If your cat lowers its head when you pet it, this post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my cat lower its head when I pet it? Likely reasons why your cat lowers 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.

There are a number of possible reasons why your cat lowers its head when you pet it but there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become easier to figure out what you should do about the behavior.

Why does my cat lower 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 lowering its head suddenly, if it has been keeping its head lower 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 lowers its head when you pet it firmly and if it does not do it when you pet your cat gently.

It is being submissive

Lowering 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 lower 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 some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your cat always lowered its head

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

If your cat always lowers its head

If your cat does not always lower its head, it would also help to consider what is different when it does lower 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 lowering 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 backrub 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 bow its head when I pet it?

The most likely reason why your cat bows its head when you pet it are that it is being affectionate and submissive. It might also be because you pet it too hard or because it has an injury.

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.