Does your cat really like it when you rub your face on him the way he does to you? Check out our cat health tips to find out the truth about face rubbing!

Do cats like it when you rub your face on them the way they do to you?

Face rubbing is one of those things that all cats do to their owners. In fact, it’s usually the number one thing they do, followed closely by the related head butt.

They do this to display both affection and ownership. However, just because they can do it to us, doesn’t necessarily make it a two-way street. I recently came across a question in one of the forums asking if cats liked for us to face rub them the way they do us. So let’s talk about face rubbing and cats.

Related: Do Cats Miss Their Owners When They Are Apart?

Why Face Rubbing is a Thing

For cats, face rubbing is both a sign of affection and ownership. When a cat rubs his face against your body, he is showing affection by increasing his contact with you. He is also showing ownership by transferring his scent onto you. It’s a calling card of sorts. It’s his way of saying, “Hey all you other cats, this human belongs to me!” Which is also a sort of affection, if you think about it.

Related: Is it normal for cats to rub against your legs?

Do Cats Like to be on the Receiving End of Face Rubbing

The short – and unsatisfying – answer to this question is some do. Some don’t. It all depends on the cat. A particularly friendly cuddle bug of a cat is most likely going to ADORE you putting your face all over him. A more reserved cat is probably not going to be so keen on the prospect of your face all up in his personal space.


Think about it like this. When a really friendly cat rubs its face on you, it’s almost more about affection than it is about proclaiming ownership. However, if you cat likes his space, I would not recommend invading his personal space, especially with your face.

It’s All About the Cat

Your cuddle bug may love face rubbing from you, but if you have a cat that wants affection when he wants it and ONLY when he wants it, it’s inadvisable to put your face directly within striking distance. Remember, your surly cat can love you and still tell you to back off with his claws.

It’s all about personal preference. For example, the general consensus is that cats hate belly rubs. However, both of the cats in my home present their bellies before I even make it over to them. They like belly rubs more than the dogs do! Most cat owners who read this will assume that I’m making it up, but I assure you, it’s true.

This type of individual preference holds true with face rubbing as well. So if your cat is a regular feline casanova for you, feel free to try face rubbing right back. However if your cat is more of a “serve me, human” type of cat, I would NOT recommend it. And remember, NEVER push anything on your cat if he doesn’t want it. You could end up scratched or bitten, or at the very least, your cat may give you the cold shoulder for a while.

We’d love to hear from you! Does your cat love when you rub your face on him? Share in the comments!