So What’s Up with the Head Bunt?

Did you ever notice that your cat loves to bump you with her head?  Sometimes, she will bump you on your hand or your leg.  If she gets closer still, she may head bump you. So what does all of this mean to your cat?

Bunting is Body Language for “You’re Part of the Group”

Head bunting is a form of cat communication or body language that expressed that you are a special person to her.  She is showing that you are a member of her group.  This behavior is seen in cat colonies.  It is a way of sharing sent so the cats know that they are each a member of the group.

Allorubbing to Say Hello

So…your cat is making sure that you are recognized as a member of the group!  Bunting you is part of your cat’s scent communication, which also includes rubbing against you, other pets, and objects in the environment.  Head bunting and rubbing their bodies and tails against you are all part of behavior called allorubbing.  Your cat will do these things when she is happy.

If You Ain’t Bunting, You Ain’t Happy

Head bunting, in particular, is used when your cat is happy and not when she is having negative feelings.  She is expressing her love and trust, and bonding with you, by bunting you.  You can reciprocate by offering your forehead to receive the bunt, by petting your cat, or talking gently to her.

Leaving Her Scent Behind

Another reason for head bunting is to for your cat to mark you with her scent.  Cats leave behind pheromones when they bunt you, which claims you as part of their family and expresses their affection.

Cats have scent glands all around their faces and when they rub against you, another cat, or even a favorite piece of furniture, they are leaving their scent by depositing pheromones.  The purpose of this behavior is to mark the cat’s territory.  And to claim cat and human recipients as a part of the cat’s group.

This behavior started with the big cats and it is believed that it was part of mating behaviors.  Leaving pheromones on objects is used to mark territories in the wild as well as to leave scent communication, such as messages of bonding, alarm, and invitations to mating.

Attention-Seeking Kitties

If your cat turns his head down or to the side when he bunts, a good ear or chin scratch could be in order.  Cats love to have those areas stroked.  It releases endorphins when those areas are massaged and makes you cat feel good.  A purrfect ending to a purrfect day.

Best wishes for a great day for you and your cat!

Sasha

Resources: 

https://www.thespruce.com › Pets › Cats › Living with Cats

https://www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/cat-head-butting-what-does-it-mean

http://www.catster.com › Cat Behavior

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Positions, Everyone

Cat Pecking Order

If you have more than one cat, you have probably noticed that there is a certain pecking order, in where they sleep, when they eat, and how they line up for attention.  I have three two-year-old spayed females from the same litter.  At some point, they formed a pecking order.  There is a head of the bed kitty, a mid-level sleep against the legs kitty, and a keep the feet warm kitty.  They never deviate from their positions.

Top Cat is the Attention Seeker

Head of the bed kitty is very attention seeking.  She will tap-tap-tap on me for attention whenever I settle down to sleep and will not be satisfied unless I pet her for an extended period.  After this, I sometimes just put my hand on her or under her head to keep her settled.  If my super attention seeker and one of the others are both getting attention, she will try to insert herself between me and the other cat or bat them away so she can have ALL of the attention. She will also do this at other times when I am giving attention to one of the others.  I have redirected her many times, but this is her temperament.  I do my best to give a lot of attention to the other two as well at every opportunity to make up for it.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Cats?

My thoughts on this are that three cats may be too many, but it is too late since I love them too much to part with any of them.  I will just have to work harder to be sure that everyone gets the attention that she deserves.

 

Wishing you and your cat a purrfect day!

Sasha

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