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Why Does My Cat Rub Her Gums on Me?

Why Does My Cat Rub Her Gums on Me?

Cats are known to rub against things, including people. But one question people often ask is, “why does my cat rub her gums on me?” 

Similar to spraying urine, cats rub their gums on people when they’re marking them, so their scent spreads and they can mark their location. You should not take this negatively in most cases, since cats do this occasionally to show their love. 

In this article, we’ll explain several other possible reasons for this strange phenomenon. So the next time your cat rubs her gums on you, you’ll have a better idea of what is happening!

Cat biting woman's hand

5 Reasons Reasons Cats Rub Their Gums on You

1. Marking Mechanism

When a cat marks a spot, it will mutter and rub everything. This will happen even when the objects are not living objects (i.e., couches, rugs). While it’s believed that cats keep their owners with pheromones, they also mark themselves in this way. 

You might feel a cat rubbing up against your arm or leg or trying to get into your pocket. Just think about it as a way for them to rub their scent on your body. Consequently, a cat may decide to rub its gums against you in the same manner. The concept of leaving their scent on you is similar to changing your scent. 

Once your cat gets used to living with you, he will be more likely to exhibit these behaviors. In order to prevent it from harming itself, the cat should be closely observed when it does this. There’s no need to be alarmed when cats rub their gums against yours to show their affection.

2. Showing Love

A cat that is anxious or afraid of you will often stay away from you. Thus, by licking or rubbing their gums against you, it is a show of affection towards you. In such instances, you need to pat yourself on the back for the good work you are doing.

3. Strengthening the Bond

The bond between cats and their human companions grows stronger when they are close to them. Keeping this in mind will help you to never forget that the cat may also be looking at you at the same time. 

Thus, it makes sense to take the time not to overreact when a cat rubs their gums against you, as this will reinforce your bond with your cat. In addition, it will permit you to have a deeper, more comprehensive relationship with the cat because they will begin to trust you more and more.

4. Gaining Stability

In terms of their living environment, cats indeed search for stability. Regardless of whether the situation is outdoors or inside a house, this will always be the case. Cats must spend time adapting to a new environment and protecting their loved ones. These are all-natural reactions. Thus, having a cat rub its gums against you may also mean that it’s trying to stabilize.

Why Does My Cat Rub Her Teeth on Me?

There are several reasons cats rub their teeth on objects, such as communicating with you or indicating pain. Below are some reasons cats do this.

1. Curiosity

It’s not uncommon for cats to do strange things to satisfy her curiosity. She also likes to taste and smell an object besides scrutinizing it with her eyes. Rubbing her teeth on you could be her way of getting to know you. This way, she is attempting to remember your smell and taste. 

2. Dental Problem

In most cases, it is not a sign of anything severe in a cat’s life when she rubs her teeth. Nevertheless, she may have a dental issue which could also cause her to behave in this manner. If your cat has gingivitis, she can soothe her pain in several ways, including rubbing her teeth. 

In the same manner as human teeth, she can remove her teeth from the gum line by rubbing them, and this can irritate her gums. Ensure that you take the cat to the vet if you have any suspicions that her teeth may be affected.

Often, teeth problems lead to problems in other parts of the body, which is normal. As such, it is essential to have your pet’s teeth examined regularly by a vet to ensure that their gums are healthy at all times.

Cat sniffing woman's hand

3. Teething

Cats and humans are born without teeth, and as they grow, the teeth begin to irritate the gums. As a result, it is common for young cats to rub against you to relieve dental pain. It is likely that the cat is just teething this time and there’s nothing to be afraid of. 

By the time your kitten is 2 months old, she will have all her baby teeth in place, the first set of which will start to erupt in about 2-4 weeks. Her teeth will eventually fall out around the age of 3-4 months and be replaced by adult teeth, which will require another teething session! 

In much the same way that babies chew on teething toys to ease their pain, cats may also rub their teeth or gums against you to seek relief from pain as human skin is soft and easy to chew while firm, it provides temporary relief for teething kittens.

4. Overstimulation From Petting

Your cat may rub her gums on you to tell you to stop petting them because they have had enough stimulation. It may also be harmful to the hair follicles of a cat to care for and pet it for long periods of time. Thus, your cat will get you to get off by sending you a message. 

In the absence of verbal communication, cats use their body language to communicate. Among other things, their backs and tails may twitch. They may also stand up and walk away. With their teeth, cats tend to communicate this information more frequently.

While your cat doesn’t intend to hurt you, sometimes its bites are too forceful and may result in pain or even damage the skin.

When your cat is angry, you should withdraw your hand from it if they rub their teeth on you while you are touching it. Try to take a break from stroking the tummy if it seems tight or shows other signs of overstimulation. 

You should understand why your cat rubs his teeth on you in certain situations. Moreover, cats can use their teeth to express a variety of emotions, so you should watch out for that as well.


Many people wonder: Why does my cat rub her gums on me? If a cat has a strong bond with you, it will rub its gums against you to mark its territory. When the cat behaves in this way, it indicates that it values your presence and respects you. But in some instances, your cat may be annoyed and you need to be able to detect this.

However, if you wish to prevent your cat from rubbing its gums against you, step away and distract them.