Do Cat Kiss Human Reddit

What Does It Mean When A Cat Kisses You?

Cats show affection differently than humans. While people express love through hugs and kisses, cat kisses are displayed through actions like bumping heads, touching noses, or slowing blinking. Cats use scent glands so kisses deliver pheromones conveying affection (1).

When a cat bumps their head on you, touches their nose to your face, or gives you a slow blink, they are delivering a cat kiss. These behaviors are a cat’s way of showing trust and affection for their human companions.

Cats have scent glands all over their bodies, including on their lips and nose. When they rub on you or touch you with their mouth and nose, they are transferring their scent and marking you as safe and loved. So a cat “kiss” is a way for your cat to show you love while also mingling scents.

While the meaning behind a cat kiss is different than a human kiss, the sentiment is the same. When your cat head-bumps, nose-boops, or slow blinks at you, they are saying “I love you” in the feline way.


Head Bumping or Head Bonks

One of the most common ways cats show affection is through head bumping or head bonking. This is when a cat gently bumps its head against a human’s body, often the head, face, legs, or hands. Cats have scent glands concentrated in their heads and faces, so when they bump or rub their heads against you, they’re depositing pheromones onto you as a way to mark you as theirs and show fondness.

According to cat behaviorists, when a cat head bumps you, they are mimicking what they do with fellow feline friends and family. It’s them saying “we’re friends and you’re part of my group.” The pheromones deposited during head bumping mingle with yours, meaning you smell like family or their companion to the cat.

Some references:

first time cat owner. why does she keep head-butting my face?
byu/cryingmasturbator inPets

How are you supposed to pet a cat after it bumps it’s head into you?
byu/duvetdave inCatAdvice

Nose Touches

Cats have extra sensitive noses containing smell sensors, so touching noses is a vulnerable act that requires trust. When cats touch or rub their noses together, it’s a gesture of affection and care.

Cats primarily use their sense of smell to gather information about their environment. Their noses contain scent glands that allow them to pick up pheromones and identify other cats. Touching noses allows cats to get more scent information and bond with each other.

According to redditors, when cats gently boop their owners’ noses, it’s a friendly greeting and sign of acceptance into their family/social circle. Cat owners feel touched when their feline friends initiate this vulnerable nose-to-nose contact. It represents a sweet moment of trust and care [1].

Nose touches between new cats can be a tentative way to become acquainted. But sometimes cats will touch noses affectionately before hissing or swatting at each other over territory disputes. So while usually positive, nose touches don’t necessarily guarantee friendship [2].

Slow Blinks

Slow blinking is a way cats express affection and friendship. When a cat slowly blinks at you, it indicates they are relaxed and comfortable in your presence. The slow eye closure is like a kitty “kiss” showing trust and love. If you slowly blink back at your cat, it reinforces the bond between you.

As one Redditor shares, “Slow blinks are a sign of trust and affection!” [1] Another Reddit thread confirms, “I’ve heard that when cats slow blink at you, they’re telling you that they love you and you should slow blink back to tell them you love them.” [2] Slow blinking back at your cat is a way to deepen your friendship and show them you feel safe and comfortable around them too.


One of the most common ways cats show affection is through kneading or making “biscuits” with their front paws. This rhythmic kneading and pushing motion on soft surfaces like blankets replicates how kittens would knead their mother’s belly to stimulate milk production while nursing. Even though they are grown, kneading remains an instinctual behavior that releases soothing pheromones which calms the cat.

As one Redditor explained about their cat kneading a blanket, “They do this to calm themselves because purring alone is not something they quite got they hang of as they always associated it with nursing, so the kneading helps relax them” [1]. Kneading is like a self-soothing habit for cats when they are content and relaxed. The rhythmic motion releases endorphins along with pheromones from the sweat glands in their paw pads. So next time your cat is happily kneading away, know that it’s both an instinctual habit and a sign of a calm, contented cat.


One of the most well-known ways cats show affection is by purring. A cat’s purr often indicates positive emotions like contentment, pleasure, or happiness [1]. The rhythmic vibrations from purring may also have healing effects for cats, helping to mend bones and tissues [2]. So when a cat purrs around you, they are likely expressing positive feelings and comfort in your presence.

A cat’s purr originates from their larynx and diaphragm muscles rapidly oscillating to produce a vibrating sound during breathing. The frequency of vibrations falls between 25-150 Hertz, which can help strengthen bones and relieve pain [2]. Some experts theorize this allows purring to facilitate healing, though the mechanism is not fully proven. Regardless, a purring cat demonstrates a relaxed and content state of mind around their owner.

Showing Belly

Exposing their belly makes cats feel vulnerable. It is an instinctive behavior that originates from when they were kittens. Kittens will show their belly to their mother when wanting attention and affection. This continues into adulthood with their human owners.

When a cat rolls over to expose their belly to you, they are putting themselves in a vulnerable position and showing that they trust you. According to Reddit users, exposing their belly is a sign that the cat is extremely comfortable around you and wants attention or affection.

“Cats show their belly as a sign of trust, so going for their belly is seen as an immediate violation of that trust and may result in biting or scratching.” (Reddit)

It’s best not to touch a cat’s belly unless they clearly invite you to. Some cats enjoy belly rubs, while others see it as a violation of trust. Look for additional signs they want their belly rubbed, like purring or kneading their paws.

Wrapping Tail Around Leg

Cats will often wrap their tails around their human’s leg to show affection and companionship. This behavior demonstrates that the cat feels a special bond with their owner and sees them as a source of security and comfort. According to redditors, when a cat wraps its tail around your leg, it is essentially “hugging” you with its tail and indicating that “you are their human” [1]. The tail wrapping signifies trust, safety, and contentedness in your presence.

Cats reserve this gesture only for their most beloved humans that they feel completely relaxed and safe with. It shows that your cat wants to be close to you and is happy to claim you as their own by marking you with their scent. A tail wrapped around the leg is a very reassuring sign of true bonding and companionship between a cat and their favorite human.


One of the most common ways cats show affection is by licking their owners. This mimics the social grooming behavior cats do with other members of their families. Licking allows cats to bond by transferring scents from glands in their mouths onto the person they are grooming [1]. When a cat licks you, it’s a sign they have accepted you into their social group.

By grooming a human through licking, a cat is also marking the person with their scent and showing acceptance. Cats have scent glands all over their bodies, including on their tongues, so licking deposits those scents onto the human. This transfers the cat’s scent in a social bonding behavior [2].


Adult cats rarely meow at other cats, reserving vocal communication mainly for humans. While kittens meow to their mothers, once they get a bit older cats no longer meow to other cats. Research shows adult cats use meows to communicate almost exclusively with people.

Cats meow at humans for a variety of reasons. They quickly learn that humans respond to meowing and will often provide food, petting, or attention. Meowing is a successful way for cats to communicate their needs and desires to people. So while cat-to-cat communication is mainly through body language and pheromones, cats use vocalization with humans to get what they want.

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