Why Do Cats Put Their Butts in Your Face?
7 December, 2017
cat put butt

Cat lovers know all the quirky traits of our favorite felines.  One of the more perplexing behaviors is when you are sitting down, waiting for your kitty to curl down next to you, but instead your cat puts her butt in your face!  And while we humans would never do this to each other, there are a few reasons why cats might put their butts in your face.

Cats put their butt in your face as their way of saying hello!

Cats raise their tails as a sign of friendliness and trust, allowing us full access to all of the intimate, olfactory details about them found in their scent. Turning around makes that invitation even clearer.  Smell is so much more important to cats so inviting us to check them out is just a friendly hello!  The butt in the face is their way of trying to be nice, not naughty!

When cats greet each other, they usually sniff each other’s faces

When greeting each other for the first time, cats sniff each other’s face and neck as an initial greeting. This is pretty similar to nodding a greeting to a stranger at first meeting. Cats produce cheek pheromones that signal friendship, so sniffing this area can actually help calm feelings of aggression or fear.

Each cat’s unique scent is right behind their tail and a raised tail signifies friendship

Finally, the last step is a sniff of the anal region beneath the raised tail. The cat’s signature scent is found here. A raised tail signals “I mean no threat.” So the combination of raised tail with offering a butt-sniffing opportunity is the equivalent of a human’s enthusiastic hug or a kiss on each cheek in greeting.

Kitties that keep the tail down and don’t want to be sniffed might be compared to a shy person hiding her face.

Cats don’t really expect us to sniff their behinds, but are opening themselves up to us

When kitty presents his tail in your face, does he really expect you to sniff? Probably not. Cats are smart, and as much as they love us, they realize we are not feline. But the body language of politely opening themselves up to a sniff is a huge compliment granted between trusting friends.

Your cat is doing what is natural to her and allowing you to gain information about her. (Dogs sniff each other for similar reasons). Your cat 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.

So, now the next time your cat puts her or his cute little rear in your face, you might just smile at how open your cat is being even if you opt not to smell her!

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