Why Do Cats Head Butt?
13 September, 2017
cat bead butt

We love how cats communicate with us from meowing, purring or even just running up to us to say hello.   And sometimes you might just be sitting reading a book or lounging on the couch when your kitty head butts you!  If a human did that to you, well, that would hurt and you would be pissed!  But, cats head butt for many other reasons.

Head bunting is the technical term for your cat leaving their mark on you

The technical term for what your cat is doing when he bonks you on the head with his own is bunting. Bunting includes head-cracking and also rubbing themselves against your legs.   Cats carry scent glands in a number of places including the sides of their faces, the pads of their paws and their tails. So, when your cat rubs against your face, he is leaving his scent mark with you.

Cats head bunt you to show that they love you!

Cats communicate with us using body language and if a cat head butts you, he is extremely content, greeting you with love and affection. And, remember, he is bunting, or leaving his mark on you to signify that you are safe, comfortable and he wants you to know you are loved!

Cat bunting is also a way to ask for attention

Bunting is also a means of asking for attention. If your cat head-butts you and then tucks his head down or turns to the side he is probably asking for some special attention,  Your kitty might just want to be pet or scratched behind the ears or on top of the head.  Or even just a knock on the side.   Your kitty wants you to play or pay attention to their needs!

Cats also head bunt with other humans, cats and dogs

Cats don’t just engage in bunting with their humans, they will also head-butt and rub against other cats who they are familiar and friendly with. This is referred to as ‘allorubbing’ and is a part of social communication in multiple cat households.  Sharing scents in this way ensures that all cats and humans have the same scent, and communicates a sense of belonging to the same family.  Cats will even head bunt with other cats and even dogs!  A true sign of love and caring.  Lip rubs are simply for marking.

Cats head bunt time and time again, because it gets a reaction out of you!

Cats will head bunt because it usually gets a good reaction from you.  Who wouldn’t rub or scratch or kiss our little felines.  Past experience has told him when he displays this behavior you typically respond by petting or scratching him in his favorite places. So your kitty does it again and again.

The fact that your cat head bunts also shows trust in you

Cats that bunt their owners are displaying their unconditional love, affection and trust. Even if this does come with a mouthful of cat hair, it’s the next best thing to a warm hug and a kiss on the cheek.  And when our skeptical kitties trust you, there is no better feeling.

If your cat head butts you does this mean your his favorite?  Read to find out:  Are You the Cat’s Favorite?

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