cat sniffing my eye

Why Does My Cat Sniff My Eye? 4 Reasons To Know

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Cats are blessed with a strong sense of smell and have an inclination towards sniffing almost everything. They are also extremely protective and possessive of their owners. Cats have a territorial instinct and may be jealous if they get a whiff of any other animal on your clothes. However, sniffing is not limited only to your clothes but cat sniff my eye is the most prominent question.

They sniff their owners to recognize them and also to see if their owner smells of any other cat or dog. When you return home after long hours, they will sniff you to ensure that you haven’t pet other animals. The cat skeleton also confirms this phenomenon.

They have a strong sense of smell and even sniff their owner’s mouth, sometimes their butt, and even eyes. A lot of pet parents find this unusual and strange.

They are unable to fathom the reason behind their cats sniffing their eyes. Feline parents often say that their cats come close to their faces to sniff their eyes while they are awake or even asleep at times; even though they find this funny and cute, the reason behind this is no less than a mystery to them.

Cats exhibit various behaviors, and sniffing your eye can have several reasons, although it’s not extremely common. Here are four possible reasons why your cat might sniff your eye:


Cats are inherently curious creatures. They learn about and comprehend their surroundings, including their human companions, by using their sense of smell. Your cat may be curious about the scent, want to know more about you, or just want to explore your face if they sniff your eye. The cat coloring pages are an important part of showing love to the cats.

Grooming Behavior

Cats are meticulous groomers and may occasionally groom their human companions as a sign of affection. While this usually involves licking, a cat might sniff your eye as a precursor to grooming. They might be checking for any foreign scents or dirt on your face before deciding to give you a lick.

Marking Territory

Cats use scent glands on their cheeks to mark persons and objects in their area. A cat who sniffs your eye may be claiming you as part of their territory by leaving their scent on you. It conveys security and ownership.


Cats use body language and scent to communicate with their owners and other animals. Sniffing your eye could be your cat’s way of trying to communicate something to you. It might be a signal that they want attention, or affection, or are feeling anxious or stressed.

Cats’ sense of smell

Cats also use their sense of smell for navigation. They can recognize familiar scents to find their way home or locate specific areas within their territory. Cats can detect pheromones and scents that convey information about the emotional and physical state of other cats and animals. They can sense fear, stress, or arousal through scent, which can affect their behavior and interactions.

Cats can identify other animals and humans by their unique scents. This is why cats often sniff and investigate new people and objects they encounter. Cats mark their territory with scent markings. They do this by rubbing their scent glands against objects, spraying urine, and leaving scent trails. This helps establish boundaries and communicate with other cats.

Cats possess an extraordinary sense of smell, one of their existence’s most remarkable and vital aspects. Their olfactory abilities far surpass those of humans, making them true experts in navigating and understanding the world through scent. A cat’s nose contains an impressive 200 million odor-sensitive cells, while humans have only about 5 million.

Cats use their keen sense of smell to explore and interpret their surroundings. When a cat encounters a new environment or unique individuals, their first instinct is to sniff everything around them. They collect much information about their background, like finding other animals, spotting possible food, and knowing familiar smells. Through sniffing, they can even sense changes in the environment, like the presence of other animals nearby, which helps them stay alert and cautious.

Identifying Individuals

Cats can identify other animals and humans by their unique scents. This is why cats often sniff and investigate new people and objects they encounter. It’s their way of gathering information and becoming familiar with their surroundings.

Territory Marking

Cats mark their territory with scent markings. They do this by rubbing their scent glands against objects, spraying urine, and leaving scent trails. This territorial marking helps establish boundaries and communicates their presence to other cats in the area.

 Detecting Changes

Cats are acutely aware of changes in their environment through their sense of smell. They may react to new scents brought in on shoes, clothing, or objects, which can trigger their curiosity or anxiety.

From hunting and communication to navigation and emotional understanding, the feline olfactory system is nothing short of remarkable. As cat owners, recognizing and appreciating this extraordinary sense can help us better understand and care for our feline companions, enriching their lives and deepening our bond with them.

