Cats bob their heads while they’re eating, grooming, and sometimes just out of the blue, too! If you don’t understand why your cat bobs their head, you might think it’s something that requires medical attention or that your cat has developed an odd behavior problem… but there are actually many reasons why cats bob their heads and none of them are as worrisome as you might think!
Read on to find out about six common reasons why your cat may be bobbing their head!
1) They are stressed or anxious
There are a number of reasons why your cat may be bobbing their head. One possibility is that they are feeling stressed or anxious.
If you’ve noticed your cat’s head bobbing more frequently or for longer periods of time, it may be worth considering whether there have been any changes in their environment that could be causing them stress.
This could include things like a new pet in the house, a move to a new home, or even just a change in routine. It could also mean that they’re not getting enough attention from you and other people in their lives.
Try spending some quality time with your cat each day and see if this helps reduce the frequency and duration of their head bobs. Additionally, making sure that your cat has plenty of outlets for mental stimulation can help alleviate anxiety as well.
Interactive toys like feather wands and laser pointers are great ways to do this. Giving your cat lots of vertical space where they can get away from other pets in the house can also help calm them down too.
You might try having a cat tree set up near one of your windows so they can look outside at the birds on the trees. Or maybe let them sit on top of your dresser so they can enjoy watching what’s going on around the room.
They feel threatened: Cats will often reflexively jerk their heads back when something comes at them unexpectedly, especially when there are multiple stimuli present such as bright lights, loud noises, and other animals.
2) They have fleas
One reason your cat may be bobbing their head is that they have fleas. Fleas are tiny insects that bite animals and humans, and they can be very annoying. If your cat has fleas, it will likely be scratching a lot and may even have bald spots from all the scratching.
In addition to causing your cat discomfort, fleas can also transmit diseases to both cats and humans. If you think your cat has fleas, take them to the vet right away for treatment. It’s better to deal with the problem early on than wait until it gets worse.
There are different treatments available depending on what type of flea infestation your cat has: topical or oral medications, shampoos, or powders. The good news is that many of these treatments are relatively inexpensive and effective.
Treating your cat now before they get any worse can save you time and money in the long run. A bath once every few weeks should do the trick, as well as daily brushing.
3) If they have ear mites
If your cat has ear mites, it may be bobbing its head in an attempt to relieve the itchiness and irritation caused by the pests. Ear mites are tiny parasitic insects that feed on the wax and oils in your cat’s ear canal.
Symptoms of ear mites include excessive scratching of the ears, head shaking, and a black or brown discharge in the ears. If left untreated, ear mites can cause serious damage to your cat’s ears and even lead to deafness.
Make sure you keep your cats’ ears clean and free from debris so that they don’t develop any symptoms. In some cases, it may also be necessary to have your vet give them medication for the parasites.
You should not use over-the-counter medications as these do not work for ear mites. You should also regularly check your cat’s ears for signs of infection like pus, redness, and swelling as this could signal that they have an infection caused by the parasite.
4) If they have an ear infection
If your cat is suddenly bobbing their head, it could be a sign that they have an ear infection. If you notice your cat shaking their head or scratching at its ears more than usual, take them to the vet to get checked out.
Ear infections are painful for cats and can be caused by allergies, bacteria, or even ear mites. Left untreated, an ear infection can cause serious damage to your cat’s ears and lead to hearing loss.
In addition, if you notice fluid coming from your cat’s ears, this could be another sign of an ear infection. The fluid will either look like pus or blood. To check for signs of an ear infection, gently press down on the outer edges of your cat’s ears and see if any pus comes out.
You should also feel around in there with your fingers to see if there are any abnormalities or lumps that would indicate inflammation or a tumor. If you feel something unusual then it might be time to bring them in to see a veterinarian!
5) They are attracted to something
Your cat may be bobbing their head if they are attracted to something. This could be a sound, a movement, or even a smell. If your cat is fixated on something, it may start to bob its head as a way to better focus on it.
This behavior is often seen in hunting cats, as they zero in on their prey. If you notice your cat exhibiting this behavior, try to see what has caught their attention and see if there is anything you can do to help them out.
Some owners have found success by moving the object closer to the cat so that they can get a better look at it. Other times, the object will move away from the feline so that they don’t need to use this behavior anymore.
To show excitement or pleasure, your cat may bob their head up and down rapidly. This is often seen when they’re playing with a favorite toy or being petted.
If your cat seems to be slowly and deliberately nodding its head at you, it may be trying to communicate something. For example, this could be a sign that they’re hungry or want you to stop doing something they don’t like.
Another possible reason for this behavior could be that they’re uncomfortable and would like some space from the person or animal next to them.
On the other hand, if you see a cat bobbing its head repeatedly, it’s likely because they have an ear infection or another health issue. The last two reasons for a cat bobbing its head are more serious.
An infected abscessed tooth.
Brain tumor, which requires immediate medical attention. Whether it’s due to illness or playfulness, watching your cat’s body language can help determine why they’re bobbing its head.