Ask A Vet: Why Does My Cat Want To Touch Noses With Me?

| Published on July 9, 2016


Feline species have greeting repertoires. They rub faces and butt each other with their heads. They also touch noses. It is normal for your cat to want to greet you too, except you tower out of his reach.

Think about how you seem to your cat. In her world, creatures as big as you are, are dangerous, but she knows you are not dangerous because of her experience with you. Your very size, at odds with your friendliness, is a challenge to her balance, so she has no instinctive idea what to do about you. She cannot fathom you as you are, so her brain reduces you into “cat sized” proportions. She is able to react to and perceive you as something roughly cat sized (or at least not big enough to want to eat her).

She treats you like she would any other member of her cat family group, she butts you with her head, rubs her face on you and touches noses with you.

And here is the best thing about cats…even though you are quite a weirdo to them, they love us anyway. We are the oddest looking cats they have ever seen and they have no idea what to make of us, but they accept us as a part of their family regardless. My cat (being a cat raised with Southern hospitality) probably thinks every day, “Bless her heart. Look at her big and gawky self. She does the best she can. Poor thing.” And he is always thrilled to see me and never fails to try to touch my nose.

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