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marking my FACE?!!?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I know cats rub their mouths on furniture and walls to mark their territory. Now one of my two boy kitties (age 10, litter-mates, neutered) has started rubbing his yucky-smelling mouth all over my FACE! Is he trying to mark ME as his territory? Blech.

Any thoughts? I have read that spray bottles and other discipline don't really work on cats and just traumatize them.

thanks in advance,
post #2 of 8
Awww, there is a sweet girl in the rescue I work at that rubs her face all over mine when I visit. I would say that he is being affectionate towards you.

If your cat has bad breath then you may want to look into changing his diet or possibly see if he is having mouth-dental issues by going to your vet. It can be an indication that something is wrong. Most cats shouldn't have bad breath.

'Punishing' your cat for affectionate behavior probably isn't a good idea but maybe you can redirect him from your face to your hand? Thats just my thought and I'm not an expert by any means.
post #3 of 8
Closely bonded cats will rub their faces on each other and groom the other cat's face. I've always interpreted it as cats trying to share scents, not necessary just to mark the other cat.

It's a bit like people giving kisses to a child or animal to show affection, and a cat certainly should not be reprimanded for it.
post #4 of 8
my cat rubs my face all the time, I think she is just loving me, she always purrs at the same time
post #5 of 8
Wow, is her breath that bad?

Look in her mouth. (You can do that by holding her head with one hand, and pushing down her lower jaw with a finger of the other.) If you see any of the following things, she needs dental care:
--Red, swollen gums
--teeth with gook (tartar) all over them
--loose teeth
--discolored (brown) teeth
Be careful--if she has dental problems she won't want you to touch her mouth.

If her teeth are fine, you could try giving her some treats designed to help tartar formation on the teeth. Also if you are feeding nothing but wet food, that can be bad for the teeth. You could try brushing her teeth; maybe she needs that.

Anyway, the above folks are right--your cat is rubbing her face on yours because she is trying to say you are part of her clan. It's not necessarily "ownership"; more like "belongingness". If you don't like it, she will happily rub your hand in a similar way.
post #6 of 8
He's showing his affection for you (it's like rubbing up against your legs)!

So sweet.

When my semi-feral was comfortable enough to touch noses with me, I was certainly flattered that he could trust me so much.
post #7 of 8
Cats that are friends greet each other by rubbing faces, so they can smell each other's scent and exchange scents with each other. It's a sign of trust and affection, and if you tried to stop your cat from doing it, I think it would severely damage his trust in you.

However your cat's breath and mouth shouldn't smell, healthy cat mouths and breath have very little odour and I would advise that if he smells bad a vet trip to have his teeth and gums checked is probably in order.
post #8 of 8
Most of our kitties do that to us as well. The only time it bothers me a little is directly after they've eaten their canned food if it's a strong smelling food (fish or rabbit, etc.). Otherwise I think it's very sweet!
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