Why do cats rub on objects and what is the meaning?

Although it is a very mysterious and sometimes enigmatic animal, the cat says more than you think. You just have to observe it well and learn to decipher its body language. He sends multiple signals through his daily behavior. Admittedly, it is not always easy to grasp its exact meaning, especially since each context is different, but over time you will eventually better understand and tame it. But, by the way, why does he have the habit of continually rubbing against objects or people? Here are some leads.

Cat language is almost entirely bodily. To better coexist with your tomcat, you absolutely must learn to correctly interpret all his gestures. As you surely know, this animal secretes natural pheromones, produced by skin glands in various areas of the body. These odorous hormones, imperceptible to humans, release a whole range of information. Your pet uses it to communicate, socialize, reassure itself and above all to mark its territory. These pheromones also help him to calm his stress, to send a precise message and to better understand possible threats, such as the arrival of a new animal in the home, for example.

Thus, cats rub against furniture, humans and even other cats for various reasons. The main one being the marking of territory and the need to appropriate the environment in which they live. But, through these smells, they still communicate a lot of things, depending on their identity and their state of mind. It all depends on the situation and the object on which this friction takes place.

Why do cats rub against objects?

lying cat

A cat lying on the ground – Source: spm

The cat’s body is an inexhaustible source of facets to be analyzed on a daily basis. We never get bored with him, because he surprises us day by day and communicates something different each time. Take his nose, for example: when he rubs it against yours, it’s his way of saying hello. When he lies down and puts his belly forward, he shows you that he is particularly relaxed and happy. Does it stick to your legs? We must be touched and honored by it. Because, it is the testimony of his consideration and his affection for you.

With his ears, it’s a different story. This little feline is very clever: when you call him, he hears you very well, but he will answer according to his mood. Either he will obey you on the spot and come to you, or he will pretend not to have heard you and ignore your call.

Mark the territory

cat on sofa

A cat on the sofa – Source: spm

When cats rub against the wall, the sofa or your ankles, they do so to mark their territory which they fully claim. This olfactory marking is essential in their eyes: if your kitty comes to rub against you, it is to deposit its pheromones there and thus warn the other cats that you belong to it. In a household where there are several cats, each feline takes turns rubbing objects. Knowing that everyone has their own unique smelling pheromones. This olfactory mixture is also a way to create a common and familiar smell that will be very comforting and reassuring for these small animals that live together in the same environment.

You will notice that when you return home after several hours, your cat is used to immediately seeking contact with you. He is not only happy to find you, he tries above all to deposit his pheromones on your body, but also to soak up the smells that you have brought from outside to drain as much information as possible.

A means of communication

Thus, when your cat rubs on various areas of the house, it is also his way of communicating with other cats: it is the ultimate way to inform them that he is around and that you must respect his territory.

In addition, if he rubbed against you, your own scent serves as a time stamp: thanks to the pheromones he impregnated you with, this is an important indication for other cats who will be able to determine exactly what moment one of theirs has been there.

He is hungry

cat lying sofa

A cat lying on the couch – Source: spm

As pointed out, cats rub against objects or people for a variety of reasons. This is why it is important to identify this gesture according to the chosen context. If, for example, your tomcat rubs against you at mealtime, it is obvious that he is hungry and wants his food. Here, the friction plays the role of an indicator: it is a way of attracting your attention to obtain what it wants at this precise moment. It gives you a sort of booster shot!

So precisely, the advantage with cats is that they love their little routine. You quickly end up grasping their expectations or understanding their needs, because they are extremely faithful to their habits and very concerned about respecting the rules. They thus have a kind of internal clock that guides them at every moment of the day. By observing them better, you will therefore notice that certain frictions are repetitive on a daily basis.

The season of love

Rubbing objects is also a way for sexually active cats to give directions to other cats during mating season. The males, during this period, are generally more interested in the smells given off by the females. Indeed, when they are in heat, their scent changes in order to attract the interest of the other sex. In this regard, it may be useful to study how it behaves. It is also a very fascinating period: as the male is always ready to breed, he is looking forward to this season. But he can also be very agitated and aggressive, multiplying the fights with his peers in order to win the favors of his beauty.

As for cat owners, they easily notice that their hairball is not as usual. Untimely meowing, traces of urine everywhere in the apartment, sudden agitation, excessive rubbing, outpouring of affection… All these behaviors can destabilize you, or even worry you. Rest assured, your feline is fine, she is only in heat and feels the need to spread her pheromones in every corner to attract the attention of males.

A sign of friendship

In addition to rubbing on objects and people, cats can also rub against each other. It’s not sensual, it’s very friendly. This usually only happens if the two cats know each other well, share the same environment, and trust each other perfectly. In the same way that they rub against humans to demand hugs, they will rub against other cats to express a desire to be licked.

If you have several cats at home, you have surely often witnessed this amazing spectacle. Licking each other is a common practice among felines. It is a mistake to believe that the cat is a solitary and independent animal that likes to groom itself alone in its corner. Because, in a group of cats, when there is no threat on the horizon, mutual grooming is a real social behavior with a reassuring and emotional vocation. This is how they strengthen the bonds between them and clearly express their group cohesion. Provided of course to be part of the same family or to be close friends.

Read also Why do cats love to throw things around the house? Discover the secret behind this gesture

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