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Why Do Cats Touch Noses? Feline Behavior Explained

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

burmese cat kissing womans nose

Why Do Cats Touch Noses? Feline Behavior Explained

Cats are fascinating to watch, and everything a cat does is deliberate. Felines do not take action for the sake of it. The purposeful nature of a cat’s ways is especially evident in their communication. Some experts argue that everything a cat does is a form of communication. Most people associate cat communication with meows. However, most of their communication is nonverbal.

Why is that the case? For starters, all the other cat family members except lions are solitary predators, including your kitty. Cats cannot afford to be overly verbal, as it will blow their cover, resulting in a missed meal. The goal is to be as silent as possible so that they can sneak up on and ambush their prey.

Another issue that comes with being a solitary predator is having to deal with other solitary predators. Unlike lions, other cats cannot afford to get into fights unnecessarily. A solitary predator relies on itself to survive, and a severe injury can be a death sentence since they cannot hunt.

Lions benefit from living in prides, and an injured individual can always rely on others for food. That is why lions are renowned for their love of fighting. To avoid potential altercations with other solitary felines, most cats have to rely mostly on nonverbal cues. One of the nonverbal cues is touching noses.


What Does It Mean When Cats Touch Noses?

Cat Greeting

mother cat nose to nose with kitten
Image Credit: Nyura, Shutterstock

Cats learn how to touch noses when they are kittens. The mother greets her blind and deaf kittens by touching their noses with hers. This action allows her to pass her scent to them so they can recognize her even before their eyes open.

Cats grow up knowing that touching noses is one way of greeting other felines, This method is typically reserved for familiar faces. You will also notice that your cat sometimes bumps their nose against yours. The reason is still the same; they are simply greeting you. Therefore, never bypass a chance to touch noses with your kitty.

Cat Warning

cat looking man's chin
Image Credit: Magui RF, Shutterstock

However, unfamiliar cats can also touch noses. This usually happens if they’re not encroaching on the other’s territory. As mentioned, cats will do all they can to avoid unnecessary fights. The greeting involves approaching each other cautiously and extending their noses.

Since each party is vulnerable, this action is meant to communicate, “I am willing to be peaceful as long as you are willing to do the same.” It is how stray cats manage to live peacefully, despite being solitary.

cat + line divider


Touching noses is a form of greeting between cats. Consider familiarizing yourself further with how cats communicate. It will allow you to understand your pet much better and result in a greater bond between you.

Featured Image Credit By: Julija Sulkovska, Shutterstock

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