Why do cats rub around people’s legs, Thomasina? Does that mean my cat loves me?
Ohhh… how nice! Cats do rub around people’s legs to show they love them. I guess… Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Did you know we have scent glands in our cheeks, foreheads, chins, the base of our tails and our paw pads? So when cats rub people’s legs, they’re making their people smell like them. That’s a way of showing love, I guess, or at least possession.
Why Cats Rub People’s Legs: The Power Of Pheromones
When she pets Muffitt and Belle and then pets me, she’s getting her scent on us, too. And with these blended scents, we all smell like one big, happy family.
Different pheromones also send different messages. The pheromones in our cheeks are comforting and calming. We use them and the ones in our paw pads to mark our territory.
When we claw a fence post, for example, we’re letting other cats know we’ve been there. Believe it or not, the other cats can tell by the scent whether we’ve just left or if we were there a while ago.
Your cat can do the same thing with a scratching post if you put it near the entrance to his favorite room.
Love Me, Love My Scent