Cats’ ways of interacting with the world around them are very different from ours. Because cats deal with the world in very different ways from us, they often show behaviors that are quirky or rude by our standards, including showing their butts.
Why do cats put their butt in your face? Cats, like many animals, process new information by scent and release pheromones to help identify themselves. Other reasons cats put their butts in peoples’ faces include seeking scratches or affection.
This video is a humorous take on how cats may sometimes sniff each others’ butts. Bear in mind that cats see their humans as other cats, and this viewpoint is what motivates much of their behavior.
Can a Cat Put its Butt in my Face to Mark Me?
According to writer Elisa Cinelli, cats may put their butts in their owners’ faces to try to mark them.
Cats will often rub against each other in a behavior known as allorubbing. This is a friendly behavior that allows a cat to designate others as being part of its group. Remember that, to a cat, you are part of this group along with other household cats.
The scents that cats release are known as pheromones are and are essential pieces of information that tell cats a lot about each other’s status. Because you are part of your cat’s social group, it is trying to keep you updated.
By releasing these scents, the cat is also telling other felines present that you are part of its family. Although cats do not develop jealousy in the same sense that people do, exchanging scents can strengthen the feeling of being an insider or outsider.
Some conflict that occurs in multi-cat households occurs because of uncertainty about the pet’s respective place in the family. Exchanging scents in a way that helps to secure the cat’s place makes all the difference.
Do Cats Display Their Butts as an Act of Trust?
Because the rear end is a vulnerable part of the body to expose, a cat will only show this area to someone it trusts. A cat that shows its butt to you feels a sense of trust. Even though it might not seem like it, consider this a type of honor.
Think about what happens when a strange cat approaches that is unfriendly to your cat. If your cat turns its back for eve a minute, the other cat might take advantage of this situation to pounce, either playfully or not.
Although a lot of what happens when one cat sneaks up on another is harmless, at the least, the behavior can be annoying. The cat that turned its back might react in a hostile way, potentially leading to a fight or even injury.
Your cat’s willingness to turn its back on you says a lot about the high degree of trust your cat has towards you. The cat is signaling that it knows you will not hurt it. In most cases, cats in a family setting will adopt this habit quickly.
If your cat is timid by nature or comes from an abusive setting, knowing that your cat trusts you this strongly should come as a relief. When a cat reaches this level of trust with its owner, this should be reassurance for the owner.
We know that a cat putting its rear in your face can be a type of marking, as well as a display of trust. In either case, this is a strong sign of acceptance from your cat. There are also other reasons that are health and instinct-related, as well.
Will a Cat Put Its Butt in my Face If Something is Wrong?
According to Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, cats use their scent glands to communicate their whereabouts and health to other cats.
Because your cat sees you as part of its social group, it chooses to communicate the same way with you as it would with other cats. The cat is offering you the information that you would receive from the anal glands if you were able to smell them.
When cats communicate with each other, one of the things that other cats can discern is their overall health. As part of your cat’s family, it wants you to know how its health is in the best way that it knows how.
If your cat is agitated or visibly uncomfortable when showing its butt, it might be time for a visit to the vet. The cat might be trying to tell you that something is up that your vet would be in a better position to handle.
A common concern that many cat owners encounter with their pets is their cat having anal glands that need to be expressed. If your cat has had a stinky butt recently, this is likely the culprit. Your vet can show you how to handle this yourself, too.
Can Cats Show Their Butts Over Skin Irritations?
Sometimes your cat might be alerting you to skin issues. Look for red, irritated skin or thin fur near the base of the tail, which can show signs of flea allergies. These allergies are easily treated, but quicker intervention produces better results.
Cornell Feline Health Center stresses the importance of complete flea removal.
When performed properly, your cat will be free of fleas, and its environment will be as well. In addition to treating your cat, treat the inside of your house and your cat’s bedding. Treat the yard is well if the cat is allowed outdoors.
If your cat is free from fleas, there are other causes of skin irritation that may require a check-up. Seasonal allergies from pollen, food allergies, or irritation from scrapes and wounds are also caused unrelated to fleas.
Skin irritations left unresolved may cause the cat to scratch and bite the area, leading to bleeding and even infection. These infections can get serious very quickly, so you’ll want to stay on top of skin issues when they occur.
Can Cats Show Their Bums as a Show of Affection?
According to Neeness, a cat putting its butt in your face can be a sign of greeting. In many cats, the cat is trying to get your attention, possibly in the form of a tail rub.
Why do cats do this with people when looking for attention? This behavior has an instinctual basis that goes back to when your cat was a nursing kitten. Mother cats would lick the kitten all over, including the anal area to stimulate pooping.
The kittens bond with their mothers through this behavior, setting the stage for better social skills as they grow. How does this retained instinct come into play during its interactions with you or other people?
According to Sarah Jeanne Terry, there is evidence that cats view their owners as parental figures. This behavior is a sign of affection, as well as of respect.
There Are Many Reasons Cats Put Their Butts in Our Faces
Although your cat putting its butt in your face might seem off-putting at first, you will want to think of it as your cat showing its acceptance of you. This might be an unusual way of doing so, but it is a seal of approval.
In most cases, a cat showing you its butt is a positive behavioral sign. Sometimes, there may be a medical reason if your cat is persistent or seems uncomfortable. In this case, having your vet check things out is a good idea.