The size differences that the domestic cat has to put up with in their relationships with other species of animal that they are affectionate towards does result in specific behaviours. This video is an amusing example in which the cat’s behavior is something between a hug (cats do hug sometimes) and the start of play.
Cats make a ‘greeting hop’ when asking for a head rub from their human companion. They have to gain some height so they go up on their hind legs and drive up with their head to make contact with our hand usually. The normal cat-to-cat interaction is impossible. This is a reason why I pick up my cat and place his head at the same height as mine. It gives him the opportunity to touch noses which as you know is a friendly greeting. Cats can’t do this with us normally.
Another cat greeting is to rub faces with one another. Instead they rub out legs or we reach down and they head butt our hand. If a kitten’s legs are strong enough they do a greeting hop when greeting their mother. All these greetings are ways to mingle body scents to create shared ‘family scents.
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