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Old April 4th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary, AB
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There is a scent gland at the base of the tail that cats like having rubbed, kind of along the same lines as having their cheeks and chins rubbed. When they raise their tail, they're apparently inviting you to smell their anal glands:

Cats have scent glands on the chin, lips (in the corners), temples and at the base of the tail. Each cat has its own scent signature. When it washes, a cat transfers its scent from these glands to its fur. This scent is then transferred to objects the cat rubs against - a fencepost, twiggy plants, a doorway or a person's legs. For example, most of my doors have a grey greasy mark at cat's cheek level where Cindy marks them over and over again.

They use this scent to mark areas and objects around them, other cats, humans and other animals in the household. This helps create a communal smell. A new cat must literally rub up to superior members of the group to mix their scents before becoming an accepted member of the group. Its home territory also has a smell profile and any new smell - another cat or even a new piece of furniture or a scent carried in your shoes or clothing - can cause insecurity and lead to a frenzy of marking activity! When a cat scratches it leaves both a visual marker and a scent marker from its paw-pads. It will mark its territory by rubbing its chin or cheeks onto upright objects (posts, chair-legs, door edges etc) and also by spraying or depositing faeces. Scent is so important that blind cats can navigate around their indoor territories using a combination of memory and scent trails.

Cats who are familiar and friendly with each other often have a greeting ritual. They use a similar ritual to greet their humans or other household animals. They rub their head, flank and tail against the other cat or person to exchange odours. They hold the tail straight up so that the other cat can sniff the anal glands. When stroked, cats raise their rumps even higher (almost standing on tiptoe) to invite you to sniff their anal glands!
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
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