Head-butting is commonly seen among domestic as well as wild cats. It can also be called bunting or facial marking. Cats have glands on their lips, cheeks, forehead, nose, and ears. They rub their glands on people and other animals to leave their pheromones behind.
So cats head-butt to create a safe space with a familiar smell. It also helps them to return to hunting spots and retrace steps using scent.
When marking familiar territory, cats head-butt other cats, humans, and objects with a familiar smell by rubbing against them with their chin, forehead, and cheeks. Especially when it comes to cats who live in groups, they are turned away from the group if they don’t have the group scent.
Head-butting is also useful in retracing steps using scent. This tactic is mostly used by wildcats looking for prey.
Cats use head-butting to greet other cats as well as humans. When it comes to cats, it is seen as something that reinforces social bonds and is equally beneficial for both cats. If a cat head-butts another cat, it is called allorubbing.
When a familiar cat or human approaches, a cat head-butts them when they are nearby. It is said that this practice comes from the interactions between kittens and mothers.
Head-butting is a way of showing affection. It is common among cats that belong to the same group. This practice of head-butting shows affection and starts at an early age.
If your cat is head-butting in the morning, your cat will likely be requesting breakfast or play.
Head-butting is way different from head pressing. Although head-butting is a healthy sign, head-pressing shows that the cat is suffering from a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Head-pressing could indicate neurological problems, signs of toxicity, metabolic disorders, tumours, infections, or even diseases like rabies. If your cat is head-pressing, take it to a veterinarian.
When a cat is seeking attention:
Cats tend to reach out for you with their paw, claws in or out, indicating a desire for attention. They could also lay down in your path for attention. Sometimes they may sit on something they know is off-limits to gain your attention.
Cats like to act humble and shy, yet research has shown that they genuinely love their humans. Not all cats like to lean into their human for kisses. However, a cat’s likes and dislikes can change from daily to hourly.
Did you know that cats can use staring as a nonverbal way of communicating? Your fur baby could do this to show their love.
Constant petting can cause your cat to become overly enthusiastic and trigger an arousal-based bite. It has been noted that static electricity could be a reason for cats to bite during petting.
Did you know cats’ bizarre behaviors may be more than just feline silly? Cats may be seeing frequencies that humans can’t.