The Bond Between Cats and Their Owners: A Special Connection

Unspoken Communication

Cats are renowned for their nonverbal communication skills. Through subtle body language, purring, and soft vocalizations, they convey their emotions and needs to their owners. The attentive owner learns to read these cues and responds accordingly, strengthening the bond between them. This silent understanding can be deeply rewarding.

Shared Experiences

Cats and their owners often share various experiences and routines, from morning cuddles to playtime and bedtime rituals. These shared moments create a sense of companionship and routine that strengthens the bond over time.

Why does my cat sniff my eye in the first place?

Cats use their exceptionally sensitive sense of smell for a variety of purposes. They use sniffing as a fundamental behavior to interact with other cats, learn more about their surroundings, and even spot prospective prey. Here are a few causes of cat snoring:


Being inherently curious creatures, cats utilize their sense of scent to savor their surroundings and learn more about them. They can distinguish items, humans, and other animals in their environment by sniffing to detect novel aromas.


 Cats use scent to communicate with other cats and mark their territory. When a cat sniff my eye an object or another cat, it can pick up on scent markings, which convey information about the individual or the area. This helps establish boundaries and social hierarchies.


Cats are predators, and they need a good sense of smell to hunt. They find prey animals, follow their movements, and assess their health using their noses. Even domestic cats may instinctively sniff as part of their hunting behavior.


Cats can identify other animals and people by their unique scents. When a cat sniffs a person or another pet, they can discern who they are, whether they are familiar, and even detect changes in their scent, such as stress or illness.

Emotional Detection

Cats are perceptive to changes in their owners’ and other animals’ emotional states. They might sniff you in order to detect scent cues or pheromones that represent your mood, enabling them to determine whether you’re joyful, stressed out, or upset.


When a cat Cat use their exceptionally sensitive sense of smell for a variety of purposes. They use sniffing as a fundamental behavior to interact with other cats, learn more about their surroundings, and even spot prospective prey. Here are a few causes of cat snoring:


Being inherently curious creatures, cats utilize their sense of scent to savor their surroundings and learn more about them. They can distinguish items, humans, and other animals in their environment by sniffing to detect novel aromas.

Scent Marking

Cats have scent glands on their cheeks, paws, and the base of their tail. They may rub their face or body against objects, people, or other cats to mark their territory and leave their scent behind.

In summary, sniffing is a vital and natural behavior for cats that serves multiple purposes, including exploration, communication, hunting, and emotional connection. It’s a way for them to gather information about the world around them and interact with their environment.

Flehmen Response: cat sniff my eye

If you were unfamiliar with this response in cats, you might have thought your cat was giving you the “stink face” when it opens its mouth, curls up its lips, and holds the position.

This move is officially known as the Flehmen Response and is in no way a sign of disdain or aggression. When your cat is engaged in this action, it has come across a smell it is looking to gather more information. But the cat’s red flags should be kept in mind while dealing with them.

You will most commonly see this response activated for social purposes, like when they come across the scents of other cats.

The Flehmen Response is used specifically when your cat comes into contact with pheromones. These are scent hormones that provide cats with detailed information about each other and can be released in several ways.

If your cat rubs its mouth across your hand, it is actually releasing its own pheromones on you to mark its territory.

Pheromones are also released when a cat releases urine to mark territory as its own. If your cat comes across a spot where another cat has released pheromones, you will likely see them engage in the Flehmen response in order to gather as much information as possible. This is shown in a movie named Blaze the Cat.

Although we can’t know for sure, the sensitivity of your cat’s sense of smell likely gives it an unimaginable load of detailed information about where the smell is coming from. Your cat can also store information about this smell in its memory to be accessed later if it encounters the same smell again.

Grooming Instincts Kick In For Your Eyes

If you have observed a mother cat with her kittens, you may have seen her lick her kitten’s eyes to clean them. Kittens can experience a buildup of gunk in their eyes, and their mom will make sure to clean them thoroughly.

This act will also help protect them from infection and disease.

Your cat is used to using its tongue and saliva to heal itself and her kittens. The saliva of your cat has many compounds that act as antibacterial and antiviral agents.

Cats are able to promote the healing of their wounds when they groom themselves.

If you have a female cat who is sniffing your eye, she could be acting on this same motherly instinct. She may be checking to make sure you are clean and healthy and aren’t in need of her eye-licking assistance.

