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My cats act weird when I sniff them???

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by abufish, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. abufish

    abufish Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Dec 11, 2005
    NM, USA
    This sounds a little weird but we noticed by accident that my cats act weird when we make the "sniffing" sound near them. [​IMG]

    The sound we make is more like heavy breathing or sniffing, as if we are blowing the nose without hand holding the nose.

    The cats would seem a little nervous (not sure), they would stand up if they were lied down, sometimes sniff back, they would meow, wondering around the person, or run away. One of my cat lies on his belly and meows.

    What does all these mean? We are very curious what the cats are thinking. Do they believe we no longer recognize them if we "sniff" them? I tried to "sniff" my neighbor's cat who is always friendly, he ran away when I did that...

    Anyone have a clue or similar experience?

  2. goldenkitty45

    goldenkitty45 TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 29, 2005
    SW Minnesota
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Maybe you didn't do it "right".....in cat language [​IMG]

  3. abufish

    abufish Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Dec 11, 2005
    NM, USA
    LOL, it maybe true. I always want to understand their language but there's always something you can't find an answer [​IMG]

  4. beandip

    beandip TCS Member Top Cat

    Jan 1, 2007
    under a pile of cats
    Hmmm...never tried that. [​IMG] My first thought is that it could sound like a "hiss" so it startles them ?

  5. pennicat

    pennicat TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jun 10, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    I am afraid I must leave the computer immediately do conduct my own "cat sniffing" experiment. Report will come later [​IMG]
    Kitty Mommy purraised this.

  6. pekoe & nigel

    pekoe & nigel TCS Member Super Cat

    Jan 28, 2007
    I remember a thread awhile back about someone noticing their cat reacting strangely when they "panted" at them. Maybe it's something similar in cat-language?

    ETA: The panting thread is located here.

  7. cheylink

    cheylink TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 31, 2005
    queens, new york
    The actual sound and action of sniffing is an aggressive scent acknowledgment. Although they are comfortable with you, if you sniff them they may become slightly alert or defensive since it is what cats do when they are unfamiliar with another's scent. Basically they reconfirm their familiarity this way. I actually am very guilty of playing around with Maia trying different cat behaviors and movements to see how she responds. If you crawl across the floor on all fours, I guarantee you get another different reaction! I f they ever get very upset by this or the sniffing, just lie down on your tummy or back, this is a sign of submission. [​IMG]
    C2k purraised this.

  8. kalikat

    kalikat TCS Member Top Cat

    Feb 25, 2007
    Sydney N.S.W
    I tried it and got no reaction. She just wondered why I was so close & pawed my arm.

  9. chloe anto

    chloe anto TCS Member Kitten

    Apr 4, 2016
    My Kitten bites me when I do it, but she regrets it when she licks me where she bit me, but I still love her <3

  10. nessie

    nessie TCS Member Young Cat

    Sep 18, 2015
    Omg my cat does this, too! I noticed her making that exaggerated sniffing noise when I unwrapped an ice cream bar, and since her head was close to my face, I decided on a whim to imitate her sniffing noise as I smelled her forehead. She seemed to become defensive and kind of angry! Her ears went back and her eyes went big, then she ran away from me. I have no idea why she does this.

    She doesn't seem to care if I make that noise as long as I'm not close to her. It's only when I've got my face close to her (whether it's her head or her body) and sniff like that that she seems to get mad/scared.

  11. C2k

    C2k TCS Member Kitten

    Apr 22, 2018
    I know this is old, but imma bump it.

    @cheylink gave a good comprehensive answer. I feel like it might be a predator thing. Like how a bear sniffs something it's attacked/going to attack. Is that what an aggressive scent acknowledgment is?

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