Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth on You?

It is very common to see cats rubbing teeth against the owner or cat rubbing their face on things. They do it so much that you may never have stopped to think what the reason is.

It’s actually a good thing! They do it to mark you their property. They identify you as one who becomes essential for their psychological well-being.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth on You

If you wonder why cats rub their teeth on you, keep an eye on this article. We will see in detail what this characteristic way of acting is? Do not miss the opportunity to learn more about the social dynamics of cats.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Teeth on You: Territoriality

As we said in the previous paragraph, cats are very territorial animals. For them, everything that is within their “territory” belongs to them. So it will do the marking process just like it would in nature.

However, you may not know that cats use more than their anal glands to mark territory. That is, a cat does not have to spray an object to identify as theirs. Usually, to delimit their territory, they rub their body parts against the things they think they own. In such a process, they can even rub their teeth on you, impregnating their scent.

In general, cats like to delimit their territory very well. So they will also use visual elements to make this evident. For cats, nails marked on surfaces identify them as their property. However, it must be taken into account that this marking is not only visual. Cats have glands on their pads that secrete an odor that remains impregnated in their possessions.

Therefore, sometimes when you get cat face rub or teeth rub, do not feel so flattered. The cat is simply marking its property. 

Also, it is a way of showing affection or love. If you see that he rubs his teeth against you, it means he loves you. In addition to an affectionate greeting, the cat is impregnated with his scent in you. This scent comes through the glands on both sides of his face.

One of the most common questions we get is, “cat rubs teeth on me, what to do?” the answer is do nothing. Enjoy the love.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Face On Things?

When we see that a cat rubs its face, it may seem that it is a gesture of affection; but this is not exactly the case.

There will be times when they will come up to us, rub their face, and then their bodies. And when you try to caress them, they will leave. This happens because they were not really looking for a caress but to mark you with their aroma.

When they come into contact with you, they will be leaving their scent on you. It means they are establishing a connection with the place and with the people with whom they live.

If the person he is rubbing against is new, he is getting information from them too. When he gets closer, he can smell it, and thus he will know if you live with other cats or animals.

There will be times when the cat stays close to the person and accepts another pet. But it won’t always happen. It will depend on the cat and the mood in which it is.

However, rubbing it against you is a good sign since it will be marking you with the same smell. 

This behavior can also be observed among cats, especially when they are strays. By rubbing face with other cats, they are showing an affinity with them. Living in groups is the way they bond with the cats they live with.

Rubs you and heads you

Sometimes this behavior of rubbing his face against yours is accompanied by repetitive head butting. The more insistent they are, the more evident it will be that he trusts you and appreciates you. You should reciprocate with a caress on the head. It will be the way to answer him with the same code so that he receives your love.

Rubs your nose

Rubbing his nose against yours is his particular way of greeting you. They also do it among congeners and with other animals such as dogs. If they do not know each other, it is a means of gathering information about that stranger. If it occurs between animals that already live together, it will be a greeting, not a show of affection.

Rubs you and meows

In this case, your pet is expressing your belonging to his community. And at the same time, he is trying to get your attention to help him. 

The reasons can be very varied: that you feed it, claim your company, that you change the sand in the sanitary tray, etc.

Strange Cat Behaviors: Know the Meaning

Everyone sleeps, the environment is quiet, but your kitty runs at full speed throughout the house at dawn. What happens? Has he gone mad? No. This is one of the natural behaviors in him. It seems strange to us. But despite their thousands of years of domestication, they keep their natural instincts in top shape.

Here is a guide to understanding them better. 

  1. Crazy night races

They are the result of his hunting instinct, which is activated at nightfall. It can chase a fly, a lizard, or an imaginary prey. He can also run because he is very happy to see you after being alone all day while you work. And he wants to play with you. But if you suddenly see your cat running around the house and you have never seen him do that, it may be a sign of stress.

  1. Love of cardboard boxes

All cats like cardboard boxes, but also other closed objects such as suitcases, bags, or baskets. Why? Scientists say they instinctively look for spaces that allow them to hide unseen to stalk their prey. Inside a box, they feel that nothing can attack them and control everything in their field of vision.

  1. They bury their feces

Cats instinctively hide their droppings to cover up the smell. And thus, it does not give their predators clues as to where they are.

  1. They rub with their human 

You come from the street, and your cat rubs with your legs. First, it touches you with its head, then with its side, and finally with its tail. And sometimes, it curls around your legs. Are you glad to see you? 

No. What happens is that he is marking you as his property. When rubbing, they deposite some familiarization pheromones. This pheromones mark you.

  1. They knead everything 

This behavior comes to the cat from its kitten time. The milk comes out more easily from the mother’s breasts while kneading. When the pussycat is an adult and kneads people or other animals, it is showing its affection. This display of affection is usually accompanied by rhythmic purrs. He also does it when he is calm and happy.

  1. Their teeth chatter at prey

Have you discovered your cat clicking teeth in front of the window making a strange noise? This chattering occurs very often when the cat looks at a bird but cannot hunt it. Either because the window is closed or because the bird is not within reach. 

The cat is frustrated by not being able to hunt the prey, and this is an innate movement. With this act, it practices the deadly bite that would kill the animal if it were in the wild.

  1. They bring you what they hunted 

This is because you are the worst hunter in the herd, and they do not want you to go hungry. Or maybe they want to share the prey with you. Another theory points out this behavior as a sign of appreciation for your care. 

Cat Behaviors: When to Be Alert

It is important to know how to identify that our cat is angry or afraid. And we can do this simply by paying a little attention to its body language.

We should know that an angry or scared cat will not always hiss or growl. It is true that when a cat is angry or scared, it will have dilated pupils. It will be aware of what worries, disturbs, or scares it. That is, the cat will remain on alert until the reason for your worry disappears, and you can relax. 

If our cat is angry, we will also see that his hair will stand on end. This happens because, as a defensive weapon, bristling his hair makes the opponent see him as someone of greater size. Furthermore, its tail will rhythmically move to the sides, forming a “U” at its bottom. 

On the other hand, its ears will be thrown back. You will see a disgusted cat face. All these signs indicate that the cat is ready to attack when it deems necessary.

Instead, a cat in a friendly and calm posture will approach us with its tail straight and high. Its ears will be straight and, in some cases, it will even come to rub our legs. He may or may not meow affectionately and even purr with pleasure so we can pamper him.


So, why do cats rub their teeth on you? As you can see, in the social logic of felines, this behavior is normal. Rubbing teeth or body against another represents the way to mark it as theirs because they consider it valuable. Therefore, every time your pet behaves like this with you, do not repair affection towards her. It will be an excellent opportunity to strengthen your bond, don’t you think?

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