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Why do cats rub their faces on me?

Kitties love to get up close and personal, and in more ways than one! In addition to cuddles and purring, you’ve probably noticed that your cat likes to rub their face against you. Whether it’s a quick caress or a straight-on head butt, rest assured that this behavior is normal. Let’s explore this feline sign of affection.

What is bunting?

When cats rub or butt their heads against a person, object, or another animal, it is known as “bunting.” Bunting is similar to “allorubbing,” which is when your kitty rubs their entire body against someone (or something). It is common for cats to bunt conspicuous objects, and the height of an object can determine what part of their face they use.

What is scent marking?

When cats bunt or rub, they are actually leaving their scent behind. This is known as “scent marking.” Your kitty loves to scent mark with their head because they have lots of scent glands there: glands can be found on your cat’s mouth, chin, ears, neck, and the sides of their face. Scent marking serves many purposes; cats do it as a way mark their presence or to get comfortable with a new place.

What is my cat trying To tell me?

So what does it mean when your cats bunts and scent marks you? It is thought that cats bunt animals or humans that they’re already friendly with as well as objects that are important to them. So a little face nudge is quite the compliment. It’s a way to say “I love you!” Your kitty’s bunting could also be an attempt to get some pets or ear scratches, as he or she has probably figured out that bunting earns them attention.

So, the next time kitty does some bunting, revel in the gesture and be sure to return the affection!

Do you have an extra affectionate kitty? Be sure to let your pet sitter know! Our sitters love to give cats exactly as much attention as they need. Sign up for a meet and greet today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by fletcherjcm on flickr

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