When you scratch a cat’s head, the animal tends to look like all its Christmasses have come at once – but why?
It’s actually surprisingly complex, and could be do with your pet’s own childhood, according to Dr Nicholas Dodman of Tufts University.
Speaking to LiveScience, Dr Dodman says that cats respond to head rubs because it reminds them of their grooming routine – and perhaps being groomed by their mothers.
Dr Dodman – author of Pets on the Couch – says, ‘’The head and neck are some key areas groomed but mum cats groom their kitties all over until they are old enough to take care of coat care on their own.’
‘People’s petting and mum cat grooming have a lot in common physically and I feel sure that our petting of cats must conjure up early reminiscences of getting coiffed by mum.’
Cats also rub their heads on things to release scent – which may be why the animals ‘rub back.’
Dr Dodman told Mail Online that this,‘’feels good and probably releases pleasure’.