If your cat sniffs your feet a lot, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my cat sniff my feet? Possible reasons why your cat sniffs your feet are that you have an unusual smell or scent on your feet, it is greeting you or that it is marking its scent on you.
There are a number of possible reasons why your cat sniffs your feet 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.
Why does my cat smell my feet?
Below are a number of possible reasons why your cat does it and what would make each of them more likely.
You have an unusual smell on your feet
The reason why your cat sniffs your feet could be that you have an unusual smell on them. This would be more likely if your cat does it more when you have just washed your feet or if it smells your feet when you have taken your socks off.
You have an unusual scent on you
It might also be the case that your cat sniffs your feet 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 and if it does not only sniff your feet.
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 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 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 things. The reason why your cat has been sniffing your feet 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 things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been sniffing your feet.
If your cat has always sniffed your feet
If your cat has not always sniffed your feet, 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 socks less or interacting with your cat using your feet more.
The timing of when your cat sniffs your feet
It would also help to consider the timing of when your cat tends to sniff your feet. If your cat sniffs your feet more at a certain time, it would be likely that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it sniffs your feet more when you have just arrived home, it would be more likely that it is smelling for food and greeting you or that you have a strong scent on you. Whereas, if it does it more when you are lying or sitting 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 feet
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 feet 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 feet.
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 feet.