Most dogs love a good head scratch as much as cats and they even beg for this from their owners. However, dogs might not have the same reason for loving a head scratch compared to cats. According to Dr. Nicholas Dodman of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, there’s a lot more to head scratches for cats than just a fulfilling gesture.
For cats, getting a head scratch from their owners actually reminds them of their mothers. Dodman said that as kittens, they received grooming and nurturing from their moms who constantly licked their heads and neck areas until they were old enough to groom themselves.
Once these kittens have been adopted or given to humans as pets, they regard their humans as their mother. If their humans make a habit out of scratching and petting their heads, it creates a bond that reinforces how they see their owners as their new moms.
Cats also emit highly concentrated scents when their heads are scratched. This odor spreads through the air to mark their territory. But because head scratching is such a unique non-verbal language for kittens, Dodman stated that he’s not surprised there are scent markers.
This also explains why cats love to rub their heads, cheeks, and chin on someone they are so fond of. They do this to leave a scent and to express their friendly and loving feelings for…