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Why Does My Cat Keep Meowing and Rubbing Against Everything? 6 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

grey cat rubbing againts its owners leg

Why Does My Cat Keep Meowing and Rubbing Against Everything? 6 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

VET APPROVED

Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

If you have ever noticed a cat’s affectionate side, you may have seen their tendency to rub their faces on their owners or against their favorite objects. Or you notice a cat who raises their backside when they pass by a couch or chair because they are happy to see a friend. Why do cats do this? Yes, it is adorable, but is there a reason for this behavior?

There are several reasons that cats do this, and usually, they are all positive. Continue reading to learn why cats meow and rub against things.

cat paw divider

The 6 Reasons Why Your Cat Keeps Meowing and Rubbing Against Everything

1. Marking Their Territory

In many cases, once a cat is settled into their space, they prefer it to have their own scent. Cats rub their bodies and faces against people and furniture to leave their scent around their home to mark their territory.

This helps cats make their presence known and feel more comfortable around spaces and people. Unfortunately, cats may even urinate on chairs or different areas to really make their scent known!

cat rubbing face on man's leg
Image by: AlenaBalotnik, Shutterstock

2. Claiming Ownership Over Something

Like marking their territory, cats rub against items or people around their home to ensure other animals know they’ve already claimed it. This ancestral cat behavior can even be seen in other animals to show that a specific space is theirs and theirs only.

You might notice cats have a favorite spot on the couch or by the window that they have rubbed up against a time or two. That is why your cat rubs against you; they want to claim you as their person!


3. Releasing Pheromones

Another reason cats rub up against things is to release pheromones to attract other cats for mating purposes and to get acquainted with an animal’s scent. The scent can also tell other cats when they are reproductively “ready” and can tell other animals when the cat was last present.

Unfortunately, this may also be accompanied by your cat spraying urine on surfaces around your house to mark their territory and alert potential mates to their presence. Spaying or neutering your cat is a good idea to prevent mating-related spraying and marking habits.

american shorthair cat rubbing face on the wood
Image Cbyredit: Pixabay

4. Grabbing Your Attention

Sometimes, cats meow and rub against their owners or friends simply to get their attention. This behavior is very common right before cats are about to be fed their daily meals or when they know it’s almost time for a treat.

They like to show you that they are ready and present for you to give them attention. More vocal cats are usually a result of their owners being vocal to them. The funny thing is that cats meow at humans much more than at other cats.


5. Showing Affection

Perhaps the most positive reason for cats to meow and rub up against people or furniture is that they are showing you affection. When cats feel cuddly or want to snuggle beside you on the couch, they may give you a big meow to grab your attention, jump up beside you, and then give your leg or hand a nudge or head-boop. This is their way of asking you to pet them!

cat-rubbing-itself-on-cat-tree
Image Credit: chie hidaka, Shutterstock

6. Saying Hello!

Another simple reason that cats may be meowing at you or rubbing up against your leg is that they are just saying hello! Cats communicate with their owners and show affection and companionship by getting close to them.

Cats with affectionate personalities will sleep on their owners’ chests, sit on their legs, snuggle up to their favorite sweaters, and more. Cats are very akin to linking their owner’s scent to closeness and bonding with them.

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In Summary

If you notice that your kitty is meowing at you excessively and there is no health concern, missing food in their food bowl, or another issue that they could be alerting you to, it’s usually a form of positive communication. Some owners don’t know that the more you chat with them, the more they will chat back!

This also applies to them showing affection by rubbing their scent on you. It’s a cat’s way of marking their space, claiming their owners as their own, and using their scent to identify places, people, and objects.


Featured Image Credit: Gordana Sermek, Shutterstock

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