or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Behavior › What does the head-butt MEAN?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What does the head-butt MEAN?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Sunday butts everything on me that moves - and especially likes to come up to my face and butt my forehead.

IMO it is one of the sweetest things a cat can do - I LOVE head-butts and live for them from my girls.

But I wonder if it actually means anything? Is it an innate behavior that cats do to each other or is it just a sign of love especially reserved for us humans?

I would love to know because it is a universal cat behaviour but I've always been baffled by its origin.

Anyone know?
post #2 of 23
She is putting her scent on you. It means she trusts you and she is marking you as hers.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks MA. I just did a bit of research and I never knew that cats had scent glands in their temples - guess that explains it!! Sweet little things...
post #4 of 23
You are welcome, they have scent glands on their paw pads, their cheeks, and the top of their head.
post #5 of 23
Aren't you glad they don't pee on us to mark us as their territory? :lol
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsFishy
Aren't you glad they don't pee on us to mark us as their territory? :lol
post #7 of 23
This is why when we come home, they rub on our legs..
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I knew about the other scent glands and the rubbing etc - I've always thought it so lovely even though they're actually just `marking' us. But I didn't know they had glands in their foreheads - that's way cool...
post #9 of 23
I love the headbutt!!! I get a kiss and a headbutt when I get home!!!
post #10 of 23
I think it's combination of scent marking and love. Rowan rarely headbutts me. In fact, she's only ever done it 3 times, each time was an unusually affectionate mood of hers. Mallorn nor Burdock have headbutted me yet, but then they only came home yesterday.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsFishy
Aren't you glad they don't pee on us to mark us as their territory? :lol

LOL That reminds me of Tarzan, a cat I had when I was a teenager. He was a big, neutered boy that loved everyone. One day, Randy, a guy that was renting a room from my parents, picked Tarzan up and kissed him on the head, then put him down. Tarzan then proceeded to look him over and then spray all over his legs! It was soooooo funny!!!

Almost every morning, Buddy jumps up on the bed before I get up to get some lovin'. He head butts me and if I stop petting him, will actually force his head under my hand as if to say.. "don't stop" He is finally getting back to normal after his neuter.
post #12 of 23
Zorro is a massive headbutter. He will butt so hard into stuff it makes a loud 'clunk'.

Jessie, she headbutts all the other cats, trying to get affection or I guess maybe she is trying to own them? Per her scent on them???

Hammie's a butter, too... he gets so into it he will roll completely around ... rub his head, chin, the sides of his mouth.

And Snickers! He will not only headbutt but he'll do the drooling thing... drool & rub his face then headbutt, sort of rubbing in the drool into you... so you REALLY catch his scent!

All those rubs & headbutts & drooling... it means, "you are MINE!"...
post #13 of 23
Very interesting.
post #14 of 23
Its a high greeting to those they feel most comfortable and like the best. Be happy your cat does this! I love it when Ling Ling curls up on your shoulder and head-butts while purring in your ear! She's so adorable at 4 1/2 months old now (next month is "spay month")!
post #15 of 23
My little Pooh headbutts our dog Hailey ! She rubs her face all over Hailey's face .. it's really cute to see. However, the head butt usually turns into a swat and a growl when Hailey sticks her cold nose where it doesn't belong
post #16 of 23
Gracie's my biggest headbutter. She gives me headbutts whenever I ask for "gracieness" followed by lots of kisses.
post #17 of 23
Elmo always headbutts, but more and harder when he wants food!
post #18 of 23
The most glorious day of my life was the morning that my ferals head-butted me to say "Thank you" for breakfast. I almost burst into tears.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catkiki
Almost every morning, Buddy jumps up on the bed before I get up to get some lovin'. He head butts me and if I stop petting him, will actually force his head under my hand as if to say.. "don't stop" He is finally getting back to normal after his neuter.
LOL, that's what I thought a head butt (butting with the forehead) was - a means of telling us, "MORE, MORE, MORE!" Red Cat is the biggest head butt-er in bed. That's where he demands that I pet him, sometimes for up to an hour at a time! Whenever I stop to see (hope!) that he has had enough, he head butts my hand, shoulder or whatever part is nearest, until he is finally satisfied he's had enough lovin' for one day.

Purdy doesn't butt with the forehead, but he rubs his cheeks over everything. I really had to laugh. A couple of days ago he rubbed his cheeks over the foil package his medicine came in after I gave him his morning pill. Guess he loves it!
post #20 of 23
I'm not sure of what the exact origin would be for this, but I can tell you that it's just the sweetest thing! It's the kitty version of a hug...since they can't take you in their little arms, they head-butt! I do know that when they rub the side of their face on you, they're rubbing their scent from glands they have on the side of their mouth, but as far as the actual head-butt, I'm not sure what the actual physical thing behind it would be.

It's so sweet, isn't it?
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeyedgirl
Jessie, she headbutts all the other cats, trying to get affection or I guess maybe she is trying to own them? Per her scent on them???
i think so. Cable headbutts the other two, & they don't do it to her. i'm pretty sure she's top cat. Java will lift her nose for kisses, & she does that 'get under the hand' thing like dogs do when she wants 'pettins', as does Pixel. Pixel also does the 'flank rubbing' but only to me. Cable does it to everybody! Cable also has a foot fetish - when i put down the recliner, she runs over/in from wherever she is to rub on my feet. she also does this when i get out of bed.
post #22 of 23

Just marking their territory and showin' some luv........My two babies Lenny and Vicki show this all the time........I'm glad they do:)

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitEKats4Eva! View Post

Sunday butts everything on me that moves - and especially likes to come up to my face and butt my forehead.

IMO it is one of the sweetest things a cat can do - I LOVE head-butts and live for them from my girls.

But I wonder if it actually means anything? Is it an innate behavior that cats do to each other or is it just a sign of love especially reserved for us humans?

I would love to know because it is a universal cat behaviour but I've always been baffled by its origin.

Anyone know?

she's putting her scent on you. So when you go out into the world and another cat sniffs you, they know you belong to her. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Behavior › What does the head-butt MEAN?