Why Do Cats Sniff Your Face? (5 Surprising Reasons)

Did you know that every cat’s nose has a specific pattern of grooves and creases, similar to a human fingerprint?

Cats, contrary to popular belief, are very expressive creatures. For example, they will often play and seek company by rubbing on your arms and legs. If we look closely, we can see that they express themselves all the time. But why do cats sniff your face?

Even though it can be challenging to comprehend the purpose behind some of their common cat habits, learning about our feline friends is important. While your cat may be able to keep a cool head most of the time, there are moments when they will let go and do something unusual…like smelling your face.

Find out why your cat sometimes attempts to sniff you by reading the information in this guide. The following is the explanation for why your cat sniffs your face.

Why Do Cats Sniff Your Face

A Cat’s Sense Of Smell

The five senses, like in humans, play a significant role in helping cats know their surroundings. However, how cats use all those senses differs a lot from how we do.

The human nose has approximately five million smell receptors that detect aromas, whereas the cat nose has between 45 to 80, maybe even up to 200 million scent receptors. So as a result, they smell 14 times more sensitive than humans. 

Cats Smelling Owners Faces

When two people meet, they assess each other albeit in a silent way. They check their facial expressions, voice tone, and body language. They then may shake hands, kiss, or hug. 

Cats don’t talk, shake hands, or embrace, but they do inspect each other. If you have noticed, when cats interact, they usually sniff or head bump each other first.

A cat can tell whether the other cat is female or male, happy or hostile, healthy or unwell by smelling them. Cats can learn a lot about each other and you by simply sniffing.

Oh, It’s You

Surprisingly, cats recognize us based on our smell rather than our appearance. You may not have noticed it as much because a cat’s sniffing method is more subtle than a dog’s.

If you change your perfume or your soap, it changes your smell and triggers your cat to take a whiff. They only want to make sure that it’s you! While you may not notice such a minor change, our cats will.

Hello, Come Play With Me

Have you been awakened with a cold nose against your cheek? Don’t worry; your cat is only saying hello! Cats greet you in their unique way as most people do with a handshake or a face-to-cheek kiss.

Cats greet each other and us as most people do. For example, we may give each other a handshake or a cheek-to-cheek kiss, whereas a cat will sniff your face.

Most sociable cats will complete their greeting with some face rubs and grooming. So, by sniffing, licking, and rubbing against us, our kittens recognize our aroma and greet us.

Wakey, Wakey Time To Get Up

Particular cats will go to any length to wake up their owner, whether it’s in the dark of the night or the early morning. In some cases, it could be a sign of danger, or they could merely be saying, ‘where’s my food? I’m hungry.’

Cats are intelligent beings and very subtle, unlike dogs who are ‘in your face.’ When cats smell our faces, they make a modest effort to let us know that this is what I want now; please wake up and give it to me. But, in most cases, all they want is a pet and cuddle. 

Are You Okay?

Have you noticed that your cat tends to stay close when you are feeling off-color? This is because changes in scent can encourage our cats to pay extra attention to us. This, in a way, demonstrates that they are concerned about our well-being.

When we are ill, our bodies release different chemicals into our bodies. So it appears that cats can sense a chemical shift that occurs in our bodies due to a disease or illness.

Cats are very perceptible and can feel mood changes. For example, when you are sick, you feel down, and your cat will want to make sure you are alright and will sniff your face almost as if to say, ‘are you okay? Everything will be fine’.

I’m Giving You Some Love

We’ve all heard: cats are aloof. Cats are not affectionate. Cats don’t care about you in the same way that dogs do!

This is not true. Cats are very affectionate; they just show their love in a very different way. In fact, cats express enormous affection in their own manner. 

Because we have a special bonding with cats, our cats are familiar with our fragrance. They seek company as our presence makes them feel safe and comfortable. They will show us this by purring.

When cats purr, they are intensely relaxed and happy. But, that is not the only way they show their love for you. 

Cats groom each other when they are in each other’s company. This is how they show that they are comfortable with each other. Also, by sniffing and touching your face, cats are showing that they see you as their own and that they love you!

Here’s One Cool Cat

Let us be honest: cats are one-of-a-kind creatures. They express themselves in different ways and are intelligent animals. They are also quick to communicate how they are feeling to those around them, they play, they get hungry and bored, and often seek company.

However, there are times when you are unsure of what they are attempting to communicate. We hope that we have answered the question, why do cats sniff your face?

We love our feline friends so much, and we’d do anything to make them as happy as possible. Knowing our cat’s behavior and communicating with them better will help us understand them better. We can tell our cats that we love them and that they are safe right where they are.

Now that you have read our article ” Why Do Cats Sniff Your Face?”, Are you searching for more articles about keeping your pets happy and content? Then, search our Animal Fate blog page for more posts about all things cat!

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