If you are fortunate to be a beloved human to a faithful feline, you might undergo a cat smooshing its head upon yours, rubbing its face all above yours. Aww. Sometimes this head-to-head meeting behavior has a few forces after it, feeling like a cat headbutt.
But the proper term for this engaging behavior is actually head bunting. Head bunting is when a cat rubs its odor glands upon another thing, delivering its scent over a different surface.
Reasons Why Your Cat is Headbutting
One thing is for sure. Head bunting, when performed softly, is the most pleasant thing ever. But this cat display is really rich in behavior.
1. Your Cat is Scent Marking
Cat’s foreheads are light, fluffy, and filled with scent glands. Scents, or odors, are essential to cats (both wild and domesticated) because they support cats engage, and interact with, their surroundings.
Cats form various scents and have scent glands all across the bodies, including the underside of the tail, the front paws, chin and lips, cheeks, and the forehead.
Every time a cat connects with a surface by rubbing its odor glands upon it, they leave pheromones. Pheromones are substances that serve as small communicators between animals of the same classes.
Felines have odor glands on their foreheads, and head butting toward a person is done to transfer those smells as an affiliative display. So, when your cat begins bunting your face, they deliberately give their own smell touch dab on your face. Thoughtful, right?
2. Your Cat Prefers Familiarity
You may think it’s creepy to know that your pet’s odor is all across your face now, but to your pet, it’s a beautiful thing! Now you smell similar to them! And indeed, each item in your house smells like your feline, just like they desire it to. So your face might as well be added.
Cats need the place they call home to smell familiar, and nothing smells more pleasant than your own self-made scent. Transferring their fragrance throughout your home and on you helps keep your pet feel relaxed and comfortable in their surroundings.
It [butting] is a loving way of blending scents (yours and theirs) to strengthen friendship and relationships. It’s not only our family cats that do this function, either.
Large cat species, like lions, also do the headbutting behavior when they notice a familiar body or arrive home to the pack from a hunting tour. It makes them feel more comfortable, knowing that crew members are still existing and accounted for.
In a house with other pets your cat likes and trusts, they may headbutt the dog or another cat family member, forming a relaxing communal fragrance amongst pets.
3. Your Cat is Looking for Attention
You stayed at work all day and just arrived home to rest and eat a not-much-healthy meal in front of the TV, and here reaches your pet, climbing over your lab and advancing their lovely face upon yours. Your kitty missed you the whole day, and they want your Attention now!
So set down that deep-fried food and offer your feline some lovin’. You should feel fortunate they picked you (says your cat).
Why is my cat head butting strangers?
If head bunting is a friendly behavior that felines practice only with their bonds, why does my cat sometimes rub up against strangers she’s never faced before?
A cat may rub upon anyone not a member of his “group,” but that doesn’t indicate she performs the head bunt action. The smell is not only how cats interact but how they get knowledge about the environment, too.
A cat who rubs up upon a visitor is trying to collect odor information from that body. We don’t know what data they are collecting, but we can assume that they might desire to smell the location the new individual has just arrived from and if there are different animals there.
A visitor should never think that just because a kitty is rubbing on them, it seeks affection. A pet collecting data, not looking for love, perhaps startled to notice herself getting petted. She may move off if the accidental petter is fortunate or show her disapproval with a hiss or a swat if not.
What should I do when my cat headbutts me?
You should be happy that they’ve liked you. Enjoy it and get it as a blessing that you’re deserving of their love – that cat considered you significant enough.
But do not significantly react. A few cats may not be happy with a response. It depends on your bond with the pet. If you are well-connected with your cat, you can headbutt back or provide some other indication of your love, like petting.
If your connection with the cat is just growing, there’s nothing incorrect with not reacting. Instead, proceed to develop faith over time.
What does a cat headbutt look like?
Usually, a cat will touch their face upon you and rub their head along whatever body part they’re close to. You’ve possibly noticed your cat head bunt objects like chairs, walls, and furniture too.
Do a cat headbutt to mark territory?
Several people consider that this is just a way of marking territory, but it’s more complex than this. While felines use perfume glands to note their piece, they also use them to build supportive familiarity or signify a space as ‘secure’.
Do cats headbutt other cats?
You may witness that sometimes cats headbutt other cats too. It is to give gratitude to other cats or make a familiar scent with other cats in the house. If a cat moves its face nearly towards another cat and rubs its face on them, it will deliver pheromones that build its typical scent.
What if my cat doesn’t headbutt me?
However, frequently, your feline may not bunt you for a while or at all. It surely does not mean that your pet doesn’t want to give affection towards you, as kitties offer their love in many other ways.