What is Your Cat Saying? Reading Your Cat’s Body Language

Cat Behavior & Training >

Marking Signs


  • Bunting. Your cat may rub or push his face against objects with his forehead, cheeks or chin. What your cat is doing is marking them with subtle biological scents. Some say that a cat’s rubbing with the forehead or cheeks indicates affection, but rubbing with the chin is usually reserved for territorial marking.
  • Furniture scratching. Contrary to popular belief, furniture scratching is not the cat’s way of sharpening his claws but is a form of visual and scent marking. Your cat’s paws are equipped with scent glands to facilitate this function. Territorial concerns will increase furniture scratching/marking and should be addressed if furniture scratching becomes a problem.
  • Marking objects with urine or feces. This is an even more distasteful form of marking behavior to most cat owners. The function is similar to furniture marking signifying an olfactory warning.
  • Anal sac secretions. Your cat may sometimes discharge his anal sac when in situations of extreme fear. Anal sac secretions are thought to contain a fear pheromone that serves to remind the cat not to pass that way again.

    There are benefits to caring cat owners in obtaining glimpses into the mind of their pet because it enhances their bond with their cat and facilitates communication. So, next time you are alone with your cat and don’t have anything to do, try reading your cat’s mind. You’ll probably learn something you didn’t know before and have a greater understanding because of it.



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