We had Teddy for just over four years when our sassy tuxedo cat, Pip, joined the family.
Pip liked to climb and sit on all kinds of stuff, including my legs and lap. On one such occasion, when still a kitten, the feline jumped on my lap and curled up. When seemingly settled, I gently bopped him twice on the nose.
To my utter amazement, he bopped me back. And it wasn’t a fluke. Every time after that first bop, whenever I raised my finger toward his nose, Pip would lift his head so I could reach more easily.
I knew that cats rubbed their heads on people and other animals they perceive are in their family. “Wow,” I thought, “this goofy, adorable kitten gets it. He knows that I love him by returning my nose bops.”
Well, a quick review of research revealed my brilliant deduction wasn’t quite as shiny as I had thought.
According to Nicholas DeMarino at thenest.com, Pip treated me like he would any cat he felt was part of his cat family. Pip touching my finger and/or touching me with his nose is his friendly greeting, whether for a new cat or seeing me after his afternoon nap. “Nose touching remains cats’ go to friendly greeting for other cats throughout their adult life,” DeMarino writes.
Pip’s nose touch tells him where I’ve been while he’s been napping. I’m guessing he’s looking to see if I’ve been anywhere close to his food bowl.
Adri Sandoval at iheartcats.com concurs with DeMarino’s analysis of cat greetings, or “repertoire,” as she describes it. Pip rubbing my face, butting me with his head and turning his head upward to accept my finger taps to his nose are the ways he greets his cat family.
So in the end, Pip’s nose bops are, in catspeak, a form of love. By bopping my finger he lets me know I’m a member of “his” family — a special designation from any cat.
Trouble is, I’m still trying to figure out where I fit in his group. Am I his mom, a good friend, or just the crazy lady that makes him bop her finger for a treat.
SIGNS OF A CONFIDENT CAT
1. Holds tail high in the air
2. Ears turn forward
3. Body is tall
SOURCE: petmd.com/news/view/cat language 101 how do