If your cat has been ducking its head, when you pet it, this post will show you a number of likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my cat duck its head when I pet it? Likely reasons why your cat ducks its head when you pet it are that it has an injury, you are petting it too hard, it is being submissive or that it is being affectionate.

Your cat might actually duck its head for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my cat duck its head when I pet it?

Below are likely causes and what would make them more likely.

Injury

The cause might be that it has an injury. This would be more likely if your cat has started ducking its head suddenly, if it has been keeping its head low when you are not touching it and if it has been moving its head around unusually. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Petting it too hard

Another possible cause is that you have been petting it too hard. This would be more likely if your cat only ducks its head when you pet it firmly and if it does not do it when you pet your cat gently.

It is being submissive

Ducking the head to the ground can be a submissive gesture. It might be the case that your cat does it because it is being submissive. This would be more likely if it also shows other submissive gestures such as lowering its ears and flattening its tail.

It is showing affection

Sometimes, cats will duck their heads and rub their heads against each other when they are grooming each other. The reason why your cat does it to you could be that it is showing you affection. This would be more likely if your cat also rubs its head against you and it does things such as purr and knead.

Things to consider

Below are things to consider to help figure out the main reason why your cat has been doing it.

If your cat always ducked its head

If your cat did not always duck its head, when you would pet it, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If your cat started ducking its head suddenly, it could be due to things such as getting injured or a change in the way you pet it.

If your cat always ducks its head

If your cat does not always duck its head, when you pet it, it would also help to consider what is different when it does duck its head. For example, if it only does it when you pet it in a certain manner, it could be due to the way you are petting it.

What to do about your cat ducking its head when you pet it

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Pet it differently

It could help to be calm with it and to pet it more gently and in a different manner. Generally, cats don’t like a full back rub and prefer to pet rubbed below the chin.

Get help

If it seems like your cat has been doing it because of an injury, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you will get expert advice tailored towards your particular cat and to rule out medical causes.

Let it do it

If your cat seems to be doing it because it is being affectionate, it would also be an option to allow it to continue doing it but to be mindful of when you might actually be petting it too hard.

Why does my cat duck its ears when I pet it?

If your cat ducks its ears, when you pet it, the cause is likely to be that it is being submissive. It could also be the case that it does it because it is nervous or anxious which would be more likely if it tries to move away from you.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.