Wondering why your cat nuzzles your hair?
The good news is that it means your cat likes you – even if it’s annoying, it’s a sign of affection.
There are some interesting reasons behind how our cats interact with us, here’s a look at some of their behaviors:
Why Does My Cat Nuzzle My Hair? 4 Reasons!
There are a few reasons why your cat may be nuzzling your hair:
Scent Transferring and Bonding
One of the reasons your cat may nuzzle your hair is because they are trying to identify you – and leave their scent on you.
Cats have an amazing sense of smell – they can remember smells up to five years later!
So, by nuzzling and licking your hair, they are getting a whiff of you and committing it to memory.
Even though you see them every day, it’s just something some cats do to keep the bond strong with their owners.
Oh, and changing your shampoo or wearing a different scent will not stop your cat, it’s you they are identifying with!
Related – More reasons why cats like to lick us!
They’re Showing Affection
Cats don’t just groom each other, they also like to groom their humans as a way of showing their affection.
In fact, some cats will even start grooming their owners while they’re kittens!
This helps create a strong bond between the cat and its human caregiver, even if it’s yucky for you and annoying.
Often accompanied by purring, kneading, or treading (opening and closing their paws), licking, and even nibbling, it’s hard to stop your cat from nuzzling your hair when they enjoy it so much, isn’t it!
They Like the Taste
This is not a nice thought, but another reason why your cat may be nuzzling into your hair is because they like the taste.
I’m not sure if you want to take this as a compliment or not, but there certainly seems to be some evidence that this is why some cats nibble on their owners.
When we sweat, our bodies break down proteins in the foods we’ve eaten and produce urea and ammonia, which have strong scents.
Our sweat also contains salts, sugars, and some other minerals, this is what attracts all kinds of bugs – and even some cats.
They Could Be Stressed
There is one potential downside, some cats will lick or nuzzle excessively when they’re stressed or anxious.
You can usually tell if this is the case as your cat will show some other signs that they’re stressed, such as:
- Increased vocalization and erratic behaviors
- Hiding and not wanting to be pet or fussed
- Pacing around and not settling
- Destructive behavior
If your cat is exhibiting any of these signs, it’s best to take them to the vet as they may be suffering from anxiety or stress or have some other health issue.
Should You Let Your Cat Nuzzle Your Hair?
So, a question that comes up is; ‘should you let your cat nuzzle and lick your hair?’
Well, it’s up to you!
If your cat is happy and healthy and doesn’t show any signs of stress when they’re licking or nuzzling you, then go ahead and enjoy those moments.
Just make sure to keep an eye on them for any other signs that they may be stressed and take them to the vet if necessary.
If you’re not comfortable with your cat licking or nuzzling your hair, there are a few things you can do to discourage them:
- Make loud noises or shoo them away when they start to lick or nuzzle you.
- Distract them with a toy or treat.
- You could put a bandana, t-shirt, or hat on to block them.
- Redirect them somewhere else by using treats.
Whichever way you decide to go, remember that your cat is probably just trying to show their love and affection for you in the best way they know how!
But you have the right not to have your hair nuzzled if you don’t like it, and it’s better in the long run if you break this habit sooner rather than later.
Related – This is why cats like to nibble on our ears.
Other Ways Cats Show Us Affection
In addition to nuzzling and licking our hair, cats also show their affection in other ways.
Some common ways cats display love and care for us are:
- Staying close to us when we’re upset or sick – cats often know when we’re feeling down and will stay close by for comfort.
- Playing – there are few things more fun than playing with a cat.
- Following us from room to room – this is a sign of dependency and usually means your cat feels safe and secure when they’re near you.
- Rubbing up against us – this is a way for cats to leave their scent on us, marking us as their territory.
- Kneading our stomachs or chests – this can be a sign that your cat sees you as their parent and is trying to stimulate milk production.
If your cat also does some or all of these things, you know you have a happy cat – you may want to redirect their love from nuzzling to these other activities, too!
There are a few reasons why your cat may be licking or nuzzling your hair, but the most common reason is that they enjoy it and want to show you affection!
Some cats will lick or nuzzle excessively when they’re stressed or anxious, but you can usually tell if this is the case by observing their other behaviors.
Image credits – Photo by Adél Grőber on Unsplash