Cats are weird little creatures that are full of weird little habits. Some cats meow incessantly. Others just seem to hate your general existence, but most house cats love to rub themselves on their owners. Why is that?
This is because cats have scent glands all over their bodies. When a cat rubs themselves on you, it means that they’re marking you as theirs. Cats have these scent glands all over their body ranging from the base of their tail, chin, cheeks, and the top of their head. When a cat rubs against you, it’s a very loving act. It’s a cat’s way of leaving behind its pheromones on you so it can identify you for later.
Cats don’t just do this with their owners, however. You may find your cat rubbing themselves on a number of different things ranging from other animals, bits of furniture, and just about everything in-between. This is because the scent glands also function as a way to show information to other cats.
These scent glands produce a smell that is unique to each cat, and when rubbed on something, it essentially marks that thing a part of a cat’s territory. If you have multiple cats in your home, you may have to get used to those cats competing with each other to rub their scent on you.
This rubbing is a genetic predisposition that is passed down from generation to generation of cats. When a kitten is born, the mother constantly licks and rubs her scent over them to make sure other potential cats and kittens can identify her kitten as part of the family.
The final reason your cat may be rubbing itself on you is simply to say hello! Cats can form strong bonds with their owners and this can be their way of showing excitement and affection towards you.
So, there you go! Cats rub themselves on you for a number of reasons ranging from identification to a little greeting. Next time your cat rubs themselves on you, make sure to give them lots of good pets back.