Why Does My Cat Rub His Teeth on Me? Everything You Need to Know

Cats are fascinating animals with their personalities that charm us. They have a gift of mystifying us through their distinctive behaviors.

We are always amazed by cats and their unique and sometimes confusing habits.

cat rubbing teeth

One habit that makes us wonder is when a cat gently bites their human friends or things around them. This may look strange at first, but it tells us a lot about how cats think and feel.

Let’s learn more about our amazing cats and their interesting personalities.

Why Does My Cat Rub His Teeth on Me?

The behavior of cats is often surprising and hard to understand. Their mysterious ways never stop to amaze us, keeping us guessing and intrigued, The following can be some of the reasons:

cat rubbing teeth

1. Being Affectionate and Bonding

Cats share their smells by rubbing their faces together when they meet.

They think of you as a big cat, so they’ll do the same to you to make you smell like them. They may even stand up on their back legs to reach your face and say hi!

When you hug your cats, they may also rub their teeth on you — this is how they show love.

2. Scent Marking

Cats have sweat glands in their mouths that make a smell. The smell is different for each cat and only other cats can smell it. When they rub their teeth or gums on something, they leave their smell on it. This tells other cats that this thing or place is theirs[1].

cat rubbing teeth

3. Dental Issues

According to the studies at Cornell, “Diseases of the teeth and gums are common in cats. Studies report that between 50 and 90% of cats older than four years of age suffer from some form of dental disease”.

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Teething, Gingivitis, Tooth resorption, and Bruxism are some of the feline dental diseases. Stress and anxiety are likely causes but may be contributing factors. The same may be present in dogs and cats but can be challenging to notice.

Why Do They Rub Their Teeth on Things?

Cats rubbing their teeth against you or other things is an odd behavior that is caused by several reasons. some are mentioned below:

1. Feeling Anxious

“Anxiety is the expectation of harm or risk. So your cat may feel anxious even if they are not really in trouble. Cat anxiety can affect your cat’s body and behavior. An anxious cat may show physical signs such as a faster heartbeat and breathing, gasping, shaking, and drooling” Confirms Dr. Krista Sirois at PetMD.

cat rubbing teeth on things

2. Making Presence

When cats bite on you, they are expressing their affection for you, but what about when they chew things like the corner of your shelf or table?

They are also marking their presence, but this time to claim their territory in your house, informing other cats and people that this place is theirs.

3. Curious Cats

cats are naturally curious and always ready to explore their surroundings. They rely on their senses of sight, smell, hearing, and touch, to investigate everything around them.

Sometimes, They may even bite objects to get a better feel and flavor. This is their way of learning everything they come across.

4. When It Is Too Much/ Vet Consultation

All this biting is endearing. But, whenever you notice that this behavior of your cat is constant and aggressive with time, then this is the time to consult a vet.

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A vet will examine your cat and suggest you all possible solutions for this.

cat rubbing teeth on hands


Why Do Cats Rub Against You and Then Bite?

They want to mark you again with their scent by rubbing, headbutting, licking, or even gently biting you. This allows your cat to reclaim their territory, and it’s thought to increase endorphins, which gives them a sense of calm, happiness, and safety.

Why Do Cats Push Their Mouth Into You?

Cats ‘bunt’ primarily as a way of bonding, and they do this not only to you and other humans but also to other cats and even dogs. Bunting is your cat’s way of communicating their affection for you and identifying you as one of their friends.

Why Does My Cat Rub His Jaw?

In addition to feeling good, this action also deposits pheromones on the rubbed-on surface. Pheromones are special scent molecules that function in animal-to-animal communication. Chin pheromones in cats are thought to be “happy” pheromones.

Why Is My Cat Purring but Biting Me?

Some cat lovers call this a ‘love bite’, others call it petting aggression. It’s a controversial subject but it’s believed that if your cat suddenly bites you for no apparent reason, it could be because they are being overstimulated by the constant stroking – which you thought they were enjoying!


Cats are puzzling creatures, yet understanding their behavior may help us develop a stronger bond with our feline friends. So, when your cat rubs its teeth on you, it’s like a multi-purpose move!

playful cat biting

They may be claiming you as their own, making a connection with you, engaging in some peculiar grooming, or simply letting you know that their teeth also require attention may determine their mysterious motives by being keenly aware of their body language and considering the situation.

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Oh, and if your cat’s teeth appear out of place, give them some dental care or visit a professional.

Enjoy these quirky interactions with your cat and their unique methods of expressing affection. Who knew that teeth could be so cute?


  1. DePorter, T., Bledsoe, D. L., Beck, A., & Ollivier, E. (2018). Evaluation of the efficacy of an appeasing pheromone diffuser product vs placebo for management of feline aggression in multi-cat households: a pilot study. Journal of Feline Medicine and SurgeryNLM.

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