Why Does My Cat Keep Rubbing Against My Phone?

As a cat owner, you’ve likely encountered this situation: your furry companion is lounging beside you on the sofa when they suddenly start rubbing themselves against your phone. At first, it might seem cute or amusing, but soon enough you’re left wondering: what’s with my cat and my phone?

Well, wonder no more. Your cat may be displaying this behavior for several reasons. For one thing, cats have scent glands located on their cheeks and forehead that they use to mark objects and people with their scent. By rubbing against your phone, your feline friend is essentially claiming it as their own and leaving behind their unique scent as a way of marking their territory.

Moreover, your cat might be attracted to the warmth and texture of your device, especially if it has been in use recently. As creatures that love to seek out cozy spots, the surface of your phone – particularly if it’s made of metal or glass – could provide just the right level of comfort and warmth.

But wait – there are even more fascinating reasons why your cat might be rubbing against your phone. To learn more about this peculiar behavior and other intriguing feline tendencies, keep reading our blog post.

What is the Behavior?

One of their most intriguing behaviors is called “bunting,” where they rub their head and body against objects to leave their personal scent. This behavior is not only fascinating but also serves as a critical tool for cats to communicate with other felines.

Cats engage in bunting for several reasons. Firstly, they have scent glands located on their head, face, and body, which they use to mark their territory. When they rub against objects, they are leaving their scent behind, which is a way for them to claim ownership of it and communicate to other cats that this object is theirs. This behavior also helps them mark their territory and avoid potential conflicts with other cats.

Secondly, bunting is a form of communication used by cats to interact with other felines. By leaving their scent on an object, cats can communicate with other cats about their presence, mood, and intentions. In the feline world, bunting is an essential social cue and helps establish boundaries between cats.

Lastly, when your cat rubs against your phone or any object around them, they could be expressing their happiness and contentment. Rubbing against objects is a sign that your cat feels relaxed and comfortable in its environment. This behavior also shows that they trust you enough to share their scent with you.

Marking Territory

Cats have an innate tendency to mark their territory and communicate with other cats in the area by rubbing their scent onto objects. Therefore, when your cat rubs against your phone, it is likely trying to leave its scent on the object as a way of claiming ownership.

However, marking territory isn’t the only reason why your cat may be rubbing against your phone. In fact, it could also be a sign of affection and ownership towards you. By rubbing against objects that have your scent on them, your cat is essentially marking you as its own.

On the other hand, if your cat is looking for attention, it may use this tactic to grab your attention. As social creatures, cats crave interaction with their owners. If they sense that you are focused on your phone and not paying attention to them, they may resort to rubbing against the object that has your focus.

To discourage this behavior, you can provide alternative objects for your cat to rub against such as scratching posts or toys. These will give your cat an outlet for its need to mark its territory and relieve stress. Additionally, spending quality time with your furry friend through activities like playing with toys or grooming can fulfill their need for attention and interaction while strengthening the bond between you and your pet.

Lastly, setting boundaries with your cat can help teach them which behaviors are acceptable and which are not. Establishing areas that are off-limits for rubbing or scratching behavior can help reduce unwanted marking behavior.

Communicating with Other Cats

Communication is key in the feline world, and one of the ways cats communicate with each other is through scent marking. When your cat rubs against your phone, they are leaving their scent on it as a way to establish territory and communicate with other cats in the area. It’s also a way for them to mark you as part of their social group.

But why do cats have such a strong urge to rub against objects, including phones? It’s because they have an incredible sense of smell that is far more advanced than humans. Your phone may have picked up scents from other cats or animals in the area, and your feline friend is trying to decipher those scents.

However, excessive or aggressive rubbing could be a sign of stress or anxiety in your cat. If you notice this behavior, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to address any underlying issues.

To keep your cat happy and healthy, provide plenty of attention and affection, along with toys and scratching posts to fulfill their needs. And remember, when your furry friend rubs against your phone or any object, they’re not just being cute – they’re communicating with other cats and establishing their place in the world.

Seeking Attention from Owners

This behavior is not just cute; it’s a way for your furry friend to let you know they want some love and affection.

Cats have scent glands on their heads, cheeks, and chins, which they use to mark objects in their environment. By rubbing against your phone, your cat is leaving its scent on the device, which can help them feel more secure and comfortable. Additionally, if you frequently use your phone while petting or playing with them, then they may associate it with positive experiences.

