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Why Do Cats Headbutt You?

Many cat owners will have experienced their cat jumping up onto their lap and headbutting them straight in the face. If a human did this we may think they were trying to attack us, but don’t worry. With cats they are doing something totally different.

A beautiful young siamese kitten cuddling its owner
A beautiful young siamese kitten cuddling its owner

1. Pheromones

Pheromones are chemicals that are secreted outside the body and can affect the behaviour of other animals. Cats produce lots of pheromones in glands around their face which they use to mark things they come in contact with. It is thought that cats do this to claim certain things as their property/territory such as their favourite human.

2. Affection

The head butting (also known as “bunting”) behaviour can also be taken as a sign of love. Both domestic cats and wild cats (like lions) will face rub and headbutt with cats they know well. They also do it to members of their pride as a way to mark each other as family and show affection. You should feel honored if your cat headbutts you as it’s cat language for “Hey, you, you’re in my gang.”

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Alexia, 23 March 2020

My cat only headbutts me at night, and only to get my attention so that I will pet her.

Silver, 21 January 2020

My cat of 8 years, I think (I haven't really been counting ????) does this to me and my family and has started doing it to things( or at least MY things) once we got our second cat soooo she loves us but only at night any other time and all she sees you as is food