Why Do Cats Rub Against You?

Cats are creatures of habit and comfort. They’ve been around for millions of years, so it’s no surprise that they’re very comfortable with their routines. This can include being close to you, whether you’re petting them or not.

But have you ever wondered why cats rub up against you? It’s a question that has plagued humans since the dawn of time, and it’s one we’re going to answer today!

Cats are very territorial animals, which explains why they like to rub up against things. They’re marking their territory—and you—as theirs. But why do they do this? Why don’t they just use their claws to scratch you? Continue reading to find out why cats rub against you!

Reasons Why Cats Rub Against You

1. This Is Their Way of Scenting You

First on our list is how this is their way of scenting you! When your cat rubs up against you, they’re marking their scent on you and letting you know they’re there. Because they are considered to be territorial, this is also their way of doing so. Not just that, but they’ll also actually use this as an opportunity to clean themselves a little bit because all that rubbing gets rid of dead skin and makes them feel good! Talk about giving you love!

2. They Are Marking You and Claiming You as Their Own

It turns out that cats rubbing against you is one of their ways of marking you as part of their territory and claiming you as theirs! They do this by leaving behind a very pungent scent from a gland on their face called the cheek gland or Harderian gland.

If there’s a cat in your house, you’ve probably noticed them rubbing up against you or another human or pet in your house. This behavior is called “marking,” and it’s how cats show other animals (and humans) that this particular territory belongs to them. 

Cats will also urinate near the spots where they’ve rubbed—the smell of their urine helps to reinforce the message that this is their territory!  It’s an affectionate gesture, but it also serves the purpose of marking your scent so that other cats know that you are theirs! 

3. It’s a Sign of Affection

If your cat is rubbing against you, don’t worry—it’s not just because they want a bath or because they’re trying to get your attention. They’re actually trying to show you how much they love you and it’s their way of being affectionate too.

It’s important to note that this does not mean that cats think about love the same way humans do. Cats have different brains than humans, which means that their brains work differently and they react differently to stimuli. So when a cat rubs up against you, it means that they value the relationship that they have with you. Surely enjoy the feeling of being loved by a furry animal because it doesn’t happen often either!

4. Cats Use Pheromones to Connect!

Did you know that cats produce pheromones that they release through the glands in their cheeks and on their paws? These pheromones are what cats use to mark territory and attract mates. When they rub against you, they’re letting their kitty friends know that this is their human and that it’s safe to come visit. If you are not used to cats rubbing themselves against you, always remember that it’s actually a good thing when they do! If you love cats, this is something that you also must know!

5. Your Cat Simply Loves You!

Cats use body language pretty heavily, and one of the most common ways that cats communicate with humans is through rubbing against us. If your cat is rubbing against you and purring at the same time, that means they’re very happy with how things are going between the two of you and that they genuinely love you as well as being around you! 

why do cats rub against you image

How cute and heartwarming is that, right? The next time you find yourself in the presence of cats and they rub against you, this certainly means that they genuinely love you and your presence makes them feel safe.

6. It Might Also Be A Sign Of Aggression

Though we often think about how all the rubbing is a form of affection, that is not all the case all the time. With that, while it is nice to have your furry friends be close and affectionate towards you, it is also important that you are cautious.

More often than not, the rubbing that they do can also be a sign of aggressiveness as well as anger, not just comfort. Make sure that you keep that in mind!

Remember: If Your Cat Doesn’t Rub, Then She Still Loves You!

Okay, we know that we always talk about how rubbing is a sign of affection but also know that if your cat doesn’t do that, it doesn’t mean they love you less! Because cats are also different on their own, the way they respond to various things and environments will always play a big role.

And so if you find yourself upset and sad because your cat hasn’t rubbed themselves against you, definitely worry not and allow them to take their time because they will surely come around!

Our Final Thoughts!

Indeed, cats are definitely your best friend! Though these furry friends can sometimes be distant and they love to be on their own, they also have their own ways of showing it. We hope that you enjoyed this article about why cats love to rub against us. 


At The Lovable Cat, we believe that every cat deserves to be loved and cared about.

Quick Links