I’ve been owned by cats throughout most of my life, so I’m familiar with their basic behaviors. For the most part, I like to think that I understand why mine do the crazy things they do. For example, every cat I’ve ever known has shown a desire to rub its cheek against my hand, my shoes and my pant legs. I’m not afraid of a little cat spit, so I certainly don’t mind. But I recently noticed something else, something I like to call “cat smudge.” This substance seems to have found it’s way –at cat head level– onto every vertical surface in my home.
If you have a cat, it’s probably in yours as well. Don’t believe me? Get down on your hands and knees and crawl along the wall like a cat. When you reach a corner, examine the wall. Do you see it? Okay, maybe it’s invisible. But I know that it’s there because I’ve seen all three of my cats rubbing their cheeks against every wall corner, every furniture corner, every chair leg, every table leg and every human leg in the house.
So why do they do this? All cats have scent glands on each side of their head and on their chin (as well as along their tail). As cats are naturally territorial (yes, even a lazy housecat), they use these glands to mark their territory. When my cats rub their faces against my hand or my pants, they are marking me as theirs. Cat smudge is cat scent. And it’s on every item in my home because, apparently, my home belongs to the cats.
Do your cats do this or are mine simply nuts? Sound off in the comments below.