Why Do Dogs Sniff Cats' Bums? Smell Each Other's?

Why Do Dogs Sniff Cats’ Bums? Reasons Explained

Dogs and cats play together, get along quite well, and even sleep together. I know, how cute! But you might see that the dog is sniffing your cat’s bum every once in a while. If it is the first time you see it, you might wonder why dogs sniff cats’ bums.

Is it because your cat’s bum smells good to your dog, or is there another reason at play? Read to find out a few reasons why dogs sniff cats’ bums.

Related – Why Do Dogs Smell Each Other’s Bums? Should You Let Them?

Why do dogs sniff cats’ bums? The simplest answer is they are merely trying to understand everything about the cat, or your dog is trying to greet the cat. Dogs love to sniff everything, which is likely due to their keen sense of smell. Dogs’ senses of smell are 10,000 and 300,000 times better than ours, depending on the breed. That explains the answer to your question – why do dogs sniff cats’ bums?

Why Do Dogs Sniff Cats’ Bums?

One of the most common reasons dogs sniff cats’ bums is as a way of greeting. In other words, it’s their canine equivalent of a handshake. Two anal glands are located below the bum of cats and dogs.

It implies that your dog can recognize the cat, whether it is a friend or an enemy because cat glands release a distinctive scent that varies from cat to cat. 

Furthermore, it is the most courteous method of meeting a possible friend in the canine world. Rather than being hostile, such as barking or growling, this is an excellent approach for dogs to convey to cats, “I want to see if we can be friends.”

  • Your dog is gathering information about the cat

Your dog can be trying to sniff out your cat’s bum as a way of getting information in addition to just saying hello. As I’ve already mentioned, cats’ anal glands secrete unique scents and pheromones. From cat to cat, this aroma varies. 

The dogs may then determine whether they had ever come across this cat before. Dogs use their advanced senses of smell to store such information, just as people do with faces. It is because humans dominate visual information, while dogs dominate olfactory information. 

So, what kind of information can a dog know by sniffing a cat’s bum? Dogs can know the age of the cat, the gender of the cat, what food the cat ate, whether the cat is mature enough to mate, whether your cat has any diseases, the moods of the cat, and much more! 

  • Your dog is making an effort to ease the tension

Your dog may be trying to ease the tension, which is another explanation for your question about why dogs sniff cats’ bums. It may occur, particularly following a dog and cat fight.

Imagine your cat was furiously hissing at your dog and trying to bite him. The dog is also growling and barking at the cat.

However, you eventually notice that your dog is trying to sniff your cat’s behind. So, what’s going on here? It’s just your dog’s way of expressing, “I’m sorry, but we can still be friends!”

  • Your dog is bonding with the cat

Alternatively, it might just be that your dog and the cat are becoming close. It might occur, for instance, if you bring a kitten home and already have a dog.

Since your cat is a new member, the dog will want to sniff and learn more about the kitten before trying to form a connection with him. It’s also seen when they play together.

By butt-sniffing at your cat, your dog may be merely trying to say, “I like you, my friend”! It can also happen between two long-lost buddies. Say your best friend has a cat, and you have a dog.

You haven’t seen each other in a few months, and even those two got along well. So, the moment you and your pets reunite, you can see that your dog is trying to sniff your friend’s cat behind.

It’s just him trying to identify the cat by familiarizing himself with the cat’s distinct scent.

Why Do Cats And Dogs Smell Each Other’s Butt?

Now you know the answer to why do dogs sniff cats’ bums. You need to realize that even if it seems strange to you when cats and dogs sniff each other’s butts, it is common for them. Dogs and cats may smell each other’s bums as they are getting to know one another.

As I previously said, dogs and cats have scent glands near their bums that secrete odorous chemicals each time they poop.

These secretions contain a scent that is unique to each pet, which they can use to recognize one other even if they haven’t seen each other in years.

Therefore, if you find yourself in a scenario like this, resist the urge to try to stop them from sniffing each other’s bums. Let them carry on as they are; interfering would be like forbidding a friend from smiling with someone they know.

Additionally, you shouldn’t have too many concerns if you allow your dog to smell the bum of other dogs or cats, especially if everyone is healthy and properly trained.

Although the reasons for your question – why do dogs sniff cats’ bums seem harmless, sometimes your dog can get certain diseases from that.

For instance, sniffing your cat’s bum could expose your dog to parasites and worm infections. In addition to digestive problems, these parasites can also induce fatigue, dehydration, appetite loss, and weight loss.

In some cases, when the dog smells the butts, your cat won’t enjoy it. They communicate by hiding their bum with their tail.

Your cat can become irritated by your dog, which might cause them to bite or scratch them. You may sometimes see your dog become overly aggressive with its sniffing.

Training is helpful in situations like this. If your dog starts smelling people, other pets, or objects, teaching them the commands sit, come, heel, and stay will allow you to regain control of the situation.

Thank your for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner. See you next time!


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

    [email protected]

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