Do Cats Lower Their Head? Facts On Why, When & What It Means


Do Cats Lower Their Head? Facts On Why, When & What It Means

The process of deciphering a cat’s body language may not be simple. But since our feline friends cannot talk, we must understand the visual cues they give us. 

Cats frequently lower their heads as a kind of body language. But it is also a means of communication and not only a physical movement. So we must always remember that a cat’s actions reveal its bodily and emotional feelings. And one of the most important methods to comprehend what it is trying to say to us or any other animal is through its head motions.

We’ll explore the signals cats try to send by lowering their heads today. And fortunately, it is a little bit simpler to interpret this body action. That said, always remember that cats have expressive bodies if you know what to look for.

What does it mean when a cat lowers its head?

You do not always find your feline friends sitting or standing with an erect head posture. Sometimes, a drooping head may be a common sight. But what makes a cat lower its head?

A cat may lower its head for a variety of reasons. We’ve listed two of the most common causes here so you can figure out what your cat is trying to convey when it lowers its head.

Do Cats Lower Their Head
Image Credit: Adorable-animal-cat by Lau20fe (CC BY-SA 4.0) from Wikimedia


Your cat may be acting aggressively if it lowers its head. Additionally, a drooping head can occasionally be interpreted as a sign of inferiority or submission.

Lack of interest

A cat can express its disinterest in something by lowering its head and pulling its chin. This body language can also be observed when a cat wants to avoid a cat fight.

If you want to comprehend what your cat is trying to tell you, you should pay close attention to more than just the head lowering. To fully comprehend the true significance of your cat’s head-lowering habit, you should consider how it interacts with other motions, its behavior, and the surrounding environment.

When do cats lower their head?

Your cat’s body language displays a variety of emotions. One of these is lowering its head down. So it’s important to understand when cats lower their heads.

There are various instances where a cat will lower or drop its head. You may observe your cat’s head drooping in the following situations.

  • When feeling aggressive
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Displaying a lack of interest
  • When being submissive
  • Showing affection (when petted)
  • Feeling cold on the nose (while sleeping)

There are common occasions that can make your furbaby lower its head. However, this may not be the case always. Hence, please keep track of its overall behavior. If you notice your kitty has started dropping its head suddenly, it may be trying to convey a head injury or a disliking about something. 

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Take it to the veterinarian immediately if you think something is wrong with the way its head is drooping.

Why does my cat lower its head when sleeping?

Image Credit: Jordi cat portrait by Flyingd (CC BY-SA 3.0) from Wikimedia

Cats have a variety of bizarre ways of sleeping. Their bodies may appear to be formed entirely of rubber, giving them the flexibility to bend their bodies in any direction with ease.

One posture you may notice is your cat sleeping head down. Cats choose this sleeping position for various reasons, despite the fact that it may appear to be the least cozy to us.

To block out light

Your cat may be attempting to block off the light if it is lying face down or sleeping near a bright light. They hide the light by covering their eyes with their paws or by resting their heads in between pillows. This position is comparable to how humans cover their eyes while sleeping.

Although they can nap in any light condition, cats sleep better in the dark, which may surprise you. Hence, cats typically nap while it’s bright outdoors and sleep more soundly at night.

Cover the nose

The common understanding is that cats sleep with their heads down to keep their little noses warm. Cats always prefer to sleep in warmer environments. The first areas of a cat to become cold on chilly days are the tips of its ears and nose. So, cats protect their nose from the cold by sleeping face down.

So, if you see your cat resting with its head down regularly, check if the environment is warm enough for your furry friend. .

They hear better

Cats typically stay awake even when they nap or sleep. Likewise, their ears are perked and attentive when they are sleeping face down. Therefore, your cat will be able to hear as many neighboring noises as possible while snoozing in this position.

They feel comfortable 

Although burying one’s face while sleeping may seem uncomfortable to humans, it is perfectly normal for your feline baby. You must understand that a cat will always select the most comfortable position while it sleeps or naps. Every cat has a favorite sleeping position, and your cat may prefer to doze off with its head drooped.

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Another possible explanation for your cat sleeping with its head down is exhaustion. Young kittens and cats never lose their youthful vitality. Hence, they will likely feel worn out and sleep with their faces buried after a long day of playing and high-intensity activities.

Lethargy, however, can also be a symptom of sickness in cats. So keep an eye on your pet’s health if it is frequently found with its head bowed.

Do cats press their heads against the wall?

Cats are said to be particularly tough animals. They frequently conceal their ailment. However, they express their displeasure in various ways with their bodies. 

Cats may press their heads on walls for no apparent cause or as a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Hence, if you find your cats behaving in weird ways or sleeping face down frequently or in a hard-pressed manner, take it to the vet. 

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

Image Credit: Young child and an old person are petting a grey cute cat. by Nenad Stojkovic (CC BY 2.0) from Wikimedia

If your cat bows its head when you pet it, this section is for you. We’ll concentrate on the possible reasons why cats display such body language.  

The following are possible explanations for why a cat typically drops its head when petting.

Head injury

Every time you pet your cat, if it lowers its head, it might be telling you not to touch its head. And a potential head injury could be the cause. If your cat has begun lowering its head immediately, this is more likely to be the case. Additionally, if it lowers its head while you are not petting it, you should be more concerned about its health status. It would be better to take it to the vet in this situation.

You are petting too hard

Sometimes you might be caressing your cat too vigorously, which is uncomfortable. Check to see if the cat lowers its head when you pet it strongly and keeps its head upright when you pet it gently. You’ll understand the reason.

Showing submission

Your cat may lower its head to the ground while being petted as a sign of submission. Check to see if your cat flattens its tail and lowers its ears simultaneously when you pet it to confirm this behavior.

Being affectionate 

Cats will occasionally lower their heads when petting and rub against you. It is an expression of love. In such a situation, your cat will knead and purr as well. So, don’t worry and take delight in the affection your pet is giving you.

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Should I keep petting my cat when it lowers its head?

You can’t stop petting your cat, but you can certainly pet it differently. So let’s investigate what can be done to a cat to urge it to keep its head up instead of lowering it.

Here are some strategies to handle your cat’s “head-lowering” behavior.

Pet lightly

Start caressing your cat more gently if you notice that it lowers its head when you pet it vigorously. Start by massaging your cat’s neck, lower chin, whisker areas, and closed eyes. But be careful not to injure it by petting it hard.

Look for its other behavior

Check for other behaviors in your cat if you believe that it is lowering its head despite receiving gentle petting. In addition, you need to be aware that your cat may be experiencing a head injury if it exhibits symptoms like convulsions, drooling, loss of appetite, etc.

Consult a vet 

If your cat seems to be lowering its head due to a possible brain injury, you need to call a vet immediately. Doing this may rule out health problems and receive professional advice specific to your cat’s issue.

Continue the petting if the kitty likes it

If your cat responds to your affection by lowering its head, purring, and kneading you, keep touching it. To prevent any harm, take care not to pet it vigorously.


Before we wrap up this post, we want to stress how important it is that you comprehend your cat’s body language. Although cats are frequently seen as “hard to read” animals, they are not that difficult to comprehend if you pay close attention to them. The primary point is that a cat’s actions and body movements should be viewed as a part of a larger whole. And part of that wider image, which frequently carries some important indications about what your feline buddy could feel internally, is when they lower their head.

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