Why Do Cats Head Bump You?

Cats are not the best at showing love, and sometimes we need to look for more subtle crews that theyve accepted us as part of their group. Not all cats will come up and lick your hand or face like a dog, but they still have their own way of showing affection. Youve probably been on the other end of a cat head bump, havent you? Guess what, its a good thing! In the cat world, cats do this to members of their colony as a sign of unity. A head bump on the leg, hand, or even face is a good thing we promise!

What does it mean when a cat head nudges you?

The behavior that is often described by cat parents as “head butting” is actually head bunting. Cats have scent glands all over their body and they use them to leave a scent mark on objects (and in this case, YOU). The bunting and rubbing are reserved for bonding, social, comforting and friendly purposes.

Why does my cat headbutt me then bite me?

When cats headbutt then bite they’re either getting a little too enthusiastic about spreading their scent or they’re trying to communicate something. It could be affection and love, a request to play, or they could be asking for a meal but the context will help you figure out what your cat wants.

Your cat jumps into your lap, and instead of getting cozy, she bops her head against your chin, cheek, or forehead. Sometimes she includes a quick rub (doing her best to get fur all in your mouth), and sometimes she hits so hard it actually hurts. The encounter lasts only a few seconds, and then shes probably purring in your lap. Whats the deal?

According to cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennet , putting their head so close to another is a sign of trust and friendliness. When they rub their head on another cat, they create a group scent that signifies a close bond.

It lets other animals know that territory has already been claimed, and it also makes the area seem more safe and comforting to the cat. If your cat is consistently pressing their head against the wall, floor, or furniture, it could be a sign of a serious neurological disorder.

You might have noticed your cat bumping his head, legs, face, hand, or whatever other part of you he can reach. People usually refer to this as head butting, but that term isnt actually correct. The actual term is head bunting, but why do cats do it? They have a few reasons.

When you come home from work, your cat will often head bunt as part of his social bonding rituals. While cheeking rubbing is often more about scent marking, and claiming ownership, it gives a different message when combined with head bunting.

Bunting is a more important method of sending a message than other behaviors like urine marking. As head bunting is first and foremost a social behavior, its a great opportunity for you to develop, deepen, and enrich your relationship with your cat. Territory marking can look like head bunting, especially if your cat uses the cheek scent glands, but it is different.

When Cats Headbutt Other Animals

Technically, the cat headbutt we’re so familiar with is called head bunting. Bunting is a behavior associated with social bonding, and even big cats do it with their friends and family. Lions like to headbutt other members of their pride as a way of recognizing their family dynamic. According to cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennet, putting their head so close to another is a sign of trust and friendliness.Cats also headbutt as a way to mark and exchange scents. Felines have scent glands all over their bodies. When they rub their head on another cat, they create a group scent that signifies a close bond.

When Cats Headbutt Furniture

While cat headbutting can signify a social bond, what does it mean when your cat headbutts your sofa? Are they saying they’re best friends with your furniture?Not exactly.While some behaviorists say headbutting an inanimate object can be a cat’s way of recognizing that object’s familiarity, it’s more likely to do with scents and territory. Cats use the scent glands located on their cheeks to mark their territory. It lets other animals know that territory has already been claimed, and it also makes the area seem more safe and comforting to the cat.It’s important to never confuse headbutting with head pressing. If your cat is consistently pressing their head against the wall, floor, or furniture, it could be a sign of a serious neurological disorder.Click here to learn more.Cats headbutt humans for the same reasons they headbutt other animals and even the furniture. It’s their way of expressing a familial relationship and using scent as a marker. Marking you with her own scent makes your cat feel even safer around you than she did before.Super friendly cats might feel confident enough to headbutt just about anyone they meet, but most cats reserve bunting for their favorite humans..Consider it your cat’s way of saying, “We’re in this together, pal.”There’s also the chance that your cat’s headbutting is a way to seek attention. They know you can’t ignore them when their face is pressed up against yours. It’s an excellent way to solicit scratches.If you know your cat likes to put their head close to yours, go ahead and try out your own headbutt. Keep it slow and gentle and see how your cat reacts. She’ll most likely return the gesture and headbutt you back.Your cat knows you don’t speak the same language, but understanding feline body language is a great way to communicate. You can tell your cat how you feel about her in a way she’ll fully understand.Related Story: Head Pressing In Cats: A Must-Read For All Cat OwnersRelated Video: How Cats Say “I Love You