How Do Cats Show Affection To Humans?
So many people have a negative connotation when it comes to cats.
They’re mean, they don’t even like you. They’re grumpy. The list goes on and on. Trust me, I was the same way before I got cats myself and began to research them.
I was curious if cats COULD show love, how do they show love?
Be warned, as you read this, your may start to realize how much your cat actually loves you.
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Do Cats Know Their Owners Love Them?
What I realized was that in reality, cats show their love and are capable of loving you. In fact, when they love you, they REALLY love you! The thing is, they just show it differently than dogs or humans. So I wanted to take a second today and show you ten ways that cats show their love. It is also important to call out that every cat is different. So if your cat does one, some, or all of these things, they fear not…they love you! (Most of the time at least).
Hmm, for cat lovers this one is going to be pretty obvious. For those who are not as familiar with cats, let me explain what a purr is. Are you ever petting your cat, do you ever feel a vibrating, low-pitched noise? That’s them purring.
They are not broken, they are actually very happy.
Purring is known to be similar to a human’s laugh. It has many different purposes, they can purr to show they are content, that they want something, fear, or they feel a mother-kitten connection to you.
In human’s, we laugh for many reasons. Sometimes it is not always positive, but the vast majority of the time, it’s happiness. A cat’s purr is the same way.
They show you they are happy with you or let you know they feel a special connection with you.
My cats always will purr when we are snuggled up together on the couch and I am rubbing their faces. It always warms my heart so much when I hear my babies purring while we are cuddling.
I know they are happy and love me.
2. Tail Twitches
A cat’s tail can mean a lot of different thing. I will go into more details about the different cat tail languages, but I am going to focus on one today. The tell-tail signs a cat loves you. (Get it?! Do you hate my horrible jokes yet or love them?!)
When a cat lifts their tail straight up with a slight curve at the top, that means they love you! A sing of complete adoration is when their tail is up and curve and starts twitching vigorously.
This is a sign of excitement and complete and total love.
My cats will come running to the door when I get home from work every day. When they see me, their tails go straight up with a curve and once they get to me, they straight flop, which I will talk about a little later.
When I am gone for especially long hours, and if I’m really lucky, I get the tail twitch. When I do that, I know they must have really missed me and are really happy I’m home. I swear, it completely makes my day.
3. Closing Their Eyes
The third things cats will do to show they love you and trust you is slowly close their eyes.
It is also known as a ‘slow blink’.
If you are looking at your cat, your cat is looking at you, and slowly closes their eyes and opens them again, that’s a slow-blink. They are not slowly blinking to tell you they are tired.
Slow blinking is actually one of the biggest compliments’ cats can give. It is their way of saying they love you, respect you, and trust you enough to close their eyes for a little longer. Sometimes cats will also do this to other cats to show a truce and that they trust one another.
Whenever my cats go and visit my parents’ animals, sometimes they will slow blink to each other to show them that they are trustworthy.
The best thing is, cat’s also understand the slow blink. So if you have a new cat that you are getting acclimated, try slow blinking at him or her. Let them know that you trust them, and sometimes that will help make them feel more comfortable.
4. Head Butting
Are you ever sitting there minding your own business and your cat keeps coming up to you and putting his or her head against you? No, they are not trying to annoy you. (Okay, well maybe they are a little but not in a mean way).
Cat’s head butt as a way of showing their trust and is used to create familiarity and show they respect you as well. Head butting is not extremely common in cats, so if your cat does not headbutt you, it doesn’t mean they don’t respect you.
It just means that they don’t show their affection that way.
My cat, Phoebe, will usually headbutt me in the most random times, whether we are out and about, or sometimes even when I am just doing my makeup.
She does it to show me that she is present, she trusts me, and loves me.
It is also extremely important to call out of different between headbutting and head pressing.
If you see a cat facing a wall with their head pressed against it, that is not showing respect or love. Head pressing is a sign of a serious illness in cats.
If you see your cat pressing their head against a wall for a little bit of time, take them to the vet immediately.
5. Rubbing Against You and Items
Another way your cat likes to show you they care about you is by putting their scent on you, or on the things you care about.
When you’re standing doing dishes, does your cat ever rub against your legs? Or ever catch them rubbing up against your clothes