If your cat keeps smelling your neck, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about them.
So, why does my cat smell my neck? Possible reasons why your cat smells your neck 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 might actually smell your neck for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Reasons why your cat smells your neck
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely.
You have an unusual smell on you
The reason why your cat smells your neck could be that you have an unusual smell on you. This would be more likely if your cat smells your neck more when you are wearing perfume or a lotion.
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 sniff your neck more when you have recently been around other people and animals. It would also be more likely if it does not only sniff your neck and it smells other parts of your body and clothing.
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.
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.
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 neck 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 neck.
If your cat has always sniffed your neck
If your cat has not always sniffed your neck, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If your cat started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as if you started wearing a different perfume or putting different smelling lotions around your neck than usual.
The timing of when your cat sniffs your neck
It would also help to consider the timing of when your cat sniffs your neck. If your cat sniffs your neck more at a certain time, it would be likely that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it sniffs your neck more when you have just arrived home, it would be more likely that it is smelling for food, greeting you and smelling the scent of other people and animals. Whereas, if it does it more when you are lying down, it would be more likely that it is marking its scent on to you and being affectionate.
What to do about your cat sniffing your neck
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 neck 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 neck.
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 neck.