Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Why Do Cats Like Beards? 5 Likely Reasons

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

cat cuddled by a bearded man

Cats have an uncanny ability to find the sweetest things hidden in places that humans won’t. This is especially true for felines, which are known to be drawn to sweet scents and objects. If you’ve ever watched your feline friend rub against a plant or sniff at it, you probably caught a glimpse of just how much it loves nature.

Well, many cat owners will tell you that some cats seem to love beards so much that they’ll give them up for one if given half the chance. Read on to learn more about why cats love cat beards so much, as well as some other reasons why they might seem so interested in any bearded family members living in your home.


The 5 Reasons Why Cats Like Beards

1. Beards Can Be Super Soft

One of the main reasons why cats love beards is because they’re soft. Felines have a natural attraction to anything that’s soft and fluffy, and beards are no exception. When cats rub against your beard, they’re not only enjoying the sensation of the soft hair but also the warmth that’s radiating from your face.

This is why you’ll often find cats snuggling up to your beard when you’re sitting down or lying in bed. They’re seeking out the comforting feeling of something soft and warm against their fur. And since beards are usually attached to a human, they’re also getting the added benefit of social interaction, which is essential for a cat’s mental health.

But why are cats so attracted to soft things in the first place? It’s actually thought to be an evolutionary trait that’s rooted in their instinct to hunt. Soft things, such as mice and other small prey, are usually easier to catch and kill than harder objects. So, over time, cats have developed a preference for softer textures.

cat licking the face of bearded man
Image Credit: Caterina Trimarchi, Shutterstock

2. Because They’re Scratchy

While cats love the softness of beards, they also love the scratchiness of a beard that is growing in. Beards are made up of coarse hair that’s perfect for scratching and nibbling on before it becomes a full beard. When a cat rubs against your beard as it’s growing, it might be enjoying the scratchy texture of the hairs against her skin.

This is why you might notice your cat nibbling on your beard or pawing at it with her paws. It’s trying to get a better grip on the hairs so it can scratch and pull at them. And while this might be annoying for you, it’s a sign of affection from your feline friend.

But why do cats love scratchy things so much? It’s thought to be another evolutionary trait that’s rooted in their instinct to groom. Scratching and grooming are essential activities for cats, as they help to keep their fur clean and healthy. So, by rubbing against your beard and scratching at it, your cat is perhaps engaging in a natural behavior that’s essential for its wellbeing.

3. Beards May Smell Good to Them

Another reason why cats love beards is because they may smell good. Beards, like all hair, have a natural scent that’s unique to their owner. And since cats have a keen sense of smell, they’re naturally drawn to anything that smells good.

But it’s not just the natural scent of your beard that cats find appealing. They’re also attracted to the scent of the products you use, such as beard oil or balm. These products often contain fragrances that are pleasant to cats, such as lavender or mint.

So, if you’re wondering why your cat loves to snuggle up to your beard, it might be because it’s enjoying the scent. And while this might seem like a minor thing, it’s actually an important part of your cat’s socialization process. By smelling your beard, it’s learning more about you and forming a stronger bond with you.

bearded man cuddling his cat
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

4. Beards Are Nice to Scratch And Knead

As we’ve already mentioned, cats love to scratch and groom. And beards are the perfect surface for them to do this on. The coarse hairs provide just the right amount of resistance for cats to scratch and pull at, and the warmth of your face makes it a comfortable spot for them to do it on.

But it’s not just the act of scratching that cats love. They also enjoy the sensation of the hairs against their skin. It’s a bit like a massage for them, and it helps to stimulate their senses and keep them mentally stimulated.

So, if your cat loves to scratch and paw at your beard, don’t be alarmed. It’s a natural behavior that’s essential for her wellbeing. And as long as you don’t mind a few stray hairs, it’s a great way to bond with your feline friend.

5. They May Offer a Sense of Safety

Finally, cats love beards because they may offer a sense of safety. When a cat rubs against your beard, it’s not only enjoying the sensation of the soft hair and the scent, but it’s also marking you as her own. Cats have scent glands on their heads and faces, and by rubbing against your beard, they’re leaving their scent on you.

This serves two purposes. First, it helps to mark you as part of their territory. By leaving their scent on you, they’re telling other cats that you belong to them. And second, it helps to create a sense of safety and security for your feline friend. When they’re surrounded by familiar scents, they feel more relaxed and less anxious.

So, if your cat loves to snuggle up to your beard, it’s not just because it likes the way it feels. It’s also seeking out a sense of safety and security from you.

cat sleeping a bearded man
Image Credit: Vitalis83, Shutterstock


Is It Safe for Cats to Lick or Nibble on Your Beard?

