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Why Do Cats Put Their Butt in My Face? 5 Reasons Why

Renee Whitmore
Last Updated on
by Renee Whitmore

“Pay attention to me,” “I trust you,” “you’re my person.” As people, we may interpret this as rude or alarming, but for cats, it’s their way of being polite.

Cats – like most animals – release pheromones that let them know ‘this is home.’

When cats put their butts in your face, it is usually a sign of love and affection. Take that as a compliment rather than an insult.

This form of body language is what cats have done for centuries to say hello, and I trust you.

Why Do Cats Put Their Butt in My Face
Why Do Cats Put Their Butt in My Face?

Communication comes in many forms, from vocalizing emotions to showing them through body language (e.g loafing).

Cats and humans have a lot in common when it comes to expressing themselves through their bodies.

However, humans may interpret kindness as impolite when it comes to our precious pets. For instance, when your cat shoves his butt in your face.

Rather than just a polite gesture, your cat may be telling you:

1. Pet me: I need a butt scratch.

Watch the way your cat comes to you with their bum. Is it a friendly tail shake followed by a calming meow? This means “hi, nice to see you.”

However, if it’s a serious backing up to your hand, it means pet me now; I am itchy.

2. I’m unhealthy. Check me.

Cats don’t come right out and complain about their problems; they are pretty silent and subtle when it comes to medical issues.

Next time your cat shoves their butt in your face, take a look at their anus. Is it red, puffy, sticky, swollen, or has any discharge or white worm-looking bugs? Any of these signs are a clear indication your cat needs a vet.

3. I love you. Smell my butt.

Think of it as a backward handshake. The best thing you can do is scratch their butt and say hello.

By showing them you notice them, you’re telling them you love them back simply by giving them a quick rub.

4. I claim you

Pheremones are a cat’s only way to mark their territory. You are their territory, and the only way they know how to show this is by sticking their butt in your face letting you know that you are their human.

5. I am trusting you completely.

Along with making you their human (and letting it be fully known), by turning their back to you, it’s a significant compliment that helps them say, “I trust you.”

Cats are dominant creatures, and so when they close their eyes, show their belly, or turn their back, they are trusting you (and showing trust) by knowing they aren’t threatened.

Should I Make My Cat Stop?

As annoying as it is to have your cat shove their bum in your face, their intentions behind it can only mean good things. If you turn your cat away or push their butt away, it’s like saying goodbye, or you don’t care about them.

Pushing your cat away is equivalent to not shaking hands with an acquaintance or being stand-offish with a close friend.

Should you make your cat go away after they politely said hello? Most likely a bad idea as it may decrease your future bonding moments with them.

How Should I Respond?

Cats can be emotional, and some become easily sensitive. Instead of rejecting their butt, give it a quick (or affectionate) scratch and transfer your hand to their face or chin.

In response to petting their butt then their chin, it tells them, “Hey, I noticed you, but I would prefer to see your face.”

Is My Cat Showing Me Something I Should Know?

When it comes to cat health problems, it’s a good idea to check weekly for any signs of distress.

Most of the time, your cat sticks their bum in your face because they want your attention or they are greeting you.

However, on rare occasions, they might be trying to show you something they can’t see. Some anal distress can be:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Fleas or worms
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Anal Sac Disease
  • Cat Flu

If not treated, all conditions can lead to severe and more expensive health problems. If you notice any distress signs in your cat or witness any inflammation in the anus, call your vet immediately.

Why Does My Cat Rub its Tail/Button Me?

Purring, rolling, head bunting, rubbing, and yep – butts in your face all mean a huge sign of love, trust, and loyalty. Pheremones remain near the butt, at the end of your cat’s tail, and on their cheeks.

Have you ever noticed how they rub these parts of their bodies close to you? It’s to let other animals and people know that you are their person and to let you know they are yours forever.

Why Does My Cat Lift its Butt When I Pet or Scratch It?

Kittens instinctively raise their behind to allow their mothers to lick their bums for them to urinate and poop properly.

As an adult, it’s a sign of pure trust in its highest form. As gross as it may seem, your cat is trying to swap scents with you to verify that you are part of the family.

In short, cats raise their butts to be welcomed and feel love and affection. It means they are happy with who you are as their owner, and shoving their butt in your face for you to scratch is their only way to let you know.

Bottom Line

Why does my cat put his butt in my face? The top reason is that it is the only way the knows how to tell you that he trust you and love you.

Another form of communicating the highest trust is by sticking their butts in the air for you to scratch.

As a cat’s polite gesture to say hello, they will shove their behind in your face to let you know they need to be noticed and welcome home.

However, most times, there isn’t anything medically wrong. From time to time, remember to look at their behind for any visible signs of irritation.

About Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore is an American college professor and freelance writer from North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in English Education. When she is not driving her teenage son to wrestling practice or learning the ins and outs of Fortnite from her younger son, she is working on her first book to be published soon.
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