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Why do cats love to sniff butts?

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Here we go again. Our male cat Sparky is at it again, staking out a ripe butt to insert his nose. He spots our youngest, Holly, and makes a beeline for her butt. She is not amused, and heads for the sofa, where she takes a left turn and hides.

Where did this cat behavior get its start? I know many animals do it, and they engage in it at the most inopportune times. Imagine diving in to your tuna sandwich, only to have one of your siblings take a nice big whiff of your backside. Gingerly, our cats try to maneuver out of the way, but the curious nose always seems to find its way back to the butt.

Can you imagine this happening at a fancy restaurant? What a way to make a good first impression on a blind date.

“Gee, you look so pretty, do you mind if I smell your butt?”

“No thank you. Can you take me home now?”

But cats do what they do when they want to do it. After they take that big sniff, they usually look high, and have their mouths slightly ajar. Maybe sniffing butt is like taking a hit of weed, who knows?

I guess it’s a pheromone thing. I’ve seen deer, lions and leopards do it, but it’s often related to the mating season to see if the female is in estrus. But cats that are fixed seem to do it also. Perhaps they’re reliving their fertile pasts?

Maybe it’s their funny way of saying hello.

As for me, I’d simply prefer a handshake.

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