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Headbutts!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok...this might be a dumb question...but why do cats headbutt?? Is it a learned behaviour? Lucky loves headbutts but Rambo doesn't really do them much.

Just curious...
post #2 of 20
My cat who headbutts does so when he's happy and purring so I think it's like a big kiss, since cats are fond of kissing on the lips lol. I read somewhere that cats rub up against legs to try to leave their scent and mark you as theirs, so maybe headbutts are similar to that. "YOURE MINE!!!!!! I WUVVVV YOU!!!" or something.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
I knew it was a good thing to get head butts...i just wondered why cats do this...is it instinctive (i.e. do your cats head butt each other and if so what does that mean?) or do they somehow learn it from humans?

post #4 of 20
When i sit down to have breakfast, Rosie comes up onto my lap and starts headbutting me along with the purring.

She knows that after i've had breakfast she gets 3 treats at the end, so when she headbutts the toast in my hand i always think it's her way of saying " I love you mum, but hurry up and finish that toast! "

Both Rosie and Sophie headbutt each other also, so i think it is a sign of affection
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renny
I knew it was a good thing to get head butts...i just wondered why cats do this...is it instinctive (i.e. do your cats head butt each other and if so what does that mean?) or do they somehow learn it from humans?

They are getting their scent on you. Marking you.
post #6 of 20
I read somewhere that it's their way of showing affection and marking their scent on you.
post #7 of 20
The instinctive part of head-butting is a marking behavior, but I think it's also kind of an affection behavior, too ... the cat is "claiming" you as its own.
post #8 of 20
I belong to Dexter & Sadie. I feel loved when they give me head butts.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
I belong to Dexter & Sadie. I feel loved when they give me head butts.
same feelings here when Milky came to my lap! ...aaaaawwwww
post #10 of 20
Cats have scent glands along the sides of their face and the top of their heads. They are marking you with their scent when they headbutt you. They are telling you "you are all mine!".

I love headbutts!!
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Cool...i'll have to remember that when Lucky comes a headbutting at 3am!
It does make you feel loved though!!

I've never seen my cats do it to each other though.....
post #12 of 20
The only thing that worries me is the power my little cat gets into them! I'm sure she'll break my nose one day.
post #13 of 20
Power Butts
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopher
The only thing that worries me is the power my little cat gets into them! I'm sure she'll break my nose one day.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Power butts...gotta love those.

Lucky caught me by surprise with one of those, right under the chin...i guess that would be an uppercut then. Ended up biting my tongue.... That round definitely went to her!
post #15 of 20
And how about love BITES?????? Those can be PAINFUL! Can anyone explain the meaning behind them? I know they mean love, but I don't GET it (shrug).

My cat sleeps right next to me, he has done this since he was a kitten 4 years ago. He comes up and put his head on my pillow, sometimes facing me sometimes not, snuggled against me. I can't say how many times he has bit my nose, cheek, (tried to bite my) forehead even, chin, lip, etc. Ouch!! He knows it hurts me because a soon as he does it his ears go flat and he closes his eyes waiting for me to tap his nose (which I do if he has ahold of me and won't let go!) It's usually when he's at his happiest and loviest.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by notme1295
And how about love BITES?????? Those can be PAINFUL! Can anyone explain the meaning behind them? I know they mean love, but I don't GET it (shrug).

My cat sleeps right next to me, he has done this since he was a kitten 4 years ago. He comes up and put his head on my pillow, sometimes facing me sometimes not, snuggled against me. I can't say how many times he has bit my nose, cheek, (tried to bite my) forehead even, chin, lip, etc. Ouch!! He knows it hurts me because a soon as he does it his ears go flat and he closes his eyes waiting for me to tap his nose (which I do if he has ahold of me and won't let go!) It's usually when he's at his happiest and loviest.

pandy bit my cheek today! and it damn hurt! she gives me love bites all the time but i'm usually prepared and move away before she gets a good grip.

i don't know why cats do it though....
post #17 of 20
i found an article that may explain it a little


When Purrs Become Bites
Your cat is sitting in your lap, purring contentedly as you stroke him, when he suddenly bites your hand and jumps down. What happened?
There are several possibilities agreed upon by behaviorists as to why a cat can turn hostile under such peaceful circumstances:

He has begun to doze in your lap, wakes suddenly and is momentarily disoriented by his surroundings and by being "confined" by your hands. After he jumps down he may look confused and begin to groom himself to calm down.
Sensitive or nervous cats can be overstimulated by prolonged petting. There are usually warning signs of the impending attack--restlessness, tail twitching, flattened ears, head turned toward hand. It is important for the cat owner to be alert to these signals and to stop petting the cat before this point is reached. At this time a small food treat could be given, along with a few more strokes, to gradually increase his threshold of tolerance. Never physically punish the cat for biting as it may cause him to become defensive and to seriously retaliate.
Petting the cat's sensitive stomach area almost always elicits a natural defense reaction which includes wrapping his paws around the person's wrist, holding on, and biting.
Cats vary in how much they like being petted or held by people. Cats that do not enjoy prolonged petting or being held may still play with their owners, follow them around the house, sleep on the bed with them, and even sit on their laps. All of these behaviors are indicative of attachment. Some cats are huggable and others are not, but both types of cats can be equally attached to their owners.

pandy doesn't jump down or run away, hers are more affectionate bites and she does them while she's purring
post #18 of 20
I found this infor on another site "Why does a cat do that?" (http://www.xmission.com/~emailbox/whycat.htm)

Why does your cat take a small bite on your arm or cheek and hold on for a few seconds?
Some cats, when they are very happy and feeling extremely affectionate toward the Big Unfurry Cat, will gently take a piece of human skin between their teeth and hold it for a few seconds. Think of it as the feline equivalent of kissing.

Lucas has never bitten me, but man, does he loves head butts! Specially when I'm sleeping, he starts head butting my face like crazy! And when he's left alone overnight and I come home the next night, he alternates between meowing at me like crazy, as if he's complaining I left him alone, to head butting me on the face (something like 20 head butts at once, it's crazy).
post #19 of 20
Why does your cat take a small bite on your arm or cheek and hold on for a few seconds? Some cats, when they are very happy and feeling extremely affectionate toward the Big Unfurry Cat, will gently take a piece of human skin between their teeth and hold it for a few seconds. Think of it as the feline equivalent of kissing.

WOW! Thank you, I finally have an answer as to why Snickers does this to me every single morning!!! He only does it while we're sleeping... he'll just reach out & nibble my cheek. Then he'll start purring so loud I bet they sense it on the Richter scale somewhere.

Zorro headbutts, and it's those Power Butts... he does it so hard sometimes I wonder if he hurts himself. He crashes his head into the vanity, the hamper, the toilet, doorframes, people's legs... just so you pet him and tell him he's beautiful!
post #20 of 20
Another thing Lucas has started doing this last week, is licking my eyelid when I'm sleeping. Ouch, it hurts and it wakes me up! That rough tongue was definitely not made for licking eyelids...
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