Girl stares at a cat that wants to sniff her eyes

Why Does My Cat Sniff My Eye?

Cats are known for their inquisitive nature and keen sense of smell, and they often use their noses to investigate their surroundings.

One of the places they may sniff is your eye, which can be a bit surprising or even uncomfortable.

But why does your cat sniff your eye?

1. Gathering Information

Cats rely heavily on their sense of smell to gather information about their surroundings and the people around them. Your eyes, with their distinct scent and complex chemical composition, can provide your cat with valuable information about your emotional state, health, and even your recent activities.

2. Strengthening Bonds

Sniffing is a way for cats to communicate and establish social bonds. By sniffing your eye, your cat essentially leaves their scent on you, marking you as familiar and part of their territory. Scent marking reinforces your bond and creates a sense of security for your cat.

3. Curiosity

Cats are naturally curious creatures, and their sense of smell is one of their primary tools for exploring the world. Your eyes, with their unique and intriguing scent, may simply be a source of fascination for your cat.

4. Seeking Attention

Some cats may sniff your eyes as a way of seeking attention. By engaging in this behavior, they may be trying to get your attention or initiate interaction.

5. Recognizing Your Unique Scent

Like other parts of your body, your eyes release unique pheromones that contribute to your overall scent. Your cat may sniff your eye to familiarize themselves with your scent and recognize you as their trusted companion.

How to stop my cat from sniffing my eyes?

If you find your cat’s eye-sniffing behavior to be annoying, there are a few things you can do to discourage it.

1. Gently redirect your cat:

If your cat starts to sniff your eye, you can gently redirect them to another object, such as a toy or a treat. This will help them to learn that sniffing your eye is not appropriate behavior.

2. Avoid eye contact:

If you know that your cat is likely to sniff your eye, you can avoid making eye contact with them. This will take away the temptation for them to sniff you.

3. Provide enrichment:

Make sure your cat has plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained. This will help to reduce their boredom and make them less likely to sniff your eye out of curiosity.


While it may seem strange, your cat’s habit of sniffing your eye is a normal part of their behavior.

If you are uncomfortable with your cat sniffing your eye, there are a few things you can do to discourage them.

However, it is important to remember that this is normal behavior and that there is no need to be concerned.

Should I be Concerned if My Cat Sniffs My Eyes Too Often?

Not necessarily. Frequent sniffing can indicate a strong bond and curiosity.

What does it mean when my cat sniffs my eye with their mouth open?

When your cat sniffs your eye with their mouth open, it utilizes a specialized olfactory organ called the Jacobson’s organ, located in the roof of their mouth.

Can Other Animals, Besides Cats, Exhibit Eye Sniffing Behavior?

While less common, some dogs and even certain birds may display similar behavior, driven by their unique social and olfactory instincts.

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