Head bunting is the next step. Then maybe you can reach out your hand to build trust.”. Whew. If you would like to receive emails about new articles and the occasional deal, enter your email address below! “That sounds so cold. Cats typically display head bunting toward other cats, dog companions and humans. We show affection with a hug, a kiss, or by holding hands. Well, I was watching TV and looked over on the other couch and my cat had her head pressed into the couch cushion apparently asleep. This is typical behavior for adult cats. It’s the confident cat, the one who is everyone’s friend in the house. Let’s touch on this for a minute if you don’t know. Try to stay strong for her and support her through this. But Johnson-Bennett cautions that you should know your cat’s likes and dislikes. My cat sometimes put her chin on a horizontal chair leg and sometimes on my hand. My cat has slept like this on occasion. This is “my” first cat, since I’ve always been more into dogs, but I’ve always been an animal lover (I am a Zoologist), and the little fellow just appeared one afternoon on my lawn, not being able to walk and just dragging his hind quarters (apparently from a fractured pelvis, which, after consulting a vet, healed on its own). It does nothing for me but you’re nice around me.’ He doesn’t get it but it works out for them anyway,” she said. Now our once normal cat is dying and fighting for her life…she head-presses frequently because she has hepatic encephalopathy also…I feel responsible for this…she is,and always has been an indoor cat…No… Read more ». In some cases, the action can indicate a desire for attention. I admittedly freaked out a little and woke her up (she gave me that what is your problem look) I’m glad I read this. What if your cat does it but against yourself, not against any hard object, when he is cuddling on your lap? She does become more vocal, but she has been purring doing so (rubbing). He looks like he’s thinking ‘I don’t get your behavior. Although contact with the furniture or other objects likely incorporates more jowl rubbing along the glands in their lips. Most cats reach full maturity between 16 and 22 months of age. Head bunting, which most of us have been mistakenly referring to as head butting, is a way for cats to exchange scents so that everyone in their environment—their colony—smells the same. We think we know what they’re saying or we think their behavior is like a dog’s behavior. However, cats also often bunt their close relatives as a happy greeting of sorts. Let’s touch on this for a minute if you don’t know. You’re so wonderful but you’re also a little stinky. That’s what we all want. Johnson-Bennett says she sees a lot of pet owners confuse head bunting with territory marking. Humans are visual. My oldest cat had a bad reaction to his first round of vaccinations and ended up having pancreatitis as well. Cats do that by activating the scent glands, which excrete pheromones on the area of their head just above the eye but below the ear. There are many conditions that can cause this to happen but the most widely recognized is hepatic encephalopathy. So wait until it head bunts you the next time. Cats are territorial little creatures. “Their whiskers and pupils are relaxed. It’s like us pushing into our temples when we have a headache. Head bunting is another piece of the puzzle to have a better relationship with your cat. Lip rubbing is often reserved for marking objects. If you don’t quite have that relationship with your feline, she says, you can nurture it along with soft brushing, giving cat treats, or just communicating with her by simply kneeling down at her level, low to the ground, and encouraging her to come over to you. Their ears are also relaxed. If Fluffy kneads your hand using her paw, take it as a massive and genuine compliment. When it comes to head pressing, you will see your cat doing this against walls while sitting, and while awake. They may express excessive vocal irritability. They may howl like they’re disoriented,” Johnson said. Often seems to be in this position but no other apparent signs. It nearly killed him but he pulled through and is now 13. Strokes or vascular accidents in the brain, Inflammatory and infectious types of meningitis and encephalitis, Any kind of trauma to the brain can potentially cause head pressing. We don’t want a cat who hides under the bed and doesn’t want to be near you,” Johnson-Bennett said. I took her right to the vet and they ran all the tests but everything came back normal and healthy, just to keep an eye on her behavior. People think in black-and-white terms with their cat’s behavior. A lot of times he’ll press his head against me, not rubbing, while he’s needing and purring. Cornell University Chronicle: Vet College Researchers Seek 'Spraying' Cats for Study of New Treatment, ASPCA Pro: Feline-ality Cat Body Postures, The Humane Society of the United States: Understanding Feline Language, The Merck Veterinary Manual: Integumentary System Introduction. Thanks for your comment, Zen. We all joke about the coolness … If your cat has suddenly started pressing his head against walls or furniture, or if you notice any of these strange vocal behaviors, it’s a medical emergency situation and you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. When a cat bunts another, it's surely a sign of a close and trusting rapport. We misinterpret cat communication all the time. In some cases, the action can indicate a desire for attention. Called head bunting, this feline act of affection is delivered only to the A-listers in a cat’s life. Extremely sad to hear this, I truly hope she has recovered, Is this normal behavior of my cat? Now I’m freaking out. Kneading is kind of a throwback to a cat's soothing kitten days with mommy during nursing, so if your cutie is doing it in your hand, then it's a surefire sign that she feels relaxed and comfortable while in your presence -- aww. Should this be something I must concern about? Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. She didn’t have any other symptoms that are usually associated with head-pressing, so I may have over-reacted, but I was still worrying. I hope this clears up any confusion and concerns you may have had. His purpose is to spread the colony smell and groom everyone,” Johnson said. He eats a lot (normal) is playful 3 year old runs around like lunatic but sleeps on the bed all night. If you see your cat sleeping with their head pressing down and they are relaxed, there is likely no cause for concern. But Johnson-Bennett cautions that you should know your cat’s likes and dislikes. These cats are not relaxed at all, this is when to be concerned. Johnson affectionately refers to these areas as “male pattern baldness spots” because a cat’s fur can get a bit sparse there as he ages. “You should be thrilled that they’ve chosen you. If your kitty buries her face in your arm, she's basically giving you her scent. I know it must be tough. Now I know the difference. Otherwise the chap is quite fine. This is considered “normal cat behavior“ and you can see that he is relaxed. Cats who are sleeping with their face down, this is normal cat behavior. Ingrid Johnson, a certified cat behavior consultant who has been featured on Animal Planet, says bunting is a form of bonding. Your cat burying her head into you doesn't always mean that she's marking you, however. If you have a question about your cat head pressing, leave a comment below! What Does It Mean When a Cat Buries Its Head in Your Arm? Cats are known for sleeping in weird positions, from sideways to upside down. If you notice your cat burrowing her head into another feline's head, she's probably doing the same thing that she does to your arm -- giving off her scent. “My dog usually backs away. Do you think that’s a cause for concern? When I wake him he changes his position though, so hopefully it’s nothing, Thank you for this post. But those messages say more than just “Fluffy was here”; they’re a universal expression of friendship and affection regardless of species. If your cutie buries her head into your arm and then immediately follows it with tilting her head and extending her neck out to you, it may mean that she wants you to give her some friendly scratches or strokes. Let’s get you smelling like us,’” Johnson said. If you misunderstand subtle signs it can have a huge impact on whether you have a close bond or not. “Some cats may not be comfortable with a response. This is the result of the liver not functioning correctly so toxins are left in the bloodstream causing nerve damage. We forget that there are so many scent glands on them. Then maybe you can reach out your hand to build trust.” “Head pressing is a condition characterized by the compulsive act of pressing the head against a wall or other object for no apparent reason“ – petMD. “When cats head bunt they’re creating a communal scent in a free-roaming universe. Hand or arms are warm so they are more preferable. Also she … It’s like they’re leaving little kitty text messages,” Johnson said. I have seen this all over the web and while it should be taken very seriously with dogs, it’s not so straightforward for cats. “It’s those little things that pet owners discover about their cat’s behavior that can make a real difference in the relationship. By head butting, I am referring to the affectionate behavior exhibited by cats in which they bump their head and then rub their face on your hand, face, leg, or an inanimate object… This loving touch can often release feel-good hormones called endorphins in your cat and you. Johnson agrees that it’s important to build a bond before you reciprocate. They will press their head up against something, unrelaxed. Your cat will face you, lower her head and lean forward so that the top of her head touches your forehead, face or other body part. If you have a close relationship with your cat you can head bunt them back or simply offer your forehead, scratch their chin, pet them on their head or talk sweetly to them. That was four years ago (the vet and I guessed he was about 8 months old… Read more ». I would try finding another vet in your area to work with as well. The urge to spread scent is by no means a hostile one. Cats head bunt when they’re happy, not when they feeling aggressive, fearful, or reclusive. Enjoy it and take it as a compliment that you’re worthy of their affection—that they’ve deemed you good enough,” Johnson said. I only have adopted her for 1.5 months, so I do not know. Thank you for this… Read more », Thanks for your comment Ash G, glad the article helped you out! Thanks a lot for your quick answer! Cats recognize each other by scent first and foremost,” said Pam Johnson-Bennett, a cat behavior expert and author of seven books on cat behavior. It FREAKED me out. My cat was sleeping on Top of her cat scratcher house and her face was pressed up against the side of it (it’s like a cardboard fence of sorts) while sleeping. , Thank you for this post, my cat has also started sleeping with his head pressed against the wall but I wasn’t sure if this is head-pressing behaviour because he likes to smoosh his face against something while sleeping (usually my face). “It’s not the subordinate, shy, squirrely cats that bonk other cats. “The more you foster a relationship with your cat the more she will want to head bunt you.”. cat has suddenly started pressing his head against walls or furniture. Knowing the difference between head pressing and normal cat behavior will help you better care for your cat. If you're a genuine devotee of the kitty species, then you may be familiar with the concept of bunting -- when a cat bumps her head into you, whether your arm, face or anywhere else. After a long day at work you may come home to find your cat greets you with a strong head bunt on your knee, face, leg, or any available part of your body. Cats head bunt when they’re happy, not when they feeling aggressive, fearful, or reclusive.
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