Cat Huffing: It’s a Thing

 

If you’ve just got to get a huff of your cat’s fluff, you’re not alone.

 

Do you find yourself diving nose-first into a cuddle with your cat? Maybe you bury your face into their fluffy neck or soft belly and breathe in that soft, comforting scent? You know the one, the one that smells just like home. If you answered yes to any (or all) of the above, you might be a Cat Huffer.

 

 

You might be thinking, “Yes! Yes, I do like the smell of my cat’s fur.  I’m a Cat Huffer! Is that normal? Am I weird?” Don’t worry: You’re not weird!

 

Well, okay, you might be a little weird. But it’s not because you like to smell your cat.

 

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People’s sense of smell might play a stronger role in our emotions and decisions than previously thought. In a famous series of experiments at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, a study showed that people find the smell of a person who is immunologically opposite of them more attractive. Why? Their potential offspring would share both of their parents’ abilities to fight off disease and infection.

 

Our sensitivity to smell could also explain why some people love the scent of a newborn baby’s head. It’s a way for a parent to bond with their baby. The sweet, fresh smell of a healthy kitten could have the same effect on us.

 

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Humans have tried to bottle that “new baby” smell with perfumes and sprays. But we’ve also managed to bottle that “new kitten” smell. There’s even a lip-gloss that smells like a kitten’s sweet milk breath. It’s supposed to feel and smell like you’re kissing the kitten’s wet nose.

 

 

 

The sweet, fresh smell of a newborn’s head or a kitten’s fluffy neck likely triggers our nurturing instincts. If we like the way something smells, it stands to reason we’re more likely to hold it, care for it, and snuggle it close.

 

Our sense of smell is also powerfully connected to our emotions. Nostalgia and scent often go hand in hand. Certain smells can even bring you back in time. The smell of cookies baking might remind you of your grandmother’s kitchen, or the smell of fresh-cut grass might bring you back to a particular summer afternoon.

 

 

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Cat owners likely experience the same feelings when they bury their head in their cat’s fur and get a huff of that fluff. Still, most people don’t expect animals to smell pleasant. Is there any smell worse than wet dog?

 

 

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My cat’s reaction to wet dog smell.

It’s hard to say exactly what exactly makes a cat’s unique smell so appealing. They are relatively clean animals, fastidious groomers whose saliva actually contains antibodies, like our saliva, to help fight off bacteria and keep their fur clean. Maybe this clean, healthy smelling scent is what pleases our sensitive noses.

 

 

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Could it be that the smell of cats is triggering a chemical response in humans, thus triggering our nurturing instincts? Or is it just that we associate our cats, and thus their familiar scent, with love, affection, and that warm ‘n fuzzy feeling of home sweet home?

 

Whatever the reason, it has to be said again: Cats smell good. So go ahead, get a huff of that fluff; unless you’re allergic.

 

 

 

 

Are you a cat huffer? My cats both smell delicious to me. One has a grassy, earthy smell. The other one smells almost like fresh bread, which is fitting for a catloaf, I guess!

 

What does your cat smell like to you? We’re curious! Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

  • This is so relateable!
    My cat is indoors so he doesn’t get a lot of outside smells on him. He has a really distinct smell that’s so comforting, but I don’t know what to relate it to. I wonder if it’s a collection of the smell of our house, and maybe my smell mixed with his smell from cuddling and petting him. I can tell when other people have been cuddling him and he smells different.
    I sound really weird and possessive LOL.
    I have a faint memory that my first cat smelled similar. That time travel biz is real.

  • The article doesn’t mention smelling cat feet, but my sister and I both love the smell of kitty feet! It’s got a dusty smell that we both love.

  • Oh dear god, I’m not alone. I freaking love my meows fur smell, she smells like the inherited love of all my previous cats rolled into one. I associate it with pure adoration and comfort. I wish I hadn’t read this till I’m home cause now I want to scoop my meow up and give her a few good huffs (sounds weird still) and pat her on the head and watch her follow me around. My girlfriend is jealous cause me and the meow are tight like that..

  • My favorite boy smells sweet and cinnamony. I can’t wait to get home from work and breathe in his neck. The other ones smell good too, but my one blind baby is just delicious. One has that dusty, fritz smell and one smells like cotton candy. Ugh, I need to go home lol

  • I swear my first cat smelled EXACTLY like sunshine. It was always so comforting to come home from school or work and bury my face into her side while she was sleeping. It was amazing. Glad I’m not alone!

  • I am addicted to the smell right between the shoulder blades of my darling Birman boy. Funnily enough now my daughter loves it too. If someone pats him with perfume it takes days to go back to normal. It means pure relaxation and love for me

  • I’m so glad I’m not the only one that puts my face into my kitties fluff! I love doing it and she 100% has a distinct smell! There’s a hint of vanilla, and I think it’s because of the perfume that I wear. The best thing is lying down for a nap with her and having my nose up against her fur and her purring contently. There’s no way I can stay awake when that happens!

  • I just bathed my cat today because he’d lost his happy smell. For some reason he started to smell like he’d been rolling around in a pile of dirty underwear. But now he’s all clean and has (mostly) forgiven my traitorous act, snuggling up to get loves.

    Fortunately, I don’t have to bathe him often. Maybe once a year? It works just fine. He generally smells pretty awesome

  • My skinny boy-cat smells like dusty sunshine and good clean sweat from leaping from roof to roof like the acrobat he is. I feel so comforted and happy when I breathe him in.

    • I love your description! It makes me think of a small French town where the houses are overgrown with ivy and they all have balconies looking out on breezy fields. Add in a cat and you’ve got paradise right there. 🙂

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