“Human, Jacey and I have a question for you. Why do you become unhappy when we sit on you or near you with our rears near your face?”
“I don’t like it, Bagheera. It’s not something we humans do.”
“But human, this is how Jacey and I show you that we like and trust you. You see, we are putting ourselves in a vulnerable position when we do this because we cannot see what you are doing. Plus, it allows you to sniff our scent glands to see what we are up to.”
“Yeah, human. Bagheera is right. That is why I love to snuggle with you with my paw around your arm and my rear in your face.”
Humans may not like it when we felines put our butt in their face, but when you look at it from a cat’s perspective, this cat behavior makes perfect sense.
Putting our butt in the face of someone, whether feline or human, who we like is the equivalent of a human giving a friend a hug. You see, this cat behavior allows us to let other felines know what we have been up to because we communicate by scent.
And among cats who live together, this cat behavior helps to create a community scent. When we felines rub our hindquarters together, the scents from our glands mixes. As we do this many times, a scent is created that identifies members of a clowder. That way, we know that we can trust that feline and we do not have to be as cautious.
You can consider the cat behavior of presenting our hindquarters to you to be the same as a handshake or hug. And then, you can try to explain why you humans grab the hands of people you do not know well. We felines consider this to be very rude!