Why Does My Cat Sniff My Eye? Other reasons


Cats may find the scent of your eyes or the area around your eyes comforting. It might be a calming or soothing experience for them.

Scent Marking

Cats have scent glands on their cheeks, and when they rub or sniff you, they are depositing their scent as a form of territorial marking or claiming you as part of their territory.


Cats communicate through body language and scent. Sniffing your eye could be your cat’s way of communicating with you, whether it’s a request for attention, play, or simply saying hello.

Exploration of Emotions

Cats can detect changes in your emotional state through scent. They might sniff your eyes to pick up on any emotional cues, such as stress or sadness, and respond accordingly.

Sickness or Injury

In some cases, if your cat is sniffing your eye excessively or seems fixated on a specific area, it could be trying to signal that something is amiss. Cats can sometimes detect health issues or injuries through scent changes.

Comfort from Your Scent

Your cat may find comfort in your scent, and sniffing your eye or face can be a way for them to feel closer to you and secure in your presence.

Exploration of Emotions

Cats can detect changes in your emotional state through scent. They might sniff your eyes to pick up on any emotional cues, such as stress or sadness, and respond accordingly.

Another reason your cat might sniff the human eye is the salty scent of tears. Cats are attracted to strong smells, so if she senses that you are sad or crying, she may come close to your face to investigate by smelling your eyes.

When my cat sniff my eye is frequently an expression of affection and a means to deepen your relationship with your feline companion. This kind of act is one of the distinctive ways cats express their love and affection.

In the feline world, mutual grooming offers trust and friendship among cats. By allowing your cat to sniff your eye, you essentially allow them to groom you in their way, fostering a sense of intimacy and emotional connection.

When a cat headbutts you, it’s known as bunting. Most often, cats do this to the things, animals, and people they care about most. Bunting is a form of social interaction and a way to share their unique scent.

Cats have pheromone glands all over their bodies, which is why they rub on things. In their heads, there are glands in the temples, chins, and ears. For your kitty, this is how you say ‘hello, or this is mine.’ They may be a little confused about why we can’t do this, or why they can’t smell your face better.

Share the Kitty Love

We can’t truly read a feline mind, but their behavior isn’t quite as mysterious as it seems to us. Humans have much less acute senses of smell than our pets. They don’t understand that we can’t smell the world the way they do.

Be patient, and never discourage your cat from showing affection. Unless they’re hurting you by licking, then let the kitty have their odd eye sniff time. After all, your pet is just telling you they care. Additionally, they’re getting very close to your teeth, so it’s a sign of trust. They know you won’t eat them.

You can also return their love by making sure your sweet kitty has a great place to play and nap like the Multi-Level Cat Tree Cat Condo from Topeakmart on Amazon. Cats don’t just behave differently than we do; they have different needs as well. Climbing, scratching, napping up high enough to survey their kingdom, and more are all kitty prerogatives. You can get an outstanding cat condo when you click here.

Cats Love Salt

Your cat may also be sniffing your eyes because they like salt. Your pet’s nose is much more sensitive than the human equivalent. Just like dogs, felines have Jacobson’s Organ, which gives them the ability to create pictures in their brain based on smells. This unique feature, which we do not have, means the kitty can ‘see’ your eyes with her nose.

Because cats are carnivores, they don’t need to have human-level taste receptors for sugar or carbohydrates, but kitties do enjoy salt. While your pet can taste the sweetness, their sugar receptors aren’t usually very active. Salt is an electrolyte that helps the brain process information (among other uses), and their noses pick up that smell easily.

I always suggest pet owners avoid feeding their cats food that’s high in filler content like wheat and corn since it doesn’t do your cat’s body any good. My favorite is ORIJEN High-Protein, Grain-Free Cat Food.

Sodium Deficiency in Cats

Your eye-obsessed cat might be trying to send a very different message, especially if they lick your eyes. Felines can become sodium deficient if their diet is imbalanced. It’s vital for mammals like our kitties to have the correct balance of sodium in their body.

Hyponatremia or salt deficiency can be a result of two different problems. First, your cat could be retaining more water than it should in the body, which leads to an imbalance. Second, they may have a solute loss, which is when bodies (cat or other) lose something dissolvable like salt at an abnormal rate.

