Unlike dogs, cats are not as well recognized for the old practice of butt sniffing, but they nonetheless engage in it. You can detect slight butt-smell if you monitor cats, especially in a communal situation. Although cats don’t butt sniff as frequently or as aggressively as dogs do, they engage in this routine for the same reasons. They are attempting to exchange information and converse. So what causes cats to smell each other’s bums exactly? Here are six explanations for why cats frequently smell one other’s bums.

Anal Information

Cats have two tiny fluid sacs in their tails that release an odorous substance. Anal glands are the name for these sacs. Due to the fact that dogs also have anal glands, that may sound similar. Compared to dog anal glands, cat anal glands are smaller, more covert, and emit more subdued odors. In fact, the majority of cat feces contain anal gland secretions that humans cannot smell because their noses are either too weak or because the scent of the feces itself hides the anal gland smell.

By smelling each other’s butts, cats can learn crucial information from one another thanks to their anal glands. Cats may pick up on a wealth of information from the fluids that accumulate in these tiny sacs and use it to make judgements about other cats. Here are six explanations for why cats sniff each other’s butts and what they can learn from it.

The 6 Reasons Cats Smell Butts of Other Cats

1. Welcome and identification

The simplest explanation for why cats smell one other’s behinds is to say hello. Cats that are familiar with one another will smell one another to greet one another and to recognize the other cat. Each cat has a distinctive scent that can be identified by another cat with only a quick whiff. Cats can then get friendly with other cats they are familiar with or stay away from new cats they don’t want to interact with. Cats frequently lift their tails and expose their bums when they are feeling sociable and open to socialization. Even cats’ human owners have been known to experience this at times.

2. Searching for Foes

Cats may learn information about one other’s butts, including if the other cat is a rival, foe, or menace. A cat’s anal glands will exhibit signs of agitation or powerful hormones like testosterone. When a cat smells another cat and detects potent hormones or pheromones that suggest hostility, it may be a rival or someone attempting to invade their territory. The cat has three options at this point: go on, defend itself, or try to establish dominance (more on that later).

3. Trying to find a date

The butt can generate scents that suggest a cat is looking for a date, just like it can emit scents that show hostility or that a cat is searching for new territory. When looking for a partner who will be receptive, cats may sniff butts. Both male and female cats are capable of doing this. Furthermore, if a cat is out looking for a date, it’s probable that they are also giving out their own scents, which will signal to other cats that they are feeling affectionate.

4. Checking for Diseases

When a cat sniffs another cat’s butt, it might also learn whether that cat is healthy or ill. Usually, a sick cat smells different than a healthy cat. When canines are specially trained to detect specific cancer kinds, you can observe this in humans as well. Healthy animals have a different odor than sick animals. A cat can be trying to identify whether another cat is sick if they smell their butt. If a cat learns that another cat is ill, they may decide to stay away from them in order to avoid contracting the illness, or they may decide to use the other cat’s illness against them in order to find new territory or mates. Knowing whether the other cats in the neighbourhood are ill or healthy is crucial information for these reasons.

5. Exhibiting Dominance

The act of sniffing itself can occasionally be a tool. Some cats will sniff at one another to assert their dominance. It is an indication of dominance or a readiness to exert control over the situation if a cat approaches another cat and sniffs its butt with assurance. It’s important to recognize whether the other cat is agitated, hostile, or ill if one cat is attempting to assert control over the other. Their next course of action may be influenced by the information they learn from the other cat.

6. Exhibiting timidity or submissiveness

The sniffing ritual can also be used by cats to express shyness or submission. Usually, the dominant cat starts the sniffing activity. Therefore, a cat may choose to scent the other cat second to indicate that they are not vying for dominance or territory. Some cats, even when interacting with other cats, just prefer to be left alone. They can signal to other cats in the neighborhood that they don’t want any issue by smelling other cats last or taking the time to greet and sniff.

This type of action demonstrates that cats don’t just sniff each other’s bums because of the smell therein. In addition to being used to transmit intentions between cats in a complex social system, sniffing itself can be used to demonstrate both dominance and submissiveness.


Many cat owners prefer to think that their cats are more sophisticated and classy than dogs, yet in social situations, they still want to smell each other’s butts. Among other things, cats sniff each other’s butts to share information, to say hello, and to express dominance or submission. This is an entirely normal habit that has developed as a result of the social dynamics and communication mechanisms that exist among cats.