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Ok. Can any one tell me why 'snuffling' at my cat enrages him?

(61 Posts)
NirvannahCrane Tue 12-Feb-13 22:38:37

If I have the cat on my lap and I make 'snuffling noises' at him, it sends him completely batshit! I don't do it very often but can anyone tell me why this is?

Is it an aggressive gesture in Cat Language or is my cat just an idiot?

Disclaimer: I know my cat is an idiot...there are many varied and wonderful reasons he is an idiot(he's currently head first in a box with his arse in the air) but is it a 'thing' cats hate??

Can you all have a close up snuffle of your cats and see if they go barmy?

NomNomDePlumPudding Wed 13-Feb-13 20:32:45

i don't know the answer to this (perhaps if you are basically heavy breathing at the back of his neck, that's a bit ick from a cat's perspective? actually, from a human perspective too) but my old sulk used to attack your hands if you been eating an orange - trying to bite the offending scent off. never could work out whether it was kindly meant or not - she was always a bit opaque that way.

bonzo77 Wed 13-Feb-13 20:40:43

My cat just gave me a hmm face.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 13-Feb-13 20:45:47

Wonderful thread. OP you are not alone, both my cats hiss and bugger off at speed when I do that to them. Can't tell you why though, as they think snuffling at me is perfectly reasonable behaviour.

NirvannahCrane Wed 13-Feb-13 21:07:45

Petite finally...another moggie that shares Bert's rage! I know what you mean....I wake up to his stood astride me, sniffing my face...he chews my hair, he sticks his bum in my face, all acceptable to him! A bit of snuffling from me, suddenly, I'M THE BITCH!!!

NomNom are you saying that he is interpreting my snuffling as an inappropriate and unwanted sexual gesture? shock I have been 'coming on' to him all this time? Well, really. And to think that when he stretches out languidly on his back and shows me his little willy, I don't read too uch into it! Talk about double standards.......tut.

bigbadbarry Wed 13-Feb-13 21:57:56

The bright one looked like this hmm then joined in a bit with some fast sniffing back at me! Then ran away.

thecatneuterer Thu 14-Feb-13 03:02:20

I've just tried the 'snuffling' on four of mine that happen to be on the sofa with me at the moment. Not one even noticed. Perhaps I'm not doing it right ...

monsterchild Thu 14-Feb-13 03:07:16

My old cat snuffles at the young ones when they bug her and they back off. She honestly sounds like an horse when she does it. One big long snort at them. It must be some kind of "buzz off" signal. '
the youngsters don't seem to care if I do it. They must know she'll back it up...

Dottiespots Thu 14-Feb-13 03:34:58

My boy cat, Tom, does it when he is eating as a sort of threat display for people to back off his food. He also does it when he is angry and doesnt want to be touched by certain people or played with. Guessing its an agressive display thing.

qazxc Sun 17-Feb-13 14:53:16

is it that he is afraid to get sneezed on? a mate of mine had a cat that would attack if you sneezed or did the breathing in thing you do before you sneeze.

HazeltheMcWitch Sun 17-Feb-13 15:04:47

My most scaredy-cat seems not to care if I snuffle at him. He just carried on purring and trying to butt my face.

But I'm not convinced that I am snuffling right. Perhaps you could upload a short video of you snuffling onto YouTube? That way, we can introduce some rigour into this experiment. And we can also then find out if it's all cats/your cat/^YOU^.


Ginger cat: panicked and tried to run away backwards, crashed into door

Grey cat: ignored me and stuck her tail up my nose, then asked for food.

Black and white cat: I didn't dare do it, she's a tamed feral and 'doesn't do' people faces getting to close to her, I could have lost an eye.

I can't find the black cats, I'll report on them when they appear

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sun 17-Feb-13 15:28:55

Will try this on my 3 when they appear.

My girl cat goes fecking crazy if you make a long "ohhhhhhhhhh" noise though.

Boy cat 1 goes mad if you miaw, he seems to think some other cat is in pain or something and furiously hunts for it. Same cat also smacked a dog today who was barking at him.

Boy cat 2 thinks anything you do is an invite to be petted.

Female black cat wasn't bothered.... Which is surprising actually as she views most actions of mine as poorly concealed attempts on her life hmm

GarbledMessage Sun 17-Feb-13 15:46:59

OP. I have found through extensive research over the years that if you do this snuffling very energetically amd hide round the corner, (but peep and catch a cats eye) they go MAD for it! The reactions vary, but range from full on attack ya face mode to scatty running round the room like a looper. Some talk at you when you do it too. Never understood why, but it's one of my fave cat games!

pirouette Sun 17-Feb-13 15:54:51

We used to have a cat which became enraged at snuffling. My brother and father had some dreadful infliction that they both snuffled and nose-breathed noisily especially when they read the paper or ate. hmm

Cue cat launching itself at them to put them out of their misery.

fackinell Sun 17-Feb-13 21:11:33

Mine ignored me and snoozed on.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 17-Feb-13 21:26:13

I'm curious as to how you found this out in the first place?

WhatKindofFool Mon 18-Feb-13 09:29:25

I think they think that you are checking out their scent, I.e., where they have been, and this makes them indignant. I don't know this but I have observed this behaviour between my own cats. If one has been somewhere, like the vets, another might give a sniff to them, and they hate it.

ILoveMyCats Thu 21-Feb-13 22:07:26

DH has just told me to leave the room as I'm laughing so much at this thread! I love the penguins in dresses and naked turtles!!

Cat snuffling is well received in my house....sneezing is another matter.

nirvannah you have a tail?! wink

TheSilveryPussycat Fri 22-Feb-13 10:17:29

Indifference from my old lady - perhaps she is used to my funny little ways and nothing can faze her?

Ok, I chanced it with the elderly tamed feral and it turns out she kisses me in response shock very unexpected and quite sweet!

Big black male just looked at me sleepily and didn't react.

So out of 5:
1 panic
2 ignore
1 ask for food
1 kiss

Cailleach Fri 22-Feb-13 18:12:49

Been waiting for an opportunity to do this to my calico cat, and am happy to report that I just got a lovely kiss on the nose in reply. She has never done that to me before.

Pointless trying this with LittleWhiteFluffyCat, though, as she's stone deaf, so not sure how she'd react.

MimsyBorogroves Fri 22-Feb-13 18:18:18

Thanks, OP.

Just tried it and had one of mine attempt to lodge her entire nose up my nostril.

That's a memory that isn't going away anytime soon.

QuietTiger Sun 24-Feb-13 13:36:34

It's actually a feline swear word and seems to be the equivalent of "Fuck you". grin

I've just tried it with one of mine, she replied in kind then gave me the feline look of death!

janflan Sun 24-Feb-13 19:19:48

I tried it on my cat who is normally loving but can't quickly turn savage. At first he whipped his head back really fast and i got scared and moved quick. Then he started liking it and rubbing my head with his head.

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