Cats can be unpredictable pets who sometimes love to be around you or will sometimes run away from you. You may have noticed your cat rubbing their head and body against your feet and probably wondered if they were in the mood to play or just bored. But this has a specific term and reason; it is called Headbutting and cats do it when they want to mark you and it is a sign of you being a part of their social group.
A few reasons why cats might be doing this are:
How to respond to your cats headbutting?
To show your cat that you appreciate their gesture and want to thank them for making you a part of their group, you need to make sure that your gesture is something your cat is comfortable with. This can be patting their head, scratching their chin or even talking to them calmly and sweetly. But make sure your cat is comfortable with the gesture otherwise it will result in you getting scratched or hissed at.
Cats only headbutt when they feel comfortable around you, so shooing them away will only cause your cat more discomfort.
Difference between Headbutting and head pressing
At times people confuse headbutting with head pressing but these 2 are completely different.
Headbutting is when a cat shows affection and gratitude by rubbing its head against your legs, this is a positive action. Whereas head pressing means when a cat is banging its head against a hard surface for no particular reason, this can be because of an underlying medical issue.
Head Pressing can be a sign of a neurological disease, tumor, metabolic disorder, or infectious disease such as rabies. If a cat is showing these signs by head pressing against a hard surface, it is necessary to take them to the vet as soon as possible.