Headbutting, also known as head-bunting, head-bonking, and several other names I will share later in the article is when your cat bumps their head against you, an object, or another animal.
Something that has happened to me many times and most likely you at some point, but why do our cats do this?
These are some of the things it means when why your cat head butts you:
1. Affection: They love you
Cats head bonk as a sign of affection. When your cat pushes their head against your head, face, cheek, or mouth, it is often a display of affection.
This behavior is accompanied by rubbing, which helps them leave their scent on you.
Cats have scent glands on their forehead as well as all over their body, and scent plays a significant role in their lives.
This helps them bond and familiarize themselves with you and their environment, making them more comfortable with your presence.
Yes, when a cat head bunts you most often it’s their way of showing you affection.
2. Being vulnerable: They trust you
In the wild cats are always on their guard and they don’t let anything get close enough to surprise them.
But when a cat headbutts you, it’s a sign of trust and vulnerability. They are allowing themselves to become vulnerable in front of you.
The trust creates a better sense of security in their relationship with you, which builds trust.
With this trust, they don’t have to be on guard watching your every move around the house in fear of being eaten or harmed like they would in the wild.
3. Seeking Attention and playfulness: They want your attention
Sometimes your cat’s head butting is a way of demanding your attention and petting from you.
How many times have you been using your phones and your cat starts head butting you?
It may be because they are uninterested in what’s going on and just want your attention.
When your cat headbutts you, they are probably asking for petting or your attention in some way.
Head butting could also mean that your cat is feeling playful.
When cats are in a good mood, they tend to be extra silly, and head butting is one of the ways they might display that.
4. Greetings: They want to smell you
Much like dogs, cats like to sniff each other (and us) when they greet each other. Head butting is a way of making sure that the scent exchange happens close up.
This has happened to me many times while using and using my phone. This is when I feel my cat’s cold nose and whiskers on my face.
5. Marking Territory: They want to leave their scent
As mentioned before, cats have scent glands on their forehead as well as all over their body.
By pushing their head against us, they are able to leave their scent and marking us as their territory.
This helps them create a sense of familiarity and belonging with and around us.
Here is a very nice video about cat headbutting from Jackson Galaxy, that I think you’ll enjoy watching:
Do all cats headbutt?
No, not all cats head bonk. Every cat has their unique behaviors and ways of showing affection.
Some cats may head bonk to show their affection perfectly while other cats may do it at inappropriate times or display different behaviors to express their affection.
Distinguish between head butting and head pressing
It’s also crucial to distinguish between head butting and head pressing.
Head butting is a gentle, affectionate gesture, while head pressing, where a cat constantly presses its head against objects or surfaces, can indicate a medical issue or discomfort, and it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian if you see your cat doing this.
Head bonking is a normal behavior for cats and it can mean many different things depending on the context.
Why does my cat headbutt me and then bite me?
When your cat headbutts you, it’s a sign of affection – and not just any kind of affection, but a profound intimacy.
Basically, your cat is saying “Hey, I love you enough to hit my sensitive nose against yours.” However, when it follows the headbutt with a little nibble, that’s an entirely different story.
It’s important to understand that biting can show several things; it can be a sign of aggression, pain, over-excitement, or over-stimulation.
Often, cats bite when they feel overwhelmed by your physical contact.
So, if the nibble hurts, remember to avoid the areas where your cat might be extra sensitive.
Instead, choose to gently pet your cat on the cheeks, jaws, and chin. This way, you’ll be sure to receive all kitty love with no unwanted surprises.
Why do cats rub their face on things?
The majority of the time cats rub their face on things to leave their scent.
It’s their way of marking their territory or even marking you as their own. It may seem strange to us humans, but it’s actually a natural behavior for them.
You may notice your feline friend rubbing their face on your legs, furniture, or even their favorite toy. This is because they want to leave their mark and claim it as their own.
They have scent glands on their face and head, so rubbing against objects allows them to spread their unique scent around.
It’s their way of saying, “Hey, I was here and this is my space.”
But don’t worry, it’s not just a territorial thing it’s also a sign of affection towards their owners.
Cat headbutting and purring?
Cat headbutting and purring are both signs that your furry friend is happy and content.
Headbutting is actually a way for cats to show affection and establish their territory – they’re marking you as theirs!
And as for the purring, well, that’s just your cat’s way of saying “I love you.”
It’s a soothing sound that they make when they’re feeling calm and relaxed, and it’s a sure sign that they’re in a good mood.
Why does my cat headbutt me when I’m sleeping?
There are many reasons why your cat might headbutt you while you’re sleeping but from my experience, it is usually because my cat is showing affection, needs food, or needs water.
Why does my cat headbutt my phone?
If your cat is headbutting your phone while you’re using it then it’s probably because they want to get your attention and play.
Should I headbutt my cat?
You can absolutely give your cat soft and gentle headbutts if they are always giving them to you.
It’s a way for them to show affection and bond with you.
However, it’s important to make sure that you’re not using too much force or hitting their head too hard. Use a light touch and make sure it’s just a soft tap.
But you probably shouldn’t start headbutting your cat if you’ve never received one from them before.
What is it called when a cat head bumps you?
When a cat head bumps you it can be called any of these following other similar names:
- Love tapping
Whether your cat headbutts you in the face, or on your legs it is usually a sign of love and affection.
The action of headbutting you helps the cat leave their scent on you, which establishes that you are their territory.
It can also be a sign that your cat wants something from you, like attention or food. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that your cat is trying to communicate with you.