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You are leaning back on your recliner, lazing after a hard day at work. Just as you’re about to go to sleep, you feel a slight nudge against your cheek. You open your bleary eyes to see that the muzzling culprit is none other than Mr. Kitty. At this point, you would have probably asked your cat “What exactly are you trying to do?”Why do cats bunt their head against you at odd moments? Well, the unexpected head butting is quite common and there is a perfectly valid reason behind it. This typical feline behavior is your cat’s way of bonding with you. He might do this with other humans and animals too. Bunting is their way of expressing kinship. By rubbing their head against one of your body parts, he is identifying you as one of his closest friends.It’s a scent o’ mental thing too!
Cats’ sense of smell is probably their most important tool for day-to-day living. They use it for everything from social interaction, communicating and marking territories. And get a load of this – scent glands are located on almost every part of the feline body – tail, forehead, chin skin, cheeks, paw pads and lips.Scent communication is not only your cat’s way of marking his territory – it also provides him with a sense of familiarity with his immediate surroundings. Cats’ scent mark things that are very important to them. For instance, if you find kitty head bunting your face, then he is telling you that he trusts you unequivocally. Look at it from his point of view – he is placing himself in a vulnerable position unsure of what your reaction is going to be. Scent communication is a very big part of expressing emotion for cats.Bunting spreads his unique odor signature onto whatever he rubs against. Sharing the odor makes it easy for him to quickly identify you or an object. Congratulations, you have finally become a member of his exclusive club.All the way down to the cellular level
Touch plays a significant role in their lives too. Cats’ bodies are blanketed by pressure and pain sensory cells which are highly sensitive to the slightest touch. For instance, pressure on their hair is relayed to the sensory cells in the hair follicle and is communicated directly to the brain. Consequently, they feel pleasure when they are caressed, making the sense of touch a very important one between a cat and his owners.So, the next time you get up from your recliner for a midnight snack, don’t get annoyed if your kitty almost trips you trying to head butt your ankles. Remember, as is the case with cat drooling or even the “slow blink”, your cat is doing this to tell you that you are purr-fect!