Why do cats headbutt?

Your cat enjoys rubbing you and stroking your face. You had no idea that she was not only showering you with affection, but she was also leaving a small piece of herself—her scent—in your possession. It is this smell that immediately makes you feel like you belong in the feline society. But why do cats head butt? To better understand this, first learn what is head butting.

Head-Butting (Bunting)

Head-butting and allorubbing are two parts of the same puzzle. Head-butting, commonly known as “bunting,” is a kind of play between cats who are familiar with one another. It is generally a reciprocal action, in which the two cats would softly touch the crowns of their heads or the insides of their cheeks together to demonstrate affection for one another. A common result of headbutting is full-body rubbing, which can lead to tail-twining. When your cat rubs her nose on your cheek or headbutts you, she is expressing her affection and strengthening her bond with you. Petting your cat in response to allorubbing, headbutting, or body rubbing enhances the relationship between you and your cat and may be reassuring to your cat in the long run.

Why do cats headbutt?

They participate in this action in order to aid in the creation of a colony smell. This is accomplished by the use of some of their scent glands, which are found in their cheeks, lips (on their lips), forehead (on their forehead), flanks (on their flanks), paw pads (on their paw pads), and tail to leave their fragrance on you or another item. This aroma is produced by their pheromones, which we are unable to detect but which are detectable by themselves and other cats. Cats benefit from leaving their smell since it assists them with:

  • Scenting their owners in order to establish a colony smell
  • Creating strong bonds with other cats
  • Creating their “safe zones”
  • Self-soothing

Is Cat Bunting a Sign of Affection? 

Cat bunting serves more as a way for them to identify you as a member of their safe zone. On the other hand, your cat would not do such a thing if they did not trust you and felt secure in your company. Thus, it might be seen as an expression of affection in this context.

Headbutting Between Cats

If you have many cats, it is possible that they will start headbutting each other. This contributes to the formation of a colony smell and is also an indication that they are safe and have formed a relationship with one another.

What Happens If My Cat Doesn’t Headbutt Me?

Some kitties are more prone than others to indulge in bunting; thus, lack of bunting isn’t always an indication of a health concern. You should expect your cat to take some time to warm up if you have recently acquired them or if they are in a new setting. Otherwise, as long as your cat appears to be content, it is possible that they will not just be fond of headbutts.