There is nothing like a nice warm welcome when you have been away from home at work or even if you have been out and about for an hour or two.
There is kitty waiting patiently, usually in his favourite spot. Our kitty favours the front window and we have even made the window ledge a bit wider for him, so he has more space.
Once all is in order, getting inside and getting organised, you sit down and kitty wants to head butt you.
He wants to show his affection.
This is all normal and although the term headbutt or head bump is frequently used it is really referring to head bunt, the cat is giving you a head bunt.
This is a great video which shows the meaning of headbunt without any words needed.
Cats have a sophisticated sense of smell, about 200 times stronger than ours.
This strong sense of smell forms an integral part of the way in which cats deal with the world about them.
Think about your kitty. Ours is always smelling and sniffing to work out what's what in his world.
What does it mean when a cat headbutts you? It is a sign of affection or greeting and recognising that you are part of his group. He still needs to put his scent onto you to make sure that are part of that group. It is security for him.
You will often see cats that live together in a group head bunting each other which indicates that there is trust within the group. Even big cats in the cat kingdom display this sort of behaviour.
If you also have a pet dog, your kitty cat may even try head bunting the dog just making the dog a bit confused.
So by giving you a head bunt, your cat is marking his territory. The scent glands are activated in the head area that release pheromones and he is also showing you affection at the same time.
Similar to head bunting but a little different is chinning. Chinning is when cats run the sides of their face or jowls along objects.
When your kitty rubs the side of his face along objects, items and in our case my shoes while I am wearing them, he leaves a scent behind.
Cats have many scent glands in their body and multiple glands in the head area.
Our kitty definitely has favorite spots that he has claimed for rubbing the side of his face, one being the edge of a particular kitchen cabinet, a place that he frequently passes.
He also repeatedly rubs the side of his face along any shoes I am wearing while I am sitting with legs crossed - just at the right height for kitty. My kitty is chinning when he is doing that.
This is often referred to as chinning and when kitty is chinning he is using the scent glands along his lips and chin.
What he is doing is leaving his scent behind. The scent glands release pheromones, this scent marks his territory and makes him feel secure. It feels and smells like home.
Cats love having a head scratch. When our kitty gets a scratch in the jowls area, he is in immediate heaven. Where the jaw connects to the chin is a favorite spot for kitty and he will jut his chin out to ask for more.
Cats also loves a gentle scratch between the ears on the top of the head, a gentle scratch and not for too long.
It’s not an area that kitty can easily groom himself although cat do use their front paws to groom this area.
Use the cues your kitty gives you as to whether he wants more.
If your cat is pressing his head into a wall or other surface with some force for no reason you can discern or it looks unnatural, it is definitely time to go the the vet for testing and diagnosis.