There’s nothing wrong with a cat snuggling up to or rubbing themselves on your beard. But when it comes to the topic of whether it is safe for cats to lick their owner’s beard, it’s important to consider a few factors.

First, note that cats have bacteria in their mouths that can potentially cause infections if transferred to humans – like Capnocytophaga canimorsus and Pasteurella – which come from licking their body parts. Additionally, a cat’s rough tongue can cause irritation and even small cuts on the skin.

While the risk of infection or injury is relatively low, it is still recommended to avoid letting cats lick facial hair or any open wounds on the skin (like if you’ve just shaved in the last couple of days and cut yourself). It’s always better to err on the side of caution and prioritize the safety and health of both the cat and beard owner.

More Weird Behaviors from Cats

Cats are undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and fascinating creatures on the planet. And sometimes, their behavior can be downright weird, leaving us scratching our heads in confusion. Let’s look at other common behaviors from cats that may be considered a bit on the weird side.

Giving You Dead Things

Sometimes cats may surprise us with an unexpected gift, such as a dead bird, mouse, or insect. Note that cat mothers bring prey back to their kittens in the wild to teach them hunting skills and ensure their survival. These instincts of sharing are likely to be followed by your cat. Remember, it’s the thought that matters if you get a gift like this from your cat.

cat with dead mouse
Image Credit: B_kowsky, Pixabay

Jumping Randomly into Boxes

Cats are known for their love of boxes. It’s a common sight to see a cat jump into a box, regardless of its size, shape, or type. But why do cats do this? The answer lies in their natural instincts. Cats are natural hunters and in the wild, they use enclosed spaces as a way to stalk their prey. A box provides a secure and cozy space for a cat to hide and observe their surroundings.

Apart from hunting instincts, cats are also territorial animals. Boxes provide a sense of ownership and security for them. It is their own little space where they can feel safe and secure. Additionally, boxes provide a warm and cozy spot for cats to take a nap, which is also a natural instinct.

It’s also believed that jumping into boxes is a way for cats to relieve stress and anxiety. Boxes provide a sense of comfort and familiarity, which can be soothing for cats. The enclosed space also gives them a sense of control, which can help them feel more relaxed.

Kneading Things Around the House

Cats tend to have a unique habit of kneading, which involves pushing their paws in and out against soft surfaces like blankets, pillows, or even their owners. This behavior is instinctive, and most cats begin kneading as kittens while nursing from their mothers.

Kneading serves several purposes for cats, including marking their territory, expressing contentment, and stimulating the release of endorphins, which can have a calming effect.

This behavior can also be a sign of affection, as cats will often knead their favorite humans as a way of showing love and trust. While kneading can be harmless, it can also be painful (and annoying) for pet owners, especially if their cat has sharp claws. You can help your kitty satisfy this urge by just providing a soft surface for your cat to knead on, or regularly trimming their claws can also help alleviate any discomfort.

bengal kneading blanket
Image Credit: K Lim, Shutterstock

Rubbing Their Faces on Everything

So, this behavior is not only amusing to watch, but also serves a purpose, believe it or not. When cats rub their faces on objects or people, they’re actually depositing their scent. This is because cats have scent glands located on their faces, specifically around their cheeks and chin. By rubbing their faces on objects, cats are marking their territory and ensuring that their scent is present.

Also cats also rub their faces on people as a sign of affection (like lions do). This behavior is often seen when cats greet their owners after a long day or when they want attention. And they’ll also rub their faces on objects to gather information, in a sense.

This is because cats have an excellent sense of smell, and by rubbing their faces on objects, they can gather information (like gender, health, familiarity, etc.) about other animals and people. This behavior is particularly important for outdoor cats, as it helps them navigate and avoid potential dangers. This behavior is a natural instinct for cats and is nothing to be concerned about.

Constant Meowing

The reason for this will depend on different things. And while some cats are quieter than others, most will meow frequently, and sometimes even excessively. There are a couple of common reasons why cats meow so much. Firstly, cats meow as a form of communication. They may be trying to tell you that they are hungry, thirsty, or in need of a bit of attention. Secondly, cats meow to express their emotions. They may meow when they are happy, sad, or feeling anxious.


Wrapping Things Up

So, there you have it. Cats love beards for a variety of reasons. From the softness and scratchiness to the scent and sense of safety, beards offer cats a range of benefits that they find irresistible. And while it might be a bit annoying to have your cat rub on your beard, it’s actually a sign of affection and bonding. Just don’t let them lick or nibble on your beard, as this could lead to infections.

  • https://www.thesprucepets.com/cats-grooming-humans-553935
  • https://www.shinyshiny.tv/2011/01/useful_scientific_research_cats_reacting_to_bearded_men.html

Featured Image Credit: I Wei Huang, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database