Skip to Content

Why Do Cats Smell Your Breath? Are They Telling You To Floss?

Why Do Cats Smell Your Breath? Are They Telling You To Floss?

A few weeks ago I was watching my favorite TV show and my kitty came to cuddle with me. It’s our traditional way of spending free time together. However, something unusual happened. She came closer to me and sniffed my breath. She never did that before. So why do cats smell your breath?

Is it something every cat does or it’s just about my fluffball? But that’s not the only question I want to find the answer to. I still want to know the reason behind that action. Imagine how gross it would be if humans did that, so why is it completely normal in cats’ world?

I wanted to see whether she was going to do it again, and she did. I came back from work very late so I was exhausted. And the only thing I could do was brush my teeth and collapse onto my bed. She came to me and she did it again! I quickly texted my friend, “My cat smelled my breath again! What do I do?”.

She suggested that I should call a vet and ask him for his explanation, and she gave me a few books about cats’ behavior. I listened to her advice and I got all the answers I needed. At first, it was very difficult for me to figure out why they would do such a thing.

But now, after finding the truth behind their weird behavior, I actually understand that it’s not meaningless. Since you’re here today, you’re looking for the same answers.

Don’t worry, I’ll share everything I’ve learned and I hope you’ll have fun while learning something new about your fluffball. Enjoy!

Why do cats smell your breath? 6 interesting reasons

Why Do Cats Smell Your Breath? Are They Telling You To Floss?

Okay, before we start, I have to tell you something. Cats are truly amazing animals and no matter how smart we think they are, they are even smarter than that.

So even if it seems like smelling our breath is just a weird thing they do, there’s actually a specific meaning behind it. I promise you, you’re in for a treat!

1) They care about your health

If you’ve ever heard people saying that everyone who has a pet actually has a true friend, then you need to know that they were right. The kind of love our pets can show us is much more different than the one we can feel from other humans. It’s truly incredible.

On top of that, cats have very strong senses that can help them figure some things out much earlier than we can. For example, they will probably be the first ones to smell something burning and alarm you that there’s something wrong.

So if your cat smells your breath, she can tell a lot about your health. It’s suggested that they can feel that there’s something going on with us. It could be about our mental health, but also some other medical condition. And when they sense it, they will do anything to figure out what’s wrong.

One way to do so is to smell our breath. If you notice that your fluffball does that and starts cuddling you, it’s likely that she feels your stress and she wants to calm you down and help you with your anxiety.

2) They are simply curious

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Curiosity killed the cat.” But I don’t think it’s really true, because their curiosity actually saves them more time than it harms them. They are aware that they aren’t as scary as their big cousins, so they know they could easily be someone’s prey.

Therefore, they spend lots of time exploring around, so they can find the best hiding places, or simply prepare the tactics if someone decides to attack them. But sometimes, they just like to explore because they’re curious about the new things that you keep adding to your home.

So when they are done exploring everything that surrounds them, they will only have you left. So far, your kitty has probably sat on your head, scratched your arm, bunny-kicked you, licked you, and cuddled with you. And there aren’t many other things she can do to you.

That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if your cat chooses to approach you and smell your breath. It’s just a fun activity for her, even though we don’t see anything interesting in that.

3) It’s warm

The winter is coming. I’m pretty sure you’ve already heard John Snow saying that, but I also wanted to be the one who reminds you that the colder days are coming! And who hates that? That’s correct, cats!

Yes, they have their fluffy and warm jackets on, but they still hate to even think about the winter and the cold weather that comes with it. They obsess over their health and well-being and will do anything to keep themselves warm.

Do you know why cats are so sensitive when it comes to feeling cold? Because their decedents come from deserts and they are used to feeling warm. So it’s in their blood to constantly seek the warmest place possible.

I have another question for you. Do you know what’s one of the warmest parts of your body? It’s your mouth! And guess who knows that? Your kitty! Why? Because she’s always trying to find a way to make her life better, and finding a warm spot is a way to do so.

Therefore, don’t be surprised if your cat comes to you and smells your breath. It’s likely that she’s just feeling cold and you have the power to keep her warm.

