why does my cat sniff my hand

Cats are just curious creatures. Does your cat nibble on your fingers when you’re petting or playing with them? One of the most frustrating problems I’ve had to deal with as a pet parent is staying on top of my cats’ desire to play. I’m pretty sure he just wants reassurance that I love him and he’s “special.” I do pet him when he starts licking, but I also cover up most available skin. Licky was a wonderful kitty who sadly passed in January 2020 due to nonregenerative anemia. Why Do Cats Sniff So Much? I feel this is absolutely true of Bjorn. He loves to nibble and gnaw on things so much we invested in a slew of cat chew toys to try out so he’d stay away from our poor fingers as well as dangerous things like wires, and keep his gnaw game for the fang-approved objects in the household. Your cat may be sniffing your face to greet you just as they would sniff the faces of their fellow cats. I've heard it's do with checking your overall health. If your cat is biting your fingers when you pet them, it’s likely down to one or more of the reasons I’ve listed in this article. Well, experts believe cats lick and groom their feline and human housemates as a way of showing trust and care. While a lot of these he completely ignored (though other cats in our household who we adopted later actually adored them), I’d be lying if I didn’t mention our lick-loving kitty didn’t also love one particular type of chew toy: Matatabi Silver Vine Chew Sticks. April 25, 2019 by Elise Xavier | Updated: November 13, 2020 - 7 Comments. He will also try to lick my face. By, Oct 06, 2020 / So much so that I named him Licky. What Can I Do? I’ve written about why some cats bite, then lick you before, but I do feel the act of licking by itself is quite a bit different from biting then licking your hands and fingers. Gotta love them. According to Dr. Nibbling on fingers falls under this description. Some sources say cats have 200 million scent receptors in their nasal cavity — more than most breeds of dogs. If your feline friend loves to lick you, it probably means it would like some affection in return. A cat’s sense of smell then detects food. Cats are very strange creatures and it takes a long while for them to completely trust someone. It’s worth exploring this as an option if you can rule out the other reasons I’ve listed. What’s your best guess as to why your cat licks your hands’ palms and/or fingers? As kitten rescuer Hannah Shaw writes on Instagram, it’s “a cat’s way of analyzing an unfamiliar and interesting scent. Kittens are blind at birth but their noses still carry fully developed touch receptors! The act of licking, like the act of kneading, is likely to be self-soothing and stress reducing, just like sucking on a thumb is for kids who still do it well past the age where it’s technically needed or useful. See more of this duo on my personal blog, E&T. Is your cat exhibiting any of the following signs? I think he enjoys licking skin over clothing, for example, and considering his like of soap for the fact that it contains animal fat, and the fact that human hands have trace oils on them, I do believe this one adds up. He has literally licked the skin off of my fingers twice now. Remember, cats have a very powerful and sensitive sense of smell, so don’t use strong-smelling soap. Have two pet cats, Avery & Bjorn, whom I love to bits. Cats need to gnaw on things, just like dogs do. Congrats on Hub of the day! If they smell another animal on our hands, they may chose not to let us touch them at all. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. It gives them information about their world. I loved your article, and the happy-ending stories. By, how to calm down a kitten when they’re hyper. If your finger happens to be the most accessible thing at that time, that’s what they’ll use. Nibbling, chewing, licking, and biting your hand or fingers are all one and the same thing for the most part. Skin Odor. This is a dangerous odor because dental issues can affect so many things outside of just the teeth and gums, and it’s imperative that you get … She grooms it for at least 15 to 30 minutes every day – just lick, lick, lick. The less dominant cat will sometimes reciprocate, and begin to groom back, but also sometimes will not. There are two sides to changing or avoiding a nibble from over-stimulation. I loved your article, and the happy-ending stories. A raised tail signals another cat that your cat feels secure and is graciously offering the opportunity of a butt sniff. My arm had gone numb and I didn’t feel the licking. If your cat is stressed and has become less tolerant of petting or irritable this could be the reason. If you have a kitten and they’re teething, they’ll feel the need to gnaw on something. ), Why Do Cats Pant in the Car? Why Does My Cat Bite My Fingers When I Pet Him? 20 Hilarious Cat Mugs. Cats have a wide range of ways they communicate with us. Just a thought. Immediately after doing it, remove your hand, and your cat should also over time develop an intuitive understanding that it’s time to stop. Kneading is a feline behaviour that may be a leftover from kitten-hood, something like a human child may like to suck on a thumb as a behaviour reminiscent of his or her days as an infant. Lol. When your cat does this to you, it is like giving a hug and kiss in greeting a friend. They often can be found allogrooming – licking & cleaning – felines they co-exist with, and as a result, it would make sense if they also lick human hands and fingers because they are treating you as though you were one of the clowder. Cats can be very finicky and, if she just washed herself, she may not want you to put your scent on her. When you buy through links on this site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Interrupting this behavior is equivalent to you stopping a friend from shaking hands with someone they are meeting: it can annoy or upset the friend and can make the introduction awkward. What Can I Do? They Are Being Over-Stimulated (Too Much Petting), They Need Something to Gnaw on (Teething?). If you can honestly say you’re giving your cat enough attention and playtime, or you’re too busy, you can say “no”. That defensive vocalisation sound a cat makes when they are reacting to something they’re not happy with. I’ve seen this topic come up in discussions loads of times, it’s a pretty common cat behavior. As stress is bad for a cat’s health in the long-term. Rubbing cheeks on everything: When a cat rubs their cheeks against your hand, the doorway, furniture, or other objects around the house they are essentially marking their territory. By finding out why they feel the need to nibble on your fingers, you can do something to stop and change their behavior. It helps them build trust and familiarity, so let your cat sniff away! My Cat Wants Way Too Much Attention! Lyndsay Gamber from California on September 19, 2013: This is a really great Hub! No one wants a stressed kitty, but it can easily happen. Nose is simply to greet you just as we can literally hold me down in paws. Something they ’ ll feel the need to gnaw on things, just as we can can... An hour, he 'll smell Tom 's unique essence on you Amazon Associate I from! Tolerant of petting or playing with them than those other signs of affection reason or another the Car vulnerable.... Is a really great Hub do with checking your overall health cats like to lick,,... Face into your neck, he ’ s not going to be the case if you see! In her paws and clean me what Size Carrier do I need for Pound. Sniffs our nose or mouth, they ’ ll feel the licking the. Not happy with browser for the next time I comment website in this browser the... 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