Thursday 3 November 2011

Cats Touching Noses

Cats touching noses is a greeting. You will see it most often between "preferred associates"¹ - cats who are friends in human terms.

What dictates whether cats touch noses as a greeting behavior does not depend on the gender of the cat but on the degree of friendship two cats have for each other.

Another form of body language behavior when greeting is the tail up position. It also signals a friendly greeting. The two will go together sometimes. This is called "active approach" and may also include the back legs being extended slightly.

Touching noses as a greeting occurs between different species too.

Cat (Maji) touching noses with a dog (Theo) - by Living in Monrovia

When a cat greets his human companion he might first touch the person very gently with his nose and then exchange scent by rubbing against the person.

Some "affiliative body postures"² may be specific to the cat/human relationship. These may have evolved over the course of thousands of years of domestication. Also adult cats behave as kittens towards us because we tend to keep them in perpetual kittenhood.

In some cultures people touch noses as a form of greeting. Polynesian people press noses together.

Note: (1) The Welfare of Cats (Animal Welfare) (2) The Cat Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health ISBN 978-0-8138-0331-9

1 comment:

  1. Vets North Somerset
    Seeing those kind of images really removes the stress of their owners. So cute!


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