4) Cats are attracted to the smell of food

Why Do Cats Smell Your Breath? Are They Telling You To Floss?

Here’s an easy question for you! What’s something that cats like the most but it’s not their playtime or nap time? You’re right, it’s food!

And, of course, every time we eat something our breath changes, so if your kitty approaches you right after you’re done with your lunch, it’s probably because she’s jealous of you. Why? Because you’ve just had a tasty meal and she wants a piece of it.

If she’s just eaten her lunch, don’t give her your food. But if you think she might be a bit hungry, don’t be afraid to give her a little piece of your meal, if you know that it’s nothing that could be harmful to her.

5) It helps them reduce stress

If you thought that only humans can get sad and stressed then you were wrong. Unfortunately, your cat can also feel anxious and it actually happens more than we think it does. It’s mostly because (even though they’re very brave) they get scared easily when they feel like they could be someone’s prey.

But what does that have to do with the question “Why do cats smell your breath?” Well, it’s actually very cute. It’s possible that your kitty is doing that because your breath helps her reduce stress.

But how does that happen? It’s possible because she’s already familiar with your scent and your breath simply reminds her of your love and the fact that you will always be there to protect her from any potential threat.

6) They are trying to learn new things about you

We all know that cats are very intelligent animals, who like to explore their surroundings and who do it easily because their senses are so powerful. Then it won’t be news to you when I tell you about their extraordinary sense of smell.

Did you know that we have around 5 million sensors in our noses? That sounds so cool! I didn’t even know that we are that powerful. But wait till you hear about cats. They have around 200 million of them. Yes, you read it right. 200 million! We don’t seem that cool anymore, right?

Well, 5 million is still a nice number. Anyways, cats use their sense of smell much more than we do. We mostly just use it to conclude what’s cooking, whether there’s something burning, or whether something stinks. And our main focus is on our sense of hearing.

But cats use it intelligently. Since they are easily scared, they like to know everything about their surroundings. And since their noses are so powerful, they use them to learn all the information they need.

Therefore if you notice your kitty is trying to smell your breath, it could be that she’s just trying to learn something new about you that she can use in the future.

Do cats smell our breath to check if we’re breathing?

Why Do Cats Smell Your Breath? Are They Telling You To Floss?

One of the first things that came to my mind when my cat smelled my breath for the first time was that she was actually checking whether I’m still breathing or not. She probably did that because I was watching TV and I haven’t moved for a while.

I did my research and it taught me that it’s not very common, but some cats still like to check if everything is okay with their owner or not. It mostly occurs at night when we are sleeping because we don’t move a lot.

And kitties sometimes find it weird because they expect us to constantly be doing something when we are awake, even if it’s just scrolling on our phones. However, if we fall asleep before them, they might be stressed to see us not moving for a while.

Since they are highly intelligent animals, they know that everyone who is alive needs to breathe, so they will probably approach you and try to figure out whether you’re breathing or not.

This is what she’ll probably do when she’s worried about you:

Knead your body.

Touch you with her paws.

Sit on your head so she can feel the warmth of your breath.

Meow loudly so she wakes you up.

Push you to see whether you’ll react to her.

Since it makes them very stressed sometimes, I thought it would be nice to learn a few tips about reassuring your cat that you’re doing fine. So here’s what you can try to do the next time you go to bed:

Place your cat on your chest so she can feel your breathing. It will also feel relaxing when she starts purring.

Stroke her a bit before you fall asleep.

Don’t get mad at her if you notice she’s approaching you.

Final words

Of course, not every cat in this world will try to smell your breath, but it’s possible that some of them will. And now you won’t have to worry about their behavior because you know exactly why they’re doing it.

But that’s not everything! If some of your friends decide to ask you “Why do cats smell your breath?” you will be able to help them. Isn’t that such a nice thing?

So let’s just quickly revise the most common reasons for this funny action. They mostly smell your breath because they like the warmth, smell the food, want to know whether you’re healthy and because they are curious. But the cutest reason out there is that they are just showing you how much they love you.

Therefore, no matter how weird or funny something your fluffball seems to you, always keep in mind that your little friend loves you more than anything in this whole wide world.

Why Do Cats Smell Your Breath? Are They Telling You To Floss?