Why Do Cats Put Their Butt in Your Face? We Got to The Bottom of This Strange Behavior
Your cat loves to stick his butt where it doesn't belong, including in your face. Let's be real, cats wouldn't be cats if they didn't do all sorts of weird things and that includes putting their butts wherever they please, regardless of personal boundaries.
We asked a certified cat behavior consultant to help us get to the bottom of why cats put their butt in your face—and spoiler alert: It's not as bad as you might think! Next time your cat puts his rear end right in front of you, you might even find yourself saying "Aww" instead of "Eww!"
3 Reasons Why Your Cat Sticks Their Butt in Your Face
Butt-in-the-face behavior might seem odd to us humans, but much like head butting and rubbing against you, your cat is communicating with you through these behaviors. "Where things go wrong is when we misinterpret a behavior and view it as insulting, bad, or gross," Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, author and owner of Cat Behavior Associates says. "If you want a better relationship with your cat, take the time to learn about how cats communicate. You may be missing so many examples of your cat showing you just how much she loves you."
Johnson-Bennett says there are a few common things your cat might be trying to say when he wants you up close and personal in his, um, personal space.
1. Your cat is being polite.
Have you ever wondered if your cat says 'hello' to other cats? Johnson-Bennett says they do, and a friendly hello wouldn't be complete without a good sniff of the bum.
"In a cat's world, presentation of the hindquarters is considered proper etiquette," explains Johnson-Bennett. "Cats who are friendly with each other will often approach with raised tails. They'll do nose-to-nose sniffing and then one cat will turn to present the backend for a sniff." The scent glands and corresponding pheromones found in a cat's rear end offer their kitty companion the details of who they are and where they've been.
If your cat is always sticking his butt in your face, it just means you've raised one sweet gentleman!
2. Your cat wants affection.
For some cats, shoving their butt in your face means they want to be petted. While a gentle pat from the paw would do, a bum in the face is a sure-fire way to get into your line of sight and snag a little extra attention.
So, when your cat puts his bum in your face, he might just want some lovin'. Cute, right?
3. It's a sign of trust.
In the wild, cats are always alert, watching over their territory for potential prey or a potential threat, explains Johnson-Bennett. When cats are in a safe place with those they trust, they tend to close their eyes and might even turn their back to you—the ultimate sign of trust.
While the bum-to-the-face position is the most vulnerable for a cat, it doesn't mean he doesn't trust you if he doesn't put his bum or back to you, Johnson-Bennett says. "Even cats within the same household will have different preferences in terms of how they display affection and trust," she explains.
Should I Stop My Cat From Putting Their Butt In My Face?
Building a bond and trusting relationship with your fascinating feline requires a commitment to understanding their body language. If your cat is trying to communicate in a way that's not so pleasing to you, like a butt to the face, Johnson-Bennett reminds us that pushing away or otherwise punishing your kitty for this behavior might frighten or confuse him. Instead, she recommends, consider gently repositioning him and giving him the love he very much deserves.