Why Does My Cat Smell My Eyes?

Have you ever wondered why your cat tends to smell your eyes? In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of feline behaviour and discover the reasons behind this unique habit. When you wake up to those late-night cuddle sessions, your cat’s curiosity about your eyes and face can be puzzling and endearing. Join us as we uncover the secrets behind why your furry friend may be so fascinated with your eyes and what it means in terms of their relationship with you.


Cats are known for their curious nature, and their fascination with smelling various parts of our bodies is no exception. One particular behaviour that often leaves cat owners puzzled is their tendency to smell our eyes. This section will briefly introduce the topic and highlight the questions we aim to answer throughout the blog post.

Why Does Your Cat Smell Your Eyes?

Before we dive into the specifics of why cats smell our eyes, it’s essential to understand the significance of scent in feline behaviour. Cats have a highly developed sense of smell, which they use to navigate their surroundings and communicate with humans and other animals. They gather information about their environment and establish social bonds by exploring scents. This section will explore the role of scent in a cat’s life and how it influences their interactions with us.

The Morning Ritual

Many cat owners have experienced waking up to their feline companion gently sniffing their eyes in the morning. While it may seem strange, this behaviour is relatively common among cats. Cats have a highly developed sense of smell, and they use scent to gather information about their environment and the individuals they interact with, including their human companions. When your cat sniffs your eyes in the morning, it is likely a combination of curiosity and communication.

One reason behind this behaviour is that cats are masters of observation. They carefully observe our daily routines and habits, and the act of smelling our eyes in the morning allows them to gather information about our well-being. Cats have an acute sense of smell that can detect subtle changes in our body chemistry, such as changes in hormone levels or the release of pheromones. By sniffing your eyes, they can assess if you are awake, healthy, and ready to start the day.

Additionally, cats are territorial animals that use scent marking as a way to establish their dominance and mark their territory. When your cat smells your eyes in the morning, it may be a way for them to assert their dominance over you and mark you as part of their territory. It’s their way of saying, “I’m in charge here.”

This behaviour can also be seen as a form of bonding and affection. Cats have scent glands on various body parts, including their faces. When they rub their face against objects or people, they deposit their scent and mark them as part of their social group. By smelling your eyes, your cat may reinforce the bond between you and mark you as someone they trust and consider part of their family unit.

It’s important to note that not all cats exhibit this behaviour, and individual cats may have different reasons for doing so. Some cats may simply be more curious or affectionate than others. It’s also worth mentioning that this behaviour is more commonly observed in cats that have a close bond with their owners and feel comfortable expressing their natural behaviours.

The Sleeping Sniffer

If you’ve ever found your cat sniffing your eyes while you’re asleep, you may wonder what motivates them to do so. Cats are naturally curious creatures, and their inclination to sniff your eyes while you’re asleep is a testament to their inquisitive nature. There are several reasons why cats engage in this behaviour, and understanding them can provide valuable insights into your feline companion’s motivations and instincts.

Cats may sniff your eyes while you sleep to ensure your safety. Cats are known for their protective instincts, and they consider themselves part of your family unit. By sniffing your eyes, they can assess if you are in a deep sleep or if there are any signs of distress. This behaviour allows them to stay vigilant and alert, ready to respond to any potential threats or dangers that may arise.

Seeking comfort and closeness is another motivation behind this behaviour. Cats are social animals, and they often seek physical contact and reassurance from their human companions. Sniffing your eyes while you sleep allows them to establish a sense of closeness and bond with you. The scent of your eyes may provide them with a familiar and comforting smell, helping them feel secure in your presence.

Additionally, cats have an incredible sense of smell, allowing them to detect subtle changes in our body chemistry. When we sleep, our body goes through various physiological changes, including fluctuations in hormone levels and the release of pheromones. Cats can pick up on these changes through their keen sense of smell, and sniffing your eyes during sleep allows them to gather information about your overall well-being.

The Eyelash Obsession

Cats can exhibit a fascinating fixation on their owner’s eyelashes, often displaying behaviours such as pawing at them or even affectionately licking them. This unique behaviour can be attributed to several factors, including the texture and movement of eyelashes and deeply rooted grooming instincts.

One possible reason for a cat’s interest in their owner’s eyelashes is the distinct texture and movement they possess. Eyelashes are visually striking and have a delicate and feathery quality that captures a cat’s attention. The subtle movements of eyelashes, especially when blinking or during moments of close interaction, can trigger a cat’s natural instinct to track and focus on small, moving objects. This fascination with the tactile and visual aspects of eyelashes can lead to behaviours such as pawing at them in an attempt to engage with this intriguing feature.

Furthermore, the grooming behaviour exhibited by cats can also play a significant role in their fixation on their owner’s eyelashes. Cats are fastidious groomers, meticulously attending to their fur and engaging in mutual grooming with other cats as a form of social bonding. When a cat paws at or licks their owner’s eyelashes, it may stem from its innate grooming instincts. In the feline world, grooming is an essential social and bonding behaviour, and cats may extend this behaviour to their human companions as a display of affection and care.

Face Sniffing: Communication or Curiosity?

