Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Give a Cat a Head Massage: 5 Tips You Should Know

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

tabby cat sleeping on owner's lap

Most everyone loves a massage. A massage helps alleviate pain and relaxes you, especially after a long day of hard work. But what about cats? Do cats enjoy massages?

As a cat owner, you want to pamper your kitty, and one way of doing this is by giving your cat a head massage. Believe it or not, there are methods to consider before diving in to give your cat a head massage.

A head massage also serves some health benefits, such as relieving aches and pains, improving blood circulation, and aiding with sleep. Read on to learn how to give your cat a head massage, complete with five tips you should know.

The 5 Tips to Give Your Cat a Head Massage

1. Find a Relaxed and Quiet Place

It’s always better to give your kitty a head massage in a quiet, relaxed, and calm area. The massage will more than likely not work if there is a ton of noise or commotion. The purpose of the head massage is to relax your cat, especially after a stressful event, such as a trip to the vet or being around other animals.

Dim the lights and turn the television off. It’s also a good idea to inform other family members inside the home not to interrupt or distract you while giving the head massage. You should also use a soothing and calm voice if you talk to your cat while giving the massage.

cat owner looking at her pet
Image Credit: U__Photo, Shutterstock

2. Use a Circular Motion

Before you begin, use light pats around your cat’s head, followed by a circular motion on the head. Next, you can start focusing on the ears. Using a circular motion, slowly rotate your fingers around your cat’s ears.

If your cat loves massages, purrs should follow this technique. Your cat’s ears are a sweet spot, so be sure not to leave the ears out of the overall massage. Also, be sure to use light pressure while massaging.

cat sleeping on owner's lap
Image Credit: Karpova, Shutterstock

3. Massage the Neck and Chin

After you’ve massaged the head and ears for at least a couple of minutes, move down to the chin and neck. You’ll only want to proceed with this step if your kitty positively responds to the massage.

Use slow, gentle, and small circular movements with your fingers as your massage. Some cats may be sensitive to this area, so be sure to monitor your cat’s reaction while massaging this area.

white cat with the owner
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

4. Massage the Face

Some cats and dogs are suckers for a face massage. This area doesn’t get rubbed unless they rub their face against an object, so if your kitty is enjoying the massage so far, odds are your kitty will love a face massage.

Again, using circular motions on the cheeks and forehead with your fingers and palms is the ideal way to do this. Don’t use a lot of pressure—just light, circular movements are all you need.

cat owner talking to his pet
Image Credit: Piqsels

5. Monitor Your Cat’s Reaction

Monitoring your cat’s reaction is important and will determine if your cat is even enjoying the massage. If your cat is constantly trying to escape or walk away, that should be a clue that your cat is not having fun and wants you to stop. After all, the point of the massage is to relax your kitty, not stress him out.

It’s important not to force the massage or your kitty will never want one. Be gentle and use light, circular motions. If your cat starts out liking the massage but then wants to scram, this may be a sign that you’re using too much pressure or massaging the wrong areas.

You can keep trying to give your cat a massage if your cat isn’t interested at first. Just ensure you use gentle, light circular movements with your fingers.


Giving your cat a massage can be a rewarding experience for you both. It’s also an excellent way to bond with your kitty and spend quality time. Remember to use light, circular movements with your fingers and palms, and never force a head massage on your kitty.

Your cat will give you signs of whether or not he’s enjoying it. If he’s not, stop, be patient, and try again some other time.

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database