If you find this behavior excessive or bothersome, there are a few things you can do to discourage it. First and foremost, ensure your cat is getting enough attention and affection throughout the day. Spend extra time playing with them or giving them cuddles to satisfy their need for attention.

Another effective way to discourage this behavior is by providing your cat with alternative ways to mark their territory. Scratching posts or toys with scent glands can offer alternative outlets for their needs, reducing their desire to rub against your phone.

Possible Reasons for Unusual Behavior

It’s a behavior that may seem odd, but there are various reasons why they do this. As an expert on possible reasons for unusual behavior, I’ve compiled a list of sub-sections to help explain why your cat may be displaying this behavior.

Scent Marking

Cats use scent as a way of marking their territory, and they have scent glands on their faces. By rubbing against your phone, your cat is leaving behind their scent and claiming it as their own. This behavior is not limited to phones; your cat may also rub against furniture and walls to mark their territory.


Cats are social creatures and crave attention from their owners. If they feel neglected or want some extra love, they may resort to rubbing against objects like your phone to get noticed. By doing so, they are indicating that they want you to pet them or play with them.

Comfort and Stress Relief

Rubbing against objects can be soothing and calming for cats, especially when they are feeling anxious or stressed. If your cat has a strong bond with you and feels safe around you, they may seek comfort by rubbing against your phone as it reminds them of you.


Cats are playful creatures, and sometimes rubbing against objects can be a form of play for them. They may be trying to engage you in a game or simply enjoying the sensation of rubbing against something.


Cats are naturally curious creatures, and they enjoy exploring new things. Your phone could be a new and exciting object for your cat to investigate and interact with. Rubbing against the phone could be its way of exploring the device and trying to understand it better.

How to Deter a Cat from Rubbing Against Your Phone

Fortunately, there are several easy and effective strategies to deter this behavior.

Redirect their attention

Cats often rub against objects as a way of marking their territory or showing affection. By providing an alternative object for them to rub against, such as a scratching post or toy, you can redirect their attention away from your phone.

Use deterrents

Cats dislike certain textures, such as double-sided tape or aluminum foil. By placing these materials on or around your phone, you can discourage your cat from rubbing against it. You can also use scent deterrents like citrus to discourage them from approaching your phone.

Limit their access

If your cat has easy access to your phone, they may be more likely to rub against it. Try keeping your phone in a drawer or on a high shelf when you’re not using it, or use a physical barrier like a cardboard box or furniture to prevent your cat from getting too close.

Positive reinforcement training

Whenever your cat rubs against an object other than your phone, reward them with treats or praise. This will encourage them to associate rubbing against those objects with positive experiences and may deter them from rubbing against your phone.

Provide attention and affection

Cats often seek attention from their owners through rubbing and other behaviors. By providing plenty of attention and affection throughout the day, you may be able to reduce their desire to rub against your phone.

When to Seek Professional Help

However, there may be instances where their behavior signals deeper concerns. When it comes to your cat rubbing against your phone or other objects excessively or aggressively, it’s essential to know when to seek professional help.

One possible reason for this behavior is a skin condition or allergy. If you notice your cat rubbing against your phone more than usual or with unusual intensity, it could indicate a medical issue that requires veterinary attention. A veterinarian can rule out any underlying medical conditions and prescribe appropriate treatment.

Another possibility is anxiety or stress. Just like humans, cats can experience anxiety in response to certain situations or changes in their environment. Rubbing against objects could be a self-soothing technique to alleviate stress and anxiety. In such cases, it’s important to address the root cause of the anxiety and work on reducing stress levels. This could include providing more playtime, creating a calm environment, or consulting with an animal behaviorist.

Lastly, your cat may be seeking attention or affection. If you’ve been preoccupied lately, your furry friend may resort to rubbing against your phone as a way to grab your attention. Spending more time bonding with your cat through playtime, cuddles, and grooming can fulfill their need for attention and prevent them from seeking it through excessive rubbing.


To sum up, your cat’s habit of rubbing against your phone may strike you as odd, but it’s a common trait among felines. As we’ve discovered, cats use scent marking to communicate with their peers and establish their territory. Additionally, rubbing against objects is a sign of affection and a way for them to seek comfort.

While this behavior can be endearing initially, excessive rubbing could indicate underlying medical or behavioral issues that require professional attention. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your cat’s actions and take action if necessary.

As responsible pet owners, we can provide our furry friends with alternative objects to rub against, such as scratching posts or toys. We can also limit their access to our phones or use deterrents to discourage unwanted behavior.

Most importantly, showering our cats with love and attention is vital for their mental and physical well-being.