Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
Cats have a number of odd behaviours that can be confusing to their human counterparts. One of the most confusing being… why do they rub their faces on absolutely everything? Is there a reason why they choose to bunt objects? Does it seem like every time you get comfortable with your laptop or with a book, they’re immediately there pushing themselves against it? Well, fear not! You’re not alone.
Out of the 3 cats I’ve had over the years only one of them is absolutely obsessed with bunting and rubbing her face on absolutely everything. It doesn’t matter what the object is. It could be a cardboard box, my laptop, my feet, my chair, my music stands, my guitar, literally anything she can get her face on… she will “scent.”
I WANT THIS TO SMELL LIKE ME!
The most common reason cats bunt or rub their heads on objects is to make the object smell like them. Due to the fact that cats have scent glands on their heads, rubbing their faces on objects will help leave their smell behind. These scent glands are located on their chins, neck, ears, sides of their face and mouths. We call this act either “bunting” or “scenting” dependant on where you are located.
THIS IS MY TABLE!
You may notice that your cat will bunt corners of objects or even walls, this helps to mark it as their territory. Not only that, if you live in a multi-cat household, cats will re-scent objects that have already been scented by cats. This helps ensure that their scent is stronger and does not dissipate. It can also be a sign of dominance.
I’M HERE SO GET OUT!
As mentioned, sometimes scenting or bunting is a form of marking territory and dominance. Cats will leave markings in the wild to inform other cats that they are around and that the cat who just entered their territory should leave soon or they will start a fight. These markings are commonly left by “Alpha Cats” who are overly protective or hunting inclined.
I JUST WANT TO FEEL SAFE…
This is most common in house cats who are anxious. This is a big reason why we think Kalista scents absolutely everything. Early on, we realized that Kalista was a fairly anxious cat and in the first week of adopting her we actually had to play calming music to get her to stop hyperventilating. Kalista is also not very good with new people and will hide immediately if she hears someone new, even if they are in the hallway. As soon as that person’s voice is gone, she comes out and begins scenting the apartment, reclaiming her territory. Weird, eh? Another weird thing about Kalista is the fact that she doesn’t seem to be afraid of the voices she hears in music or on television, so she is clearly aware when a human is actually around.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, I WANT TO SMELL LIKE YOU!
Sometimes cats aren’t actually trying to smell more like them, but more like you. Cats will bunt owners as well as each other when they are comfortable and want to make sure that everyone has a unifying scent. Cats who haven’t been spayed or neutered may also begin bunting their “love interests” during mating season, making sure that they mark the cat who they like the most.
WHO SCENTS MORE, BOYS OR GIRLS?
It is said that male cats actually bunt more, however, in my experience, this isn’t true. My cats Beau and Walker don’t do much scenting, it’s mostly my youngest being Kalista. As mentioned, Kalista scents things all day and every day, while Beau seems secure with how much of his scent is around the house. I actually don’t see Beau scent very often and most of the time it’s my hands.
So pet parents, it’s safe to assume that if your cat is bunting you or the objects around your house they feel safe. You’ve done a great job of making sure that they are welcomed in your home… or… well, you officially live in your cat’s home! I’m curious though, how often do your cats bunt? Do you notice your male cats bunting more than your female? Do your cats have particular objects they bunt more or do they just focus on you? Let me know in the comments below!
OTHER CAT HABITS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN READING ABOUT
- Why Does My Cat Bite and then Lick me?
- Why Do Cats Scratch? Can I Stop Them?
- What is Pica in Cats & How Can I Help My Cat Stop Chewing?
- Why Do Cats Lay on Paper?
- Why Do Cats Rub Their Faces on Everything? Why Does My Cat Bunt or Headbutt Me?
- Why Do Cats Knead?
- Why Do Cats Run Away from Me? Does My Cat Hate Me? (Advice for Cats Who Run & Hide)