Signs of Hyponatremia in Cats

If your eye-licking cat is trying to replace their salt, they need to visit a vet to determine the cause. Low salt levels can be hazardous to your pet. Keep an eye out for these symptoms.

Seeking Comfort and Security when my cat sniff my eye

 In the wild, kittens nuzzle and sniff their mother’s face for comfort and reassurance. This behavior carries over into their adult lives, where they may seek the same sense of security and comfort from their human owners. When a cat sniff my eye can make your cat feel close to you, reminiscent of the comforting scents they experienced as kittens with their mother.

Gaining Information

Cats are naturally curious beings, and sniffing is essential to gathering information about the world and the people around them. When your cat sniffs your eye, they explore you and familiarize themselves with your unique scent. Because of their cuisine, way of life, and personal care items, people have a distinctive odor. By sniffing your eye, your cat can learn more about you and become familiar with your fragrance, which aids in identifying you as a part of their social group.

Cats often engage in sniffing when they are relaxed and pleased since it has a calming impact on them.

It may be a sign of contentment and tranquility in your presence when your cat sniffs your eye. Cats’ inhalation causes the brain to release particular chemicals that make them feel calm and relaxed and lower their stress levels.

Listen When my cat sniffs my eyes

Your cat may not want to play fetch or roll over for you, even though they can learn those tricks. However, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. It’s not the feline’s fault when you don’t get the message.

If your pet is licking (and not biting or salt deficient) or they try to draw your attention to your eyes in other ways, you might need to make a doctor’s appointment. Kitty might be pawing at those lashes because she knows something you don’t, but she lacks the words.

Your Cat Can Detect Eye Problems

Cats have an acute sense of smell, with approximately 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their nose. They can detect chemical compounds our bodies release when experiencing certain health conditions. When it comes to eye problems, such as eye infections, inflammation, or even allergies, these changes can cause shifts in our body scent, which cats can detect with astonishing accuracy.

When it comes to your cat sniffing your eye, this strange behavior can have several potential explanations. If you have been away from home, your cat may be eager to confirm that it’s really you by getting a strong dose of your scent.

Your presence and scent can be very calming for your cat.

Additionally, your cat may be expressing its love to you in its own unique way. It could also be acting on its grooming and healing instincts, particularly if it is a female cat. Finally, your cat may just be enjoying the scent of your salty tears.

So the next time you ask yourself, “Why does my cat sniff my eye?” remember that within that inquisitive little gesture lies a treasure trove of love and companionship. Embrace it with an open heart, for in the eyes of your cat; you will find a reflection of the unconditional cat love they offer so freely. Their whiskers and noses remind us of the joys of living in the present and savoring life’s precious moments.

Final Thoughts

Let’s agree – our cats do have a lot of weird behaviors like watching him eat, or biting your blanket, etc. & sometimes we become clueless right? You do not need to worry, however. That’s because the majority of these universal cat habits are less risky and completely normal.
Pets also have a tendency to look around the house curiously. They always have their noses in everything around the house, thanks to their keen sense of smell.
Not only objects, cats even have a habit of sniffing their owners. They sniff their owner’s eyes a lot of times.
One of the main reasons behind this could be to recognize and make sure that the person is their owner. Sometimes, cats also sniff their eyes to smell that familiar scent to relax instantly. They will even sniff to check whether you have an eye infection or not.


Does my cat sniff my eyes because they like the taste of tears?

While tears may have a salty taste, cats are not typically sniffing your eyes for the purpose of tasting tears. They are more interested in the scents and information they can gather from your eyes and face. This is the fascination about cats.

Is it a sign of affection when my cat sniffs my eyes?

Yes, sniffing your eyes can be a sign of affection and bonding. Cats often engage in this behavior to feel closer to their owners and establish a connection.

Does my cat sniff other parts of my face for the same reasons?

Yes, cats may sniff various parts of your face, including your cheeks and mouth, for similar reasons. They are exploring your scent and trying to connect with you.

Why does my cat sniff my eyes and then groom my face?

Grooming your face after sniffing is a sign of affection and bonding. Cats may groom their owners to establish closeness and show care.

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