Why Do Cats Rub Their Gums on You

Why Do Cats Rub Their Gums on You

Cats exhibit many unique behaviors that often leave their owners puzzled. One such behavior is when cats rub their gums on you. This seemingly strange action can have several explanations behind it.

Firstly, cats have scent glands in their gums. By rubbing their gums against you, they are leaving their scent behind as a form of marking their territory. This behavior is similar to when cats rub their faces or bodies on objects to claim them as their own. By marking you with their scent, cats are essentially claiming you as part of their territory.

Secondly, cats may rub their gums on you as a way of showing affection. Cats have a variety of ways to express their love, and this is just one of them. By rubbing their gums on you, they are engaging in a form of bonding and seeking attention and affection.

Another reason for this behavior could be related to dental health. Cats often rub their gums or faces on objects to alleviate discomfort or itchiness in their mouths. If your cat is exhibiting this behavior frequently, it might be worth checking their oral health and consulting a veterinarian to ensure there are no underlying dental issues.

Furthermore, cats may rub their gums on you to mark you with their scent as a sign of familiarity. Cats have a strong sense of smell, and by marking you with their scent, they are ensuring that you are recognized as part of their social group. This behavior is commonly observed in multi-cat households where cats rub their gums on each other to establish a sense of familiarity and to promote social bonding.

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In conclusion, cats rubbing their gums on you can be attributed to various reasons, including territorial marking, affection, dental health, and social bonding. Understanding these behaviors can help you better comprehend your feline companion’s needs and strengthen your bond with them.


1. Is it normal for cats to rub their gums on humans?
Yes, it is a common behavior among cats and can be seen as a way of marking their territory or showing affection.

2. Does gum rubbing indicate dental problems?
It could be a sign of dental discomfort or itchiness. It is advised to check your cat’s oral health and consult a veterinarian if the behavior persists.

3. How can I prevent cats from rubbing their gums on me?
You can redirect their attention by providing them with toys or scratching posts to rub against instead.

4. Can I stop my cat from marking me with their scent?
While it may be challenging to completely stop this behavior, neutering or spaying your cat can help reduce their marking tendencies.

5. Do all cats exhibit this behavior?
No, not all cats will rub their gums on humans. Each cat has its own unique behaviors and preferences.

6. Can I interpret gum rubbing as a sign of love?
Yes, cats often rub their gums on those they trust and love. It can be seen as a gesture of affection.

7. Should I be concerned if my cat rubs their gums excessively?
If your cat excessively rubs their gums, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying dental or health issues.

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