Why do cats like to smell your hands?

United States
May 20, 2008 10:36pm CST
My cat EB is sitting on my lap right now. And, I'm typing around her. And, as I'm typing she is rubbing her head on my hands (claiming them, I suppose) and smelling my fingers. I am pretty sure that I washed my hands after dinner, so I don't think that I smell like food. Then again, as a mom, I'm always washing something or have some kind of chemicals on my hands. So, maybe she is interested in those smells. Do you know why cats like to smell the hands or rub their head against your hands? Does your cat do that?
1 person likes this
8 responses
@cortjo73 (6503)
• United States
21 May 08
She is marking you with her scent but, sometimes cats smell our hands and fingers to decide whether we smell ok to touch them. If they smell another animal on our hands, they may chose not to let us touch them at all. Cats can be very finicky and, if she just washed herself, she may not want you to put your scent on her. LOL!
• United States
21 May 08
That's interesting you would say that. The other day she flipped out and tried to bite my hands. Guess she didn't like my smell.
1 person likes this
@cortjo73 (6503)
• United States
21 May 08
LOL! Either that or she was nice and clean and the thought of you dirtying her up infuriated her. LOL! It can take up to a half an hour for one of my cats to finish bathing herself. So, maybe your cat spent a half an hour getting herself all clean...with her tongue might I add...and the thought of you undoing all of her hard work ticked her off! LOL! Don't you just love them?
@cortjo73 (6503)
• United States
14 Jun 08
Thank you for the best response! I hope your cat has kept herself nice and clean lately...but, not at the expense of not letting you pet her! LOL!
• United States
19 Jun 08
I'm not sure about that, my question is why do they parade their butt all the time? lol
• United States
19 Jun 08
My cats are notorious about doing that. It's so rude! LOL! But actually there's a logical explanation. I have heard they have glands that secrete hormones both under the tail and on the side of the face (the friendly hormones) and on the forehead. So, it's just their way of saying, Hi!
@williamjisir (22912)
• China
15 Jun 08
Hello dear beauty queen. I think that the cats are not alone there because it is the same with my poodle, which likes like lick our hands. I think that it is out of love from our pet dogs and cats to show how they love us as their friends. This is my understanding. Thank you for your discussion, dear beauty queen.
• United States
15 Jun 08
That is very sweet. I guess it's like a big hug from our dog or cats! I like that idea. And, I think you are right. When I was a little girl, we had a dog and he would do a similar thing and lick my hand. He was very affectionate and kind. I miss him so much! Be well. Have a wonderful day.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jun 08
i always just thought of it as my cat or animals reading your personality by your scent.. but the first posters answer made the most sense
@celticeagle (78191)
• Boise, Idaho
19 Jun 08
Animals go by scent. If you smell okay you're in.
@Cannonball (3639)
• France
19 Jun 08
My favorite cat's activity is to spend her time head in my shoes after I'm just back home and take the shoes off. When she's in my arms,she would smell under my arms and plant her head right here and she wouldn't tolerate me to take her off from there. Cats as a lot of other pets have a great sense of smell.
@luvstochat (6917)
• United States
21 May 08
My cats do that too I always though they could smell stuff on your hands like food you had cooked or another cat that you had petted. I see the first poster said they are marking you with their scent and that does make sense as cats are possive and want to make sure they mark what is theirs.
@bagumbayan (2707)
• Philippines
21 May 08
You do love cats and I dont. So I dont know about that.