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Why Do Cats Touch Noses? Behaviour Explained

burmese cat kissing womans nose
Image Credit: Julija Sulkovska, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

Cats are fascinating to watch. 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 how they communicate. In fact, 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, except lions, all the other cat family members are solitary predators, including your kitty. This means that 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 it can sneak on and ambush its 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.

This is because a solitary predator relies on itself to survive, meaning that any injury can be a death sentence, as it will be unable to hunt. Lions benefit from living in prides, meaning that an injured individual can always rely on others for food. This is why lions are renowned for their love for fighting.

As such, to avoid potential altercations with other solitary felines, cats have to rely mostly on nonverbal cues. One of those nonverbal cues is touching noses. What does it mean? Let us find out.


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. Mama cat usually greets her blind and deaf kittens by touching their noses with hers. This action allows her to pass her scent to them so that they can recognize her even before their eyes open.

As such, cats grow up knowing that touching noses is one way of greeting one another. This method is typically reserved for familiar faces.

You will also notice that your cat sometimes bumps its 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 none of them is encroaching on the other’s territory. As mentioned, cats will do all they can to avoid unnecessary fights. Like politicians, they use tact.

This will involve approaching each other cautiously and then extending their noses to greet one another. Since each party is in a vulnerable position, this action is meant to communicate, “I am willing to be peaceful as long as you are willing to do the same.” This is how stray cats manage to live peacefully with one another, despite being solitary by nature.

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Conclusion: Why Do Cats Touch Noses

Why do cats touch noses? It 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, resulting in a greater bond between you.

Featured Image Credit: Julija Sulkovska, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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