If you are the proud owner of a cat, you have surely already felt your feline rubbing against your legs or your head. Sometimes it even happens to rub against the furniture in the house. This affectionate gesture is enough to crack any self-respecting cat lover. But does that really mean your cat loves you? Not so sure…
A way to mark their territory
When you come home from work, your cat rushes to greet you, meowing happily and rubbing its little head against your legs, while wrapping its tail around them. While this behavior, which is often accompanied by purring, is completely normal and clearly means your furry friend is happy to see you again, it also has a whole other meaning.
Indeed, the cat is an extremely territorial animal. Some even think that a cat’s territory is more important to it than its human. Thus, when your tomcat comes to greet you on your return home, it is also and above all to do an olfactory marking on you. By rubbing against you, it deposits its pheromones, hormones produced by its skin glands located on the chin, lips, temples, legs or tail.
Each cat has its own unique smelling pheromones. But only other cats have a sufficiently developed sense of smell to be able to smell them. Thus, when your cat rubs against you, it is a way for them to mark his territory and warn all cats that approach you that you are “protected hunting ground”. In addition, marking the individuals (especially animals) who share its territory is a way for it to create a common and familiar smell which will have the merit of securing it.
A way to feel safe
As you will have understood, the cat does not mark its territory only by urinating everywhere or by scratching the furniture. Olfactory marking is also essential to the appropriation of its territory.
It is also for this reason that it rubs carefully against almost all the furniture in the house. And when the olfactory mark disappears, the feline hurries to rub it again in order to clearly delimit its territory. Thus, during a move, the cat needs to rub against all the furniture and the walls before feeling at home.
Sometimes, these pheromones also leave a slightly greasy film where the dust adheres, leaving black marks on the furniture. But it is strongly advised not to clean these marks. Indeed, the cat could then lose their bearings and this could generate great stress for them.