Why do Cats like their Faces Rubbed. A Helpful Guide

Cats are strange creatures, with strange behaviors. However, they are also very expressive, and social. Your cat will display affection towards you in various ways. And you can reciprocate the feeling as well. Cats like their faces rubbed because it not only does it feel good but also because it is a friendly gesture. 

Well, I must mention that even as sociable as cats are, they also get angry. You must be able to understand her tickle spots before you go rubbing her face. Note that even though most cats like their faces rubbed, not all of them do. 

Fortunately for you, it is not going to be as difficult for you to get conversant with your cat’s unusual behaviors. In this article, we are going to highlight some of the top reasons why cats like their faces rubbed. 


3 Reasons why cats love being rubbed in their faces


Why do Cats like their Faces Rubbed


When you spend a considerable amount of time with your cat, you will learn a lot about her. You will also get to know what excites you and what doesn’t. She will respond affectionately whenever you touch her tickle spots. Most of those spots are located on the face, head, and chin. 

Cats like their faces rubbed because of the following reasons: 


It is a good feeling

Think about how good a back massage feels. When you are rubbing your cat’s face, she feels probably the same thing. It feels good because the same way you cannot massage your own back, a cat is also not able to reach her face. 

Cats are keen on grooming, I tend to think that we all know that. You have probably watched her licking every part of her body that she can reach. It feels good and also keeps her clean. However, she is unable to do go. 

Most cat owners have seen their cats rubbing their heads and faced against items. A head scratch and face rub will leave your cat relaxed and feeling good. 

Also, it probably feels good because a cat mother would give a face rub while grooming her litter. Well, what a great way to be reminded of kittenhood? 


Happy Pheromones on her face

Your cat’s scent glands are highly concentrated around the face area. She will rub her chin and face against everything around her. It is a part of her territorial nature, and also a great way to calm down. A cat with anxiety issues may rub against everything in the house. 

Well, whenever you rub her face and chin, she deposits her scent onto you. It makes her feel safer and relaxed around you. It will also be a great bonding experience.

If you have recently adopted a kitty and she cannot seem to stop enjoying a face rub, she is probably just marking her territory, which includes you. You may not smell the scent but she can. This makes it easier for her to bond with you.


Cat Acne

Did you know that your cat can also develop acne? Well, as we have mentioned above, most of your cat’s hormone glands are located around the head area. There are also other glands located around the same area such as the sebaceous glands. 

When the sebaceous glands are overactive, they may cause acne, especially under your cat’s chin. It also leads to an itchy feeling and your cat is going to love it when you rub her face. You will also observe him rubbing against you when petting or even against the couch. She is looking to scratch the itchy feeling away. 

If you spot any acne on your cat’s face, you should take her to the vet’s office for a check-up. 


Why do Cats like their Faces Rubbed

Cat’s tickle areas


Besides the fact that cats like it when their faces are rubbed, they have several tickle places. As we mentioned above, not all cats enjoy the same petting. Therefore, you may need to spend some time with your cat. Watch how she responds to the way you touch her.

Below, we are going to outline some of the most common tickle spots for cats to assist you to understand her better: 


Establish trust first

If you are looking to find out about your cat’s tickle places, likely, you haven’t had much experience with cats. Before you get to pet a cat, you should concentrate on winning her trust first. 

After all, your cat will not allow you to pet her when she doesn’t trust you. Felines are both curious and cautious. She must examine her environment first before she gets comfortable. For instance, if when you bring her home, she might appear quiet and even hide in the house. 

To establish trust between you and your cat, you will have to wait for her to come to you. She needs to get conversant with the new environments. 

Fortunately for you, cats love people. However, they are not comfortable around strangers. Do not just pick her up. Instead, wait for her to come towards you. Observe gestures such us rubbing against you or sitting on your laps. 

These are clear indications that your cat is comfortable with you. She probably wants to bond with you. It is a nice start but does not just pick her up when she is not yet ready. 

When she finally settles with you, you can now initiate petting. You can gently rub her head or behind her ears. Cats also enjoy when their faces are rubbed. 


Lookout for agitation or possible aggression

Once again, it is going to be easier to pet your new kitty once you establish trust. However, do not forget that cats still have their animalistic tendencies. Well, you will need to observe your cat before you go all in. 

