Why Does My Cat Rub Her Face On My Phone?

As a cat parent, you’ve surely experienced this behavior at least once, but likely dozens of times. You’re sitting there minding your own business and all of a sudden your cat comes up and starts rubbing her face on your phone. Sometimes they might even knock it out of your hand!

You’re not the first person who has wondered why your cat rubs her face on your phone and you certainly won’t be the last! Cats are very peculiar creatures. They’re also very methodical, every thing they do is done for a reason.

From enjoying earwax to licking blankets, cats will ALWAYS have a reason for their behavior! Don’t worry, we’re here to answer all of your questions about cat behaviors. 

Aside from rubbing their face on your phone, have you ever noticed your cat rubbing their face on anything else? Maybe it was your hand they were rubbing so that you would pet them. Or maybe they were rubbing their face on one of their favorite toys. Face rubbing is a sign of affection, but it can mean other things as well. 

Cats have scent glands at the corners of their mouths, on their temples, and on their chin. These scent glands are a primary reason cats rub their faces on anything, including your phone. If your cat is rubbing her face on your phone then she is likely rubbing it along her scent glands. But why?

Why does my cat rub her face on my phone?

Your Cat Is Marking Your Phone With Their Scent

The primary reason your cat is rubbing her face on your phone is likely to be she is marking it with her scent. Remember those scent glands we talked about earlier? Your cat is rubbing your phone right along those scent glands on her face. 

Rubbing their faces (and scent glands) on things around your house goes back to your cat’s wild instincts from before she was domesticated. Cats would leave their scent on objects for a couple of reasons. 

The first reason is to mark it as her territory. This gives a warning to other animals that says “Hey, this things right here is mine!”

The second reason is not so much territorial as it is a way to just communicate. Leaving her scent on your phone is a way to let other animals know that they’re nearby. Your cat doesn’t understand that you don’t know how to pick up her scent. She just wants you to know that she’s close (and maybe that she’d like your phone so she can pull up a video of mice or birds or something.)

Your Cat Wants Attention

In addition to meowing excessively, cats will often rub or nudge on things that you’re holding or that are close to you so that they can get your attention. 

If your cat is excessively rubbing on your phone to get your attention, you now need to figure out what she wants. Does she want pets? Does she want you to pat her haunch? Does she want to play?

Cats are VERY smart creatures and they know how to get your attention when you really want something. 

Your Cat Wants To Remind You That They Love You

Remember those scent glands that we talked about earlier? Whenever cats have something or someone that they REALLY like, they will rub those scent glands all over this person or object. 

Your phone smells like you AND your cat always sees you with your phone. She associates your phone almost as if it were an extension of your body. Because she loves you, your cat is trying to rub all over your phone to say “Hey! I love the person that’s holding this thing! They’re all mine! 

Excessive face rubbing from cats isn’t an odd behavior, it’s a sign of affection and a sign of trust. Think of this as a huge compliment as opposed to it just being weird behavior. 

Your Cat Is Hungry

When your cat is hungry, she’ll do whatever it takes to get food. So if she’s hungry, she may start rubbing her face on your cell phone because she knows it’s a sure-fire way to get your attention and make herself known. 

Pet parents are generally pretty good at being able to tell when their pets are hungry. But sometimes your feline friend might just want to give you an extra reminder that it’s getting close to feeding time. 

Your Phone Smells Like You

As a cat parent, already know that your cat has a very strong sense of smell. And since she’s been living in your home for years, she’s developed a very keen sense of how you smell. 

So whenever your cat comes into contact with your phone, she’s going to immediately recognize that the phone smells like her favorite person in the world, YOU! Simply picking up your scent can make your cat so happy that she just can’t help but rub all over you. 

This is also the same reason that cats will excessively rub their faces on your shoes or even your laundry before it has been washed. 

Your Cat Is Picking Up Information

According to Mychelle Blake, a cat behavior consultant, cats will rub their head or face on something in order to gather data about that object. Bunting, as they call it, allows cats to see if any scent mark has been left behind on people or objects. 

Once they pick up any particular scents, they’re able to process information about whatever object or person that they’re rubbing their face on. These scents can also act as a timestamp for cats. Based on how strong the scent is, they’re not only able to tell who was last at this object, but how long ago they were there. 

Your Cat Just Wants To Say Hi!

Rubbing their face on a person or an object that smells like that person is sometimes just a form of greeting. Cats base a lot of their social interactions on various smells and scents. If they don’t recognize the scent of another person or animal, then they won’t interact with them. 

How Do I Stop My Cat From Rubbing Her Face On My Phone

I hate questions like this that come up where people are essentially asking “How do I stop my cat from acting like a cat?”

Whether it’s laying in your bed, jumping on the counter, clawing at the couch, or rubbing their face on something, it all boils down to cats acting like cats! 

If you want your cat to stop rubbing her face on your phone then you need to simply put the phone down and see what your cat wants. It’s likely she just wants some attention from the person she loves the most. 

Cats rubbing their faces on you or on other objects is not:

– Abnormal behavior

-Aggressive behavior

-and it should certainly not be seen as unwanted behavior

So stop worrying about it and understand that this is normal behavior used by cats to bond with you!

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