg may be a gesture of affection plus trust, the reason for the rub may vary dependent upon the situation.

In case you possess several felines, each one will try to claim you as their own. This can result in competition amongst the cats plus an increase in the rubbing.

Why Do Felines Rub Against Humans?

Felines are animals of smell. The things they smell and don’t smell allows them to acquire information concerning their surroundings. Reasons for felines rubbing against you has little to do with your acts and more to do with your trust plus curiosity. There’s no significant difference between doing it to show affection and to ascertain if they can associate with you.

1. Gesture of Affection

When cats rub against you, they’re trying to show love. Felines mostly burnish against your leg before or after being fed owing to anticipating food plus a means of displaying their pleasure.

Even though cats don’t regard humans like they regard dogs, they can show external cat signs of gratitude for being loved and offered security. In case your feline stays outdoors during the day, it’s common to be greeted by a rub when you step outside. Most felines will go in between your legs then walk around them for a while as a greeting of affection if they haven’t seen you for a while. The rubbing of cats is mostly accompanied by cat purring and meowing.

Photo Credit: Free-Photos via Pixabay

2. Collecting Information

Felines make use of rubbing to collect information regarding you. Knowing you plus knowing where you’ve been can ascertain if you are a possible ally or enemy. This is also accurate for felines who’ve lived with their owners for a long time.

A simple act such as putting on a new pair of shorts might prompt your feline to rub against you to as a sign of gathering info. Rubbing as a sign of collecting info will less likely occur while feeding since info might have been collected beforehand. Nonetheless, rubbing while feeding may occur if you’re a stranger.

3. Form of Greeting

In case you’re interacting with a feline initially, it might rub against you as a way of making out who you are plus where you are from. Felines can pick up your smell as well as other animals’ smell via rubbing. They will decide whether a good or bad connection has been created. Felines tend to refuse just anybody to pet them. Devoid of acquiring info via rubbing and exchange of scent, they won’t allow petting. This is the reason why individuals ought to take care when petting a strange cat.

Photo Credit: Pixabay via Pexels

4. Cats Behavior – Scent Marking

Rubbing with the aim of marking scent is a critical behavior of cats. Cats tend to rub against various things within your house to mark their spots. Since their scent glands are found in the face plus forehead, rubbing anything is often a common thing which cats do. This is akin to spraying which is utilized to mark territory via urinating.

Other Feline Behaviors

  • Meowing – Meowing is a way of communicating with humans. It’s seldom heard between cats. You may encourage meowing cats by responding to them.
  • Rolling – Whenever you see your cat lying down on the ground and rolling around, it implies that it’s delighted to see you. It’s a loving greeting and implies it wants your attention.
  • Cats chirping – Your feline may chirp to get you to take note of it or as a means of getting you to look at something significant.


Rubbing is a crucial method which enables felines to ascertain a pal or enemy. A cat body might rub against you so that it can stake claim to you; somebody important to it. In addition to humans, they also rub against objects in their environment.

Are there any other reasons why cats rub against humans which we’ve left out? Let us know in the comments.


  • My female cat loves to cuddle on to me and knead and purr particularly when I have soft like woolly clothes on, I guess it’s a comfort thing?

    • My male cat will rub his face and forehead on my face and he will literally force himself on my face.

    • My Ferral Cat only loves me and my Husband. We have had her 3 years. She gives us kisses all the time. We are the only ones who can pet her. She’s the Queen. Even over Dogs. Funny.love Her…

  • Dianne Motsinger

    May 4, 2019 at 11:41 AM

    Thank you for this information. I have been feeding a stray cat for years. She shows these signs everytime I go out to feed her. I’m so thankful for learning what these signs mean. I feel blessed!!

  • My cat lloves to chew my hair. Ive had him since he was 1 week old after i bottle fed him i would put him on my should and he would go to sleep. Also i put him there so he wouldnt get stepped on. He was so tiny. Hes now almost 8 years old and he still chews on my hair!!! The 3 weeks he was missing i wondered how he would feel safe without me and i worried that he wouldnt ever come back but he did. And yes almost first thing he wanted my hair. I was so excited to see him i didnt want to let go.

  • My cat Snickers head butts me and purrs at the same time! Got him back after several years without him.He was my sons cat (Beau’s)

  • This cat looks exactly like my Gracie

  • Our cat will lick us on the hand or face then he’ll nibble but doesn’t bite mean. He then will roll over onto his back so we can rub his belly just like a dog does. After that he cradles himself in an arm and snuggle his face rt., into your side and sleep.

  • My cat will rub on furniture but not me? My cat never meows. She was a stray that was living in the woods. She found her way to my house and I slowly gained her trust. I was thinking she was dumped, had a bad “kitten hood” so maybe never learned to do either. Any thoughts?

  • I trained my cat Max to give me kisses ❤

  • One of my two cats sits on my chest and licks my face for as long as I let her! Never had a cat that did that before. My other cat stands on the edge of the tub next to our stall shower and waits for me to get out of the shower. She then meows until I pet her and she rubs herself against my arm. At night she comes over to me in bed and wraps herself around my arm so I can gently rub the underside of her chin and her chest.

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