If your cat keeps sniffing your hair, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my cat smell my hair? Possible reasons why your cat sniffs your hair are that you have an unusual smell or scent on you, it is seeing if you have food, it is greeting you or that it is marking its scent on you.
Your cat could actually be smelling your hair for a number of possible reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why does my cat smell my hair?
Below are a number of possible reasons and what would make each of them more likely.
You have an unusual smell on you
The reason why your cat sniffs your hair could be that you have an unusual smell on your hair. This would be more likely if your cat does it more when you have just washed your hair or when you have just used a hair spray. It would also be more likely if it does it after you have been around someone else especially if they were wearing a strong perfume themselves.
You have an unusual scent on you
It might also be the case that your cat does it because you have an unusual scent on you. This would be more likely if your cat tends to do it more when you have been around other people and animals.
To find out about you
Cats have around 9-16 times better-smelling abilities than humans do (source). Dogs have been shown to be able to smell disease in humans (source). While cats do not have the same smelling capabilities as dogs, some people argue that cats are also able to smell certain diseases, so a part of the reason why your cat sniffs you could be to find out how healthy you are.
Related: Why does my cat smell my toes?
It wants to smell for food on you
Another possible reason is that your cat is trying to see if you have food on you. This would be more likely if your cat does it more when you have just arrived home or at around the same time that you would normally feed it.
Related: Why does my cat smell my nose?
To greet you
It could also be the case that your cat is just greeting you. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have just arrived home or when you have not seen it for a while. It would also be more likely if it gets you to pet it while lying or sitting down with you and it does things such as purr while doing it.
To mark its scent
Cats will, naturally, go around the house sniffing things and rubbing themselves against them. The reason why your cat has been sniffing your hair could be that it is marking its scent on to you so that other animals are less likely to enter its territory. This would be more likely if your cat also rubs itself against you.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been sniffing your hair.
If your cat has always sniffed your hair
If your cat has not always sniffed your hair, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as if you started using a different shampoo, perfume or hair spray.
The timing of when your cat sniffs your hair
It would also help to consider the timing of when your cat sniffs your hair. If your cat sniffs your hair more at a certain time, it would be likely that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it sniffs your hair more when you have just arrived home, it would be more likely that it is smelling for food, the scent of other people and animals and greeting you. Whereas, if it does it after you have showered, it would be more likely that it is smelling your hair because it smells different.
What to do about your cat sniffing your hair
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Let it do it
Cats will naturally sniff and rub themselves against their surroundings a lot. It is likely that your cat has been sniffing your hair naturally. So, the easiest thing to do would be to just let it continue and to move it whenever it starts getting annoying.
Give it distractions
One option would be to give your cat things to be distracted by such as toys so that it is less likely to want to sniff your hair.
Redirect its focus
Another option would be to redirect its focus towards something else such as toys or to move it somewhere else when it seems likely to start sniffing your hair.