I‌ have a ~4 years old male ginger tabby cat.

I adopted the cat about 2 years ago and have no idea where and how he was brought up. He was found in the street, according to the shelter.

Whenever I wake up, he quickly jumps on my chest and presses his forehead under my chin and starts purring with a low voice while I‌ caress him.

This ritual goes on for about 10 minutes and always ends up with him yawning and leaving my chest.

I'm wondering how common is this behavior, and what does it signify?

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    Not sure you will get a good answer on how common this is. If some one finds a research paper on it, you are golden. On what it does signify you have a good question! Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


I think it just signifies that your cat loves you! The forehead on chin part could be a variation of head bunting and could be his way of saying "good morning". Head bunting is very common.

At the same time, since you are paying him attention and caressing him, you are reinforcing this behavior (which is adorable, so who wouldn't reinforce it?), that's why he keeps doing it. Enjoy!

p.s. am not a vet or cat behaviourist, but am a cat owner and have read many books and scientific articles on cats (in the quest to understand my own cat).

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    Another note: The neck on cats is the location of some major scent glands used to mark territory and "family". The source of the behaviour could be his desire to mark himself as part of your family.
    – Stig Tore
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 11:29

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