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December 16, 2021 |0 min read

Why Do Cats Put Their Butt in Your Face?

Written by

Sharilyn Vera

Derrieres, keisters, bottoms, tushes, heinies– it doesn’t matter what you call it, everyone has a butt. In the animal kingdom, rear ends come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from furry to feathery and even leathery, but only one critter takes the cake as the cheekiest and most bootylicious exhibitionist in the game: cats! 

Felines, from jungle cats to house cats, frequently flaunt their furry fannies for anyone that crosses their path. So, why does Rum Tug Tugger love to show his rump tug tugger whenever he has an audience?

As you can probably guess, your cat will flaunt their butt in your face for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it can be because they’re happy to see you and want affection, other times it’s because they’re trying to communicate to you that something is wrong, and there are even times when it’s because they’re trying to tell you something purr-sonal about themselves. 

Here are four reasons why your furry friend is flaunting their fanny all up in your face.

Reason 1: The higher the tail, the higher their trust

One possible reason your cat is rockin’ their booty all up in your face is because they feel comfortable around you. Cats tend to raise their tails up high as a sign of trust. Their rear is a vulnerable part of their body and by showing you their vulnerability, they’re letting you into their inner circle of trust. As stated by UK-based veterinarian Joanna Woodnutt, BVM, BVS, "Presenting the bottom is a sign of companionship and trust. The bottom is a vulnerable area and turned around she can't see an attack coming or defend herself." Cats are more likely to approach another cat if their raised tail is higher rather than a cat whose bodily position is crouched in a more horizontal stance. The next time you find your cat's butt in your face, they’re most likely trying to tell you that you two are besties forever. Awww, what a gross yet booty-ful little gesture.

Reason 2: An itch they can’t quite scratch.

Another possible reason your cat is showing off their derriere is way less cute and even more gross: fleas. A lot of cats suffer from flea allergies and these pesky little pests can cause your furry friend some serious irritation with even just one bite! Fleas tend to gather behind a cat’s ears, around their legs, and all over their buttocks. Many times the irritation and itchiness can be found right above their tail. Since they lack the ability to reach that location of their body, they may be asking you-- their lifelong bestie, for a helping hand. Fleas have a reputation not only for being incredibly irritating but also for being prolific pests, in the sense that when you spot one, there are more just waiting around. Flea infestations and cat allergies are common amongst cats and other furry pets. If you suspect your cat is suffering from flea allergies or skin problems, contact your veterinarian for a consultation, flea prevention methods, and proper veterinary medicine. 

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Reason 3: Marking their territory.

Have you heard of the term allorubbing? It’s a form of cat communication that happens when our furry friends rub parts of their bodies all over each other. Most of the time allorubbing happens around their mouth/cheek area, but there are times they use their tails and rear instead. Your cat could be attempting to allorub with you by rockin’ their booty all in your face to mark you as their own. To echo my own words from earlier in this entry… aww what a gross yet booty-ful little gesture. If your cat is trying to do some allorubbing with you, they’re showing that not only are you two besties, but you’re basically family. They’re marking you as one of their own. 

Reason 4: To smell them is to know them.

A primary way cats communicate with each other is by smelling others’ glands. "The anal glands are some of the most important scent glands in the cat," said veterinarian Claudine Sievert, DVM, "A cat that displays its butt wants you to learn how their cat health and being is. Cats have glands all over their body, and the glands at the base of the tail can inform about such things as the pet's age, health, and gender." So by showing you their booty, they're showing you who they are. They trust you enough to turn their back to you with a raised tail and show you their true selves. As gross it can seem at times, it really is a booty-ful little gesture.

The next time your feline friend flaunts their fanny all in your face, just gently redirect them elsewhere. Reach for their tail and give your kitty some much-needed love and a cat massage to return the gesture of friendship and affection they’re showing you in their own gross yet booty-ful way.

Sources:

https://icatcare.org/advice/cat-communication/

https://excitedcats.com/why-do-cats-put-their-butt-in-your-face/

https://www.popsugar.com/pets/why-does-my-cat-put-their-bum-in-my-face-47899327

https://www.discovery.com/nature/Cat-Sticks-Its-Butt-In-Your-Face

https://www.meowingtons.com/blogs/lolcats/why-cats-love-shoving-their-butts-in-your-face

https://iheartcats.com/ask-a-vet-why-does-my-cat-put-her-rear-in-my-face/

Written by

Sharilyn Vera

Sharilyn is a proud cat owner, long time storyteller and researcher. Her work spans beloved podcasts, television shows, media outlets, and independent documentaries. She likes to strike a balance between education and comedy, which you can hopefully tell when you read her articles!

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