When you are trying to figure your cat’s tickle areas, it is more of a trial and error method. Therefore, you should avoid touching her when she is showing signs of agitation. Now, what are some of these signs? 

Observe your cat closely before petting her. Pay attention to her body language including her ears, eyes, and tail. Also, her overall body posture could indicate that your cat is not feeling too friendly. 

If your cat has half-closed eyes, it is safe to approach her. It means that she trusts you and could be up for some petting. On the other hand, a cat with dilated pupils and wide-open eyes might not be safe to approach or pick up. These are some of the eye signs that your cat is feeling irritated. 

Also, when her ears are facing forward normally, your cat is in a relaxed mood. However, should you observe any ear movement or change in position, something is up. 

For instance, if your cat turns her ears to face backward or sideways, it is a sure sign that your cat is agitated. I advise you to leave her alone even if you were just petting her. Also, observe her tail. To be on the safe side, always look out to observe your cat’s mood before petting her. 


Why do Cats like their Faces Rubbed

Finding your cat’s tickle spots


As we mentioned above, not all cats share the same tickle spots. One spot might excite your cat and irritate another. Therefore, you must spend some time with your cat to be able to realize her petting spots and what irritates her. 

We also mentioned that to find these spots, you must use trial and error method. You will be able to realize your cat’s behaviors as well as patterns. It is the easiest way to tell what your cat enjoys and when she doesn’t. 

Try petting different spots on her body. By the way, she responds, you will be able to note when she loves it and when she does not enjoy it. However, concentrate on her head and face area. These are the safest petting parts in cats. Understand that petting and touching your cat is the fastest way to bond with her. 

Once your cat is comfortable with you petting her safe areas, you can go ahead to progress to full body petting. However, during this period, do forget to observe your cat’s body language. Always make sure that your cat is in a good mood before you touch her. 


When to avoid petting a cat


Do not get me wrong, cats do love it when we pet them. However, you must be careful with petting schedules. It is going to be difficult to tell when your cat is in the mood, therefore it makes it difficult to schedule petting sessions. Whatever you do, avoid petting your cat under the following circumstances: 


If your cat is on his back

You will depend on your cat’s body language to be able to know when she is happy or relaxed. Even though some cats roll on their backs when in need of attention and petting, it is not as common. 

Cats roll over when they feel threatened by an element nearby. It is usually referred to as the cat venus trap. She will go into this position as a defense mechanism. Watch out, especially is she has claws out. 


If you just met 

Cats are all cute and social but do not be tempted to pet your cat even when he seems friendly. A cat will take some time before she gets used to having you around. 

Therefore, go with her pace. This means that you let her come to you and not the other way around. We have discussed how to pet a cat for the first time. 

Refrain from picking her up. Instead, get to her eye level and present your folded fists to her. This is a friendly gesture and she might come to you. If she hides, do not follow to approach her. Instead, let her go. Try this a few times until she comes over to you. 

She might rub against you or sniff your hands to ensure that she is safe. 


Do not give her a belly rub

It might seem like a great idea for people with dogs but cats do not enjoy belly rubs, not at all. Well, she might expose her belly, as a gesture that she trusts you. She trusts that you will not do any harm, therefore, let her be. Do not approach her when she is in that position. 

Also, you should void rubbing her face. Even though cats like their faces rubbed, her paws are way too sensitive that they will cause overstimulation. When a cat is overstimulated, she might reach aggressively. 

These are some of the reasons why cats like their faces rubbed. It usually has something to do with depositing her pheromones or she simply enjoys it. 

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Michael Grover

About Me I have been a pet owner for most of my life. I am now retired and spend my days writing about problems relating to cats, dogs, and funeral poems. I am passionate about stopping animal cruelty in any shape or form. My passion is to help people like you identify behavior problems in cats and dogs. That is what I do. Over the years of my life, I have always kept cats and dogs. About four years ago I retired and found I had a lot of time on my hands, so I started to write all about dog and cat problems. It was suggested that I start up a website and publish my words to help people with their pet problems. I am still writing every day and hope you find my articles useful. Regards Mike Grover

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