Why does she do this? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Why does she do this?

It’s not a problem, I'm just curious.

I was sniffing in the area of my cat trying to locate the source of a foul smell. (fortunately is was her blanket and not her). When I got close to her she jumped up, pressed her nose against mine and exhaled right in my face. (She just ate, so that was a little stinky).

I tried to repeat the experiment and she got mad and gave me a warning swat.

I try it every now and then and I either get the nose-to-nose exhale or the swat. There’s no way to really tell which one it will be.

Any ideas on why a cat would do this in the wild? My thought is that sometimes she thinks of me as a kitten and she’s letting me smell her breath so I know what’s good to eat. I know some other animals do that for there young in the wild.

I also curious if anyone else could try it to see what their cat does. If your cat won't swat you with the claws out, that is.

regards,
Brian
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 02:49 PM
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For some reason, she doesn't want you touching "her" blanket. I don't know why this is. Maybe talk to a Vet about it? I can't be of much help because I've never had a problem like this, but good luck!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 03:31 PM
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Ok, so I had to try it with my cats. Chloe came up and sniffed my nose, then exhaled through her nose in that way cats do when they smell something they don't like. (Perhaps I need a breath mint? )

Cooper just meowed at me and looked at me like I was an idiot. Then turned his head. He wouldn't even get up.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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I may try that with Buddy and Willie but would NEVER try that with Miss Chloe, she would swat me good.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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I noticed that my cats HATE when I do doggy-panting noises (yes I admit I tried it before, hum )... maybe your sniffing around her sounds threateningly doggylike, or plain unpleasant to her?

I would try it with mine to contribute to the testing-pool, but they are out of sorts with the new babies at home, so now is NOT a good time
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know,

Sometimes the response is very positive somtimes not so much.

I was just wondering, if there was some type of natural cat behavior I was mimicing.

thanks
Brian
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 06:17 PM
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A cat greeting is to sniff at another cat's face. The polite response is to sniff in return, sometimes followed by a nose-to-nose touch.
Sam taught me that.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 07:11 PM
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This is just a guess -- I don't remember reading it in any book -- but I think the exhalation might be to give the other cat a good sampling of their "internal smell" (for lack of a better description.) I've noticed that when something's wrong with one of my cats, the others sniff at that cat with worried expressions. I think they can smell another cat's general state of health, or unhealth. So the exhalation might be saying to the other cat: "I'm a strong and healthy cat."

My cats don't do the exhalation w/nose bump, so another guess would be that an open mouth is being misinterpreted as an exhalation when it's really an inhalation: the cat is flehmening -- drawing air into a little cavity in the roof of the mouth called the Jacobsen's organ, which has sense receptors similar to smell receptors. (Yes, a cat really does have an extra sense we don't have.) So the cat is "sampling" you.

To add to what gunterkat said, face-to-face sniff & bump should be followed by a full-body side-swipe and then a sniff at the other's rear end. You can try that with your cats and watch their expression.

A cat doesn't like to have a big human face stuck right in their face (it could be interpreted as a challenge or as a threat if accompanied with a direct look) so you do the nose bump at the cat's leave. If you force it on them, they'll turn away, or bop you in the face. A bop is cat for "stop it" or "don't do that."
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 10:32 PM
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Wouldn't suppose you made eye contact while doing all this? I know I used to play with my cats a lot, and making close-up eye contact seemed to be a severely rude sign of aggression or dominance---and everyone knows you ARE not dominant to your cat. They just don't appreciate it. They'll always swat if you do that lol. As to the smell...that I'm not familiar with,s orry.


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