19 Interesting Things To Know When Cats Want To Be Rubbed

Last updated on December 12th, 2021

Cats can be funny little creatures and the way they interact with their human caretakers is often a source of amusement. Were you ever sitting on the couch watching TV and felt a furry little head or paw being rubbed on you? Most likely, this is your cat saying hello.

The cat greeting ritual is often referred to as head bunting, and it’s usually a sign that your feline is happy and comfortable around you, but if your cat rubs their face on you in other situations, the message may have more to do with your cat’s emotions than how friendly they feel toward you. Let’s take a further look at this.

why do cats like to be rubbed

Table of Contents

Why Do Cats Rub Against You When Hungry?

Cats rub against you when they’re hungry because they’re trying to let you know that they’re in dire need of food and need to be fed.

This behavior is mostly reserved for times when your cat is starving and while it seems like a random act of affection, it’s actually a way for your cat to indicate that they’re looking for food.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Face on Your Leg?

Cats rub their face on your leg because it’s warm and they crave that heat since our body temperature is naturally comfortable. Cats have a high body temperature and some breeds that have thicker fur coats are just trying to make use of external heat sources to stay toasty.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Face on Your Feet?

Cats rub their face on your feet because it can be seen as a warm pillow since it’s just the perfect height off the ground for them to place their head while laying the rest of their body alongside you.

Why Do Stray Cats Rub Against Your Legs?

Stray cats will rub against your legs because they’re trying really hard to get your attention while also using the scent glands located on their face, tail, anal, and forehead areas to mark you as their property.

The scent left behind by stray cats after a friendly rub helps them recognize their owners. It’s also very easy for cats to stretch and rub against your legs rather than your hands.

Where Do Cats Like Being Rubbed?

Cats like being rubbed in the following places:

  • On their belly
  • Under their chin
  • On their head
  • Behind their ears
  • On their backs
  • Around their neck area
  • On their hind legs
  • Around the base of their tail
  • Behind their whiskers (gently please)

Do Cats Like Their Whiskers Rubbed?

Cats love it when you scratch behind their whiskers, however, they would only allow their whiskers to be rubbed by people they trust since this is a very sensitive area.

When rubbing your cat’s whiskers, It’s important that you do so with gentle messages to avoid breaking any of them.

Why Do Cats Like To Be Rubbed Under Their Chin?

Cats like being rubbed under their chin because it calms them down when they’re feeling anxious or fearful while also stimulating their scent glands.

It’s also a great way for your cat to start purring since this affectionate gesture makes them feel good.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Noses?

Your cats will rub her nose not just to get your attention, but she also does it for the same reason that humans rub their eyes when they wake up.

A cat’s nose is full of nerve endings, so when your cat rubs her nose, she’s stimulating her olfactory system.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Noses on You?

Cats will rub their noses on you because it’s a way for them to leave their scent behind while also marking you as their territory. When your cat is marking you with its scent, it’s a sign of affection and that they trust you.

Why Do Cats Like Being Rubbed at the Base of Their Tail?

Cats like to be rubbed at the base of their tail because it gives them a pleasurable feeling since they have a large number of nerves in that area.

Why Do Cats Like Being Rubbed on Their Backs?

Cats like being rubbed on their backs because they can’t reach this area on their own. This is a great way to help your cat relax since it’s similar to when you rub your own back or have it massaged.

Some cats will be soothed when they are in pain or stressed just by having their backs rubbed.

Why Do Cats Like to Rub on Shoes?

A shoe is a great place for cats to rest their head but after doing so, they may have noticed another scent that they don’t recognize.

Cat’s will rub against your shoes because it may have the scent of another animal since it must’ve been marked while you were out of the house so your cat’s natural inclination is to leave its own scent behind therefore marking you as their territory.

Why Do Cats Rub on Dogs?

Cats are very territorial and they’ll rub on dogs because they want to transfer their feline scent to mark their territory or just simply show affection since common household dogs have a reputation of being friendly and approachable, your feline friend is just looking to socialize. Be assured that it’s not a threat to you or your dog.

Why Do Cats Rub on Dirty Clothes?

Cats have scent glands all over their body and when they rub against a dirty laundry pile, they’re releasing their pheromones onto your dirty clothes so that it smells like them.

Now that your pile of dirty laundry has your cat’s scent, it now makes the area more comfortable to the point where they feel safe resting on it.

Why Do Cats Rub on Walls?

Cats have an instinctive need to spread their scent and rubbing is an important way for them to do so while marking their territory.

Cats will rub on walls because the scent is fading away and they don’t want to lose ownership of the area to other pets in the home.

Why Do Cats Rub Against You After a Shower?

Cats will rub against you after a shower because their scent has been washed off or is currently fading away so they would like to scent-mark you again before you make contact with another pet in the home.

Why Do Cats Rub Against You in the Morning?

Cats will rub against you in the morning because they crave your attention and want to be petted since you’ve been asleep for eight hours or it could be that your cat is just hungry and need to be fed.

Why Do Cats Attack You When You Rub Their Belly?

Cats will attack you when you rub their belly because this is one of the most sensitive areas of their body and it’s being overstimulated when you rub it, however, since this area contains most of your feline’s vital organs, they instinctively become protective of it.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Butts on the Carpet?

This is a common behavior when cats rub their butts on the carpet and it’s because a cat who’s been napping there will have the desire to transfer the scent from its anal glands onto the area to scent-mark its territory and this is usually done by rubbing their rear end on furniture, carpets or other objects in the area.

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