If your cat has been sniffing your stomach, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about them.
So, why does my cat sniff my stomach? The most likely reasons why your cat sniffs your stomach are that you have a strong scent around that area, it is marking its scent on you, or that it is greeting you.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat smells your belly and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of 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 belly
Below are a number of possible reasons why your cat has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.
It is possible that your cat has been smelling your stomach due to pregnancy. Cats have around 11-16 times better sense of smell than humans do. As a result, cats (and dogs) are likely able to pick up on the hormonal changes that come along with being pregnant. This would be more likely if your cat has started smelling your belly area suddenly.
A strong scent
The reason why your cat smells your belly area is likely to be that it smells a strong scent around there. Since cats have a better sense of smell than we do, if you cannot smell anything, it could still be the case that your cat does. This would be more likely if your cat doesn’t sniff other parts of your body much.
To see what you have
It could also be the case that your cat is doing it in order to see if you have food. 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 and if it also sniffs other parts of your body.
It is marking 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 stomach area might also 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.
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
Another possible cause is that your cat is 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.
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 stomach
If your cat did not always sniff your stomach area, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as being around different people and your cat picking up on their scents.
What is different when your cat does not sniff your stomach
It would also help to consider the timing of when your cat sniffs your stomach. If your cat sniffs your stomach more at a certain time, it would be likely that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it sniffs your stomach 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 stomach
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 you 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 alternative things to smell
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 you.
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 you.