This post will show you a number of possible reasons why your cat sniffs your nose and what you can do about them.
So, why does my cat sniff my nose? Possible reasons why your cat sniffs your nose are that you have an unusual smell or scent on your face, it is greeting you or that it is marking its scent on you.
Your cat could be smelling your nose for a number of reasons and it might be due to a combination of causes. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Reasons why your cat sniffs your nose
Below are a number of possible reasons and what would make each of them more likely.
You have an unusual smell on your face
The reason why your cat smells your nose could be that you have an unusual smell around your nose. This would be more likely if your cat does it more when you are wearing perfume or a lotion on your face.
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 especially if you also touched faces and if it is not only your nose that it sniffs.
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.
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 nose 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 its face against your nose.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been doing it.
If your cat has always sniffed your nose
If your cat has not always sniffed your nose, 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 wearing a different perfume or putting different smelling lotions on your face than usual.
The timing of when your cat sniffs your nose
If your cat tends to sniff your nose more at a certain time, it would also help to consider if there is anything special about the timing.
For example, if it sniffs your nose more when you have just arrived home, it would be more likely that it is smelling for food and greeting you. 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 nose
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 nose 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 nose.
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 nose.