Why Do Cats Sniff Each Other’s Butts?

Published On: October 22nd, 2022Categories: Why Do Cats

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We’ve all watched it happen, and we’ve all wondered why. There is no elegant way to ask. Now it’s time to answer that age-old question: Why do cats sniff each other’s butts?

The Sense Of Smell In Cats

Among the five basic neurological senses, smell takes the lead in the world of cats. Our nose contains about 5 million olfactory receptors that are able to detect scents, while a cat’s nose has morethan 45 million scent receptors.

Additionally, cats are equipped with a special organ called Jacobson’s organ that is located inside the nasal cavity and opens into the roof of the mouth. This incredible organ is able to detect chemical substances that have no odor at all and communicates with the part of the brain that deals with mating.

Why Cats Sniff Each Other

When two people meet, they may shake hands, hug each other or just say hello. Cats havetheir way to say “hello” to each other. When two felines meet, they may sniff the head first or share a gentle head bump, which releases pheromones from glands in the face. These pheromones function as a chemical communication between the 2 cats and provide information about the mood of the cat at this time, the gender and even if the other cat is healthy or ill.

Why Cats Sniff Each Other’s Butts

However, the question that confuses most cat parents, is “why the butt”?

The answer is the same as for the rest of the body. Inside the rectum, there are the anal glands, which produce a noxious smelling substance that provides valuable information for the feline when sniffed out by a cat’s nose. These glands are emptied naturally when the rectal sphincter muscles contract during a bowel movement.

When cats sniff each other’s butts, they can acquire more detailed information about each other. is the other cat friendly or hostile? healthy or ill? They even can tell if the 2 cats have met before. By sniffing, the two cats will establish dominance and set the tone of their relationship. The dominant cat will usually initiate the sniffing, while the submissive will end the sniffing and retreat.

However, not all cats like to share their information with others. If they are shy, they might sit down and clamp their tails over their rectums, in order to reduce the odors they emit and the information as well.


Sniffing each other’s butts is a normal behavior for cats. That’s why it’s best not to interrupt it if the cats seem friendly. Interrupting this behavior could annoy or upset one of the two felines and can make the introduction awkward and create stress between the cats. However, you should stay close just in case you notice any other signs of aggression. Only in this case, it’s appropriate to pull your cat away from the other.

Did you find this article helpful? Write down in the comments if we missed any other reason that explain “Why Do Cats Sniff Each Other’s Butts”.

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