Beyond eyes, many cats also have a habit of sniffing our mouths and noses. In this section, we will delve into the reasons behind this behaviour, which can range from cats trying to understand our emotions through scent cues to simply satisfying their innate curiosity about our facial features. We will also discuss how cats use pheromones to communicate and how this may play a role in their interest in our faces.

Cats’ habit of sniffing our mouths and noses can be attributed to a combination of factors, including their keen sense of smell, communication methods, and innate curiosity about our facial features. By understanding the reasons behind this behaviour, we can gain valuable insights into our feline companions’ social interactions and the role of scent cues in their communication.

One potential reason for cats’ interest in sniffing our mouths and noses is their remarkable ability to perceive scent cues, which enables them to gather information about our emotional state. Cats possess a highly developed sense of smell and can detect changes in our pheromones, which may convey information about our mood and well-being. By sniffing our mouths and noses, cats may be attempting to understand our emotional state and establish a deeper connection with us based on the scents they perceive.

Moreover, cats use pheromones for communication, and they have scent glands around their mouth and chin. When they engage in sniffing behaviours directed towards our faces, they may be seeking to exchange and interpret these chemical signals. This behaviour can serve as a means of social bonding and reassurance, allowing cats to gain insight into our scent cues and express their own through the exchange of pheromones.

Curiosity also plays a significant role in cats’ exploration of our facial features. Cats are naturally inquisitive animals, and the unique scents emanating from our mouths and noses may pique their curiosity. The olfactory stimulation derived from sniffing our facial areas provides them with additional information about us and their surroundings, satisfying their innate curiosity and contributing to their overall understanding of the environment.

As responsible pet owners, it’s important to appreciate and respect our cats’ communication methods and sensory experiences. Encouraging positive interactions with our feline companions, such as engaging in gentle and affectionate bonding activities, can foster a deeper understanding between us and our cats. Creating a supportive and enriching environment that allows cats to express their natural behaviours can further enhance the bond we share with them.

Licking Eyes: Affection or Instinct?

In rare cases, some cats may even go as far as licking their owner’s eyes. While this behaviour may seem strange to us, it can be seen as a sign of affection or grooming in the feline world. This section will explore why some cats engage in this behaviour and what it might indicate about their bond with their owners.

Licking the eyes of their owners is a behaviour that, while rare, can hold significant meaning in the feline world. When a cat engages in this behaviour, it can be perceived as a sign of deep affection and a demonstration of their grooming instincts. Understanding why some cats exhibit this behaviour can shed light on their bond with their owners and provide insights into their unique forms of communication.

When to Be Concerned?

While most instances of cats smelling our eyes are harmless and normal, there are times when this behaviour could be a cause for concern. This section will highlight potential red flags to watch out for, including excessive eye sniffing or other unusual behaviours that may indicate an underlying health issue. We will also provide some general guidelines for when it’s appropriate to seek veterinary advice.

When it comes to observing your cat’s behaviour, it’s essential to remain vigilant for any signs that could indicate potential health issues. While most instances of cats smelling our eyes are harmless and normal, there are specific red flags to watch out for, as they may signal an underlying health concern. By recognizing these signs and knowing when it’s appropriate to seek veterinary advice, you can ensure the well-being of your feline companion.

Excessive eye sniffing or prolonged and persistent focus on your eyes may warrant attention. If your cat displays a sudden increase in eye sniffing frequency or obsessive behaviour focused solely on your eyes, it could indicate an underlying issue. Additionally, if the behaviour extends to other unusual or repetitive actions, such as pacing, vocalizing, or changes in appetite, it may be a cause for concern.

Furthermore, any visible changes in your cat’s eyes, such as redness, swelling, discharge, or squinting, should be promptly assessed by a veterinarian. These symptoms can indicate various eye conditions, including infections, injuries, or underlying health issues. Monitoring your cat’s overall behaviour and physical well-being is crucial to identify any potential correlations with eye-sniffing behaviour.

If your cat’s eye-sniffing behaviour is accompanied by signs of distress, discomfort, or changes in their usual routine, it is advisable to seek veterinary advice promptly. As a responsible pet owner, being attuned to your cat’s behaviour and any deviations from their normal patterns is vital in identifying potential health issues early on.

When assessing your cat’s behaviour, it’s important to consider their overall health and well-being. Factors such as age, previous medical history, and any recent changes in their environment or routine should be taken into account. Any concerns regarding your cat’s eye-sniffing behaviour should be discussed with a qualified veterinarian who can conduct a thorough examination and provide professional guidance.

If you notice any persistent changes in your cat’s behaviour, including excessive eye sniffing or other unusual behaviours, it is advisable to schedule a veterinary appointment for a comprehensive evaluation. Early detection and intervention can significantly impact the prognosis and treatment of potential health issues.

Final Words

In conclusion, while the act of a cat smelling our eyes may seem peculiar at first, it is often rooted in their natural instincts and desire for social interaction with us. By exploring the power of sent in feline behaviour, we can better understand why cats exhibit these behaviours and their relationship with us. S next time your furry friend leans in for a sniff, embrace the curiosity and appreciate the unique connection you share with your cat. With a little knowledge and a lot of love, you can navigate these intriguing cat behaviours and strengthen the bond with your feline companion.

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