Why Do Cats Shake Their Heads When They Eat? (Is It Normal?)

You will see cats shake their heads when they eat because they want to get a small piece of food. The other reason why they shake head is that the food is difficult to chew, so they need to make it a little bit smaller to chew comfortably.

A cat’s head shake is one of the typical gestures of cats. While it may look adorable at some point, it may also look worrisome if they do it often.

For this reason, we should know what it means, so we’ll figure out how to deal with such a gesture.

Let’s get into it more!

Why does my kitten shake when she eats?

If your cat shakes its head while doing other activities, it’s quite an everyday thing.

However, if your cat shakes its head while eating, it may mean she’s having digestive issues.

The most common reasons why a cat may shake or tremble is hypoglycemia.

According to a PubMed study, this complication is the decrease in sugar level in the blood.

The primary reason for such is the prolonged fasting of kittens. Thus, if your kitten hasn’t eaten anything for quite a while, it may suffer from such a complication.

Even if your pet eats well, it may still suffer from hypoglycemia.

Give your pet a balanced diet to avoid such issues. Further, try to schedule a particular feeding time to prevent these unwanted incidents.

Don’t worry, though. Although a shake might mean a digestive issue, it isn’t like that all the time.

You May Also ReadWhy do cats slap you, other animals and things?

Is it normal that my cat shakes head while eating?

If you’re offering good food, your cat may shake its head to express how much she likes it.

A study suggests that behaviors your cat shows while eating is an expression that she likes the food.

With this in mind, you should be observant of her reaction to the food. If you see your cat showing a jolly response, it means she likes the food you are offering.

Knowing your cat’s favorites is useful since you’ll get to know a good treat for her.

In a nutshell, head shakes are an utterly typical gesture of your cat. As long as your cat isn’t showing any other symptoms, it should be alright.

Why is your cat obsessed with your face? Learn more here.

Why do cats shake their heads?

cat head

As I said earlier, as long as head shaking happens only from time to time, it’s alright. However, frequent headshake often indicates health issues.

Other reasons why they might shake their heads are the following. It may be that your pet is suffering from:

  • Ear infection
  • Aural Hematoma
  • Ear Mites
  • Something stuck inside the ear (foreign body)
  • Ear injury (can be due to a fall or other accident)
  • Allergic or inflammatory skin disease (perhaps your cat ate or inhaled something toxic)
  • A lump (growth) in the ear

If your cat is having some issues, observe if she shows other symptoms. Among these are:

  • Itchy Ears
  • Smelly Ears
  • Constant Face Rubbing
  • Loss of Balance

Further, if you try to have a careful look at your feline’s ears, you may see some:

  • Redness
  • Swollenness
  • Gunkiness

Why does my cat bite me and shake her head?

If your cat bites you and she did it while shaking its head, it might be an expression of her predatory instinct.

Since felines come from a long line of hunters, they still have that wildness in them.

As a result, they tend to shake the things they bite. It is to make sure they had already killed their prey.

They shake what they bite to make sure it won’t go anywhere, a predatory instinct.

Don’t worry because your feline pet won’t tear you to pieces. It’s just natural behavior. Once they did a couple of shakes, it will stop.

To avoid biting, give it something with your scent on it. Something like an old cloth or shirt. (It should be something you can let your cat tear and bite into.)

If your pet turns its attention to the cloth, it will stop biting you and go for the item instead.

Do you want to know why your cat is rubbing against your dog? Read our article to learn more.

Why does my cat tremble when eating?

The same thing with kittens can happen to adult cats.

Thus, if your feline pet trembles as it eats, it may mean she’s suffering from hypoglycemia due to low blood sugar.

Although your cat may be eating regularly, it may be lacking in sugar.

Try to rub some organic honey in her gums. Doing so would relax your pet and will aid the trembling.

Although felines are carnivores, they may benefit from eating plant-based treats.

Give your cat some apple slices, or mix some cooked vegetables in her meal.

Such plant-based treats will maintain a balanced diet for your feline pet.


Seeing your feline pet shaking its head while eating may mean a lot of things. In our eyes, that particular gesture seems worrisome.

Did our pets like the food we offer? Is there something wrong with it? These questions are just a few that run in our minds.

Trust me. I know how it feels when we see our cats shaking their heads while they eat.

The key to this behavior is by observing the other actions of our pets.

As you can see, it’s either they like the food, or they have some problems.

But whatever the reason is, we should determine what it means and respond by giving our cats what they need.

Does your cat shake its head after you pet her? Read this article to find out why!


PubMed study about cat’s blood glucose concentration

ScienceDirect study about cats and food

Aural Hematoma explanation

Image credits – Photos by Rémi Rémino and on Unsplash

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