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While you are sitting back and relaxing, you may notice something nudging against your body. As you are curious to find out what is causing this sensation, you realize it is your cat's head bumping against your body.
Many cat owners have witnessed this notion of being bumped by their cat's head. This can happen as frequently as multiple times daily to occur on a more sporadic basis. Also, there have been many interchangeable terms used for this notion.
These terms include but are not limited to bonking, bunting, butting, and bumping. So does this "bumping" mean your cat is really trying to tell you something or is it just a meaningless behavior? This has left many cat owners asking, "Why do cats head bunt you?"
So you may be asking yourself what in the world your cat is doing. Well, it is important to note that this behavior is actually very common and is usually referred to as head bumping. By doing this, your cat is illustrating its method of bonding with you.
The feline head bump may be expressed to the owner, other humans, and even other animals such as other cats or dogs. By rubbing the head against another animal's body part, the cat is showing utmost devotion and love, as he or she is identifying the receiver of the head bump as a friend.
No, affection is not the only reason that cats headbutt their owners. As a matter of fact, the sense of smell may play a role in this notion as well. The smell is needed for cats to understand their surroundings, and it is used for communication and social interaction as well.
Furthermore, believe it or not, there are scent glands all over a cat's body. Their scent glands can be found in locations such as the tail, paws, or cheeks.
Communicating via scents glands allows a cat to both mark its territory and provide the cat with a way to become familiar with the objects and people in the area. Cats have a way of "marking" what they care about the most by remembering the scents associated with these cherished possessions.
In other words, if your cat headbutts you, not only is this a sign of adoration, but it is also a way of showing trust and importance through scent communication. If you think about it, why else would your cat position himself or herself in such a defenseless position while not knowing how you will react?
By head bumping, the cat is able to mark you with a specific odor that is identified as important. So do not be offended when your cat head bumps you, because it is actually the complete opposite. Your cat is showing you how important you are for friendly, comforting, and social bonding purposes.
A dominant cat is also more likely to do all the head bunting as there are hierarchies in cat colonies. So only the most confident cats love to spread their colony scent. So it is good to note that not all cats headbutt their fur parents, so don't feel bad if you don't experience your cat headbutting you. Don't worry because each kitty will have their own way of showing affection to its owners.
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So now you may think that you have the full answer to the question as to why they do this. However, there is one more piece to this question. The sensation of touch also plays a huge role in the lives of cats. A cat's body is covered with sensory cells that are extremely sensitive to any pressure or pain.
Any pressure on the hair or whiskers of cats will be perceived by the sensory cells at the end of the hair follicles. When the cat is stroked, the cat perceives this touch as pleasure, and this benefits the relationship between owners and their cats.
Therefore, whenever you seem to notice your cat head bunting you as you walk around the house or as you are laying down and relaxing, remember that your cat is just trying to show love and admiration for you. The head bump is done all out of love for the owner.
Your cat is just trying to seek attention and to show you how important you are when it head bumps, butts, bonks, bunts, or whatever you may call it! So next time your cat shows you this fascinating behavior, remember that it is definitely a good thing, and your pet loves you.
Note: If you notice your cat presses their head hard against you, an object, or on a wall, it can be a dangerous sign of potential signs for serious health conditions such as brain tumor, stroke, or other neurological problems. In this case, go to your vet and seek veterinary advice immediately!
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