Cats are creatures that love to play and explore, so it’s no surprise that they have a bit of a playful side when they eat. Some of the things cats do when they eat can be pretty absurd, including closing their eyes when eating or even shaking their heads when eating.
Why do cats shake their heads when eating?
There are many reasons cats shake their heads when eating. Some of the reasons include that they are trying to get food out of a tight space, rejecting food, or are just curious.
Whether a cat is shaking its head because it wants to feed or rejects the food, it is important to understand why they do this and ensure their mealtime stays peaceful. Here are some reasons why your cat shake their heads when eating
They don’t like the taste of the food
When cats eat, they typically shake their heads from side to side. This is a sign that the cat doesn’t like the taste of the food. Cats do this because they have larger palates than humans and can detect subtle differences in flavors.
They are trying to clean their teeth
Cats shake their heads when eating because it helps them to loosen food from their teeth and to clean their mouths. When a cat eats, its jaws move up and down quickly, scraping the food against the hard palate in front of their teeth.
This action loosens food from the teeth and removes any bits of fur or wood that may have been stuck between them. The cat then sucks up water from its tongue to wash away all the food and saliva.
They are trying to remove any food that may have gotten stuck
Another reason cats shake their heads when eating is because they are trying to remove any food that may have gotten stuck between their teeth.
When cats chew, they use their molars and premolars to break down food into smaller pieces. This process sometimes results in food getting lodged between the teeth.
To distribute food evenly across their mouths
Cats shake their heads when eating to distribute food evenly across their mouths. When cats eat, their tongues move back and forth rapidly in their mouths, which helps them to distribute food evenly across their palates.
To mix the food with their saliva
Cats shake their heads when eating to mix the food with their saliva and make sure that it is properly digested. When a cat bites down on food, the back of the mouth is elevated, trapping air and making chewing difficult.
Chewing becomes an exercise in using the tongue and jaws to move objects around the mouth. This movement causes the temporal muscles of the head to contract, which shakes the entire head.
They are sampling the food
When cats eat, they typically alternate their heads back and forth as if sampling the food. This behavior is called “head shaking,” and it’s thought to help the cat determine whether or not the food is tasty.
It may be a sign of illness or aggression
Cats shake their heads when eating, a sign of illness or aggression. This behavior can be observed in cats of all ages and may indicate a health problem.
Head shaking can also be a warning sign to other cats that the cat is in danger. If your cat is shaking its head while eating, take her to the veterinarian for an assessment.
What factors might influence a cat’s head-shaking behavior?
When cats eat, they often shake their heads from side to side. This is an indicator that they are consuming the food properly. A few factors might influence how often cats shake their heads while eating.
- Cat size. Smaller cats will often shake their heads more than larger cats because they need to take more time to eat the same amount of food.
- Cat age. Young kittens will often shake their heads more than older cats because they don’t have as much experience with eating and may not know how to chew effectively.
- Cat moods. Some cats may shake their heads more frequently when feeling threatened or scared; this is usually only temporary and resolves once the cat completes its meal.
It is not entirely clear why cats shake their heads when eating. Some theories suggest that it is a way of distributing food evenly across the cat’s mouth. Others say it is a way of keeping debris out of their eyes.
Regardless of why cats shake their heads when eating, it is an adorable behavior that we can all enjoy!