If you are one of the people who live with a feline at home, you will have noticed the variety of behaviors that our friend performs on a daily basis without really knowing why. One of these behaviors is rubbing between the legs.
When cats walk between the legs of their masters, they are often said to mark them as their property, but that is not exactly the case.
This is a natural behavior for cats. They do this on the legs of their masters and on multiple objects such as furniture, walls, windows, among others. When cats rub their paws, we might think they’re “petting” us, because it’s one of the ways humans express affection. Therefore, sometimes, from our human perspective, we may mistakenly believe that cats express themselves the same way we do.
Why do cats go between your legs?
Specifically, the ritual they perform usually begins by rubbing the side of their head against our ankles, then their flank, and finally wrapping their tail around our leg. This action may also be accompanied by purring or tail wagging.
The importance of action is in rubbing, not in walking, and the fact is that, surely, on some of the many occasions when you have observed your cat, you will have noticed that it usually rubs against objects, such as her bed, his scratching post, the corners of the walls… Therefore, it will not be a surprise to find out that the feline does the same behavior with you. But why is he doing this exactly?
This behavior allows him to guard the house with his personal scent, creating a comfortable and delimited environment for him. Thanks to the sebaceous glands they have in the temporal area of their head, on their cheeks and on their back, they are able to impregnate any object or living being with their scent.
Cats mark their masters as a sign of consideration and esteem. For this reason, they rub their legs to impregnate their scent and thus create a familiar and close atmosphere.
In case they smell a different smell than theirs, they will rub again to leave their scent. By keeping a familiar smell, they feel safe and reassured. It is often taken for curiosity, when in fact it is a question of marking a new piece of furniture, object or space.
However, this marking is not possessive behavior, but a form of acceptance. When 2 cats rub their heads and backs One against the other, they leave their own scent on the other, thus creating a common scent for both.
Cats also sometimes exhibit this behavior to get your attention. If it’s mealtime, if they want to play, or just want a cuddle session, they’re likely to request it by stepping between your legs.
- Is it bad if my cat marks my legs?
It’s not always bad if your cat marks your legs. When a feline leaves its scent on you while rubbing itself, it does not mean that it possesses you. He recognizes you as part of his trusted group.
This mixture of smells reassures the cat and allows him to feel safe around anything that smells like him. This is why some felines are wary of unfamiliar humans or suffer from stress when changing surroundings, because nothing smells like them.