Why Does My Cat Nuzzle My Armpit? 5 Common Reasons

So you’re relaxing on your bed when suddenly your cat squeezes to reach your armpits. Why does my cat nuzzle my armpit, you ask? Aside from the fact that many cats like snuggling, your armpits are very attractive parts. First of all, it’s warm, which your cat finds comforting. The smell of your underarm might also be the thing that attracts your cat.

In this post, I will discuss the possible reasons why your cat loves nuzzling on your armpit. All of them are harmless and are actually cute!

Why is my cat obsessed with my armpit?

If you’re wondering why your cat nuzzles your armpit, the following might explain the behavior.

1. Your cat likes the smell

One of the most common explanations here is that cat likes the smell of your underarms. Since felines have a heightened sense of smell, they can easily pick up the odor of your armpits.

Our armpits have the so-called apocrine sweat glands. This releases a smelly sweat since it’s full of proteins and fats. If we are going to compare it to cats, our armpits serve as our scent glands. It releases a unique smell that our cats recognize.

Sometimes, cats think that the smell of their owners’ armpits is tasty. It could be due to the product you’re using or your natural body odor.

However, some kitties will nuzzle your armpit when it wants to tell you that you stink. You might be due for a shower or a change of clothes.

2. Your cat likes the warmth

Another common reason as to why your cat loves your armpit is its warmth. Squeezing on your underarms give the kitty a sense of comfort because your body emits continuous heat. This is much true during the winter season when your pet can make use of added warmth.

But why do cats tend to crave warmth all the time? Felines came from the deserts so it’s a hardwired trait for them to seek the warm feeling they were accustomed to. This is also true even for domesticated cats.

Also, cats often have trouble keeping their body temperature balanced, especially kittens. So by staying close to their pawrent, they will feel toasty.

3. Your cat misses you

Nuzzling on your armpit might be your cat’s way of saying ‘I miss you’. Some cats are very clingy and they will be sad when you left them home for long. So once you arrive, they will rub their bodies on you and snuggle on your armpit.

If you have a kitten, your armpit might be reminding it of its fur momma. Don’t be surprised if the kitty will start to suckle, make biscuits, and nip on your underarms.

However, if you have an old cat, suckling on your underarms might just be about the taste. Human taste is salty so it’s very appealing to felines.

4. Your cat is scared

Another possible reason here is that your cat is scared. By squeezing into your armpits, your cat feels safe since it’s cradled on your body. It can be due to a loud sound, the presence of another animal, or a stranger. Each cat is different and so are its fears.

Keeping the kitty relaxed is important to prevent this scenario. If your cat is afraid of loud sounds, you should take it to an enclosed room with its favorite toys. You can also try spraying some cat pheromone to calm it down.

5. Your cat wants to remember your scent

Lastly, your cat may be committing your scent to memory. It wants to remember you so the kitty can easily recognize your presence next time. Since our armpits produce a strong scent, kitties use this to remember people individually.

Take note that cats don’t just have a strong sense of smell. They also have a sharp smell memory, which allows them to recognize every person even if they changed looks or not easily visible.

Aside from that, your cat is also leaving its scent to you. Felines have scent glands on their faces, so rubbing it onto your armpit allows them to ‘ID’ you with their unique scent. In short, your pet is taking ownership of you as its human.

What does it mean a cat rubs its head on you?

Headbutting or bunting is a widely observed behavior among cats. They do this to leave their scent to the person as a way of taking ownership. Also, a cat that does this trusts and likes you. It’s their way of showing their affiliation to you and recognizing you as a member of their family.

On the other hand, cats love rubbing their heads to their owners to get attention. The cat probably wants something like food, affection, and playtime.

Why does my cat sniff and lick my armpit?

This means that your cat finds the smell of your underarm delicious. You might be using a product with a smell that appeals to your pet. Also, the taste of sweat is attractive to cats since it’s salty.

If you want to stop your cat from licking your armpits, you can use a citrus-scented product. Many cats hate the citrusy scent and they often stay away from it.

Why does my cat leave its mouth open after sniffing my armpits?

Did your cat ever sniff your armpit and flash a shocked, open-mouthed expression? Before you get offended, you should know that this is something to do with your pet’s sense of smell.

Cats experience the so-called Flehmen response triggered by their vomeronasal organ, also known as the Jacobson’s organ. Your cat opens its mouth after sniffing to flick their tongues and funnel the scent into this organ.

Aside from that, cats use their nasopalatine canals as a pump for the Jacobson’s organ. By opening their mouth, cats will have better access to the scent so they can process it further. In short, your cat is performing extreme sniffing on your armpits.

So why do cats do this? The Flehmen response allows cats to distinguish each smell from the other. So even if two scents seem to be alike, cats can easily identify one from the other. Take note that the Flehmen response is an involuntary movement.

Conclusion

Why does my cat nuzzle my armpit? Your kitty probably likes the smell and warmth of your underarms. Also, the cat might be missing you, scared, or marking you with their scent. Overall, this is a harmless behavior unless your cat is nibbling on your armpit or being too demanding. When that happens, training and setting the boundaries will solve the problem. You shouldn’t shy away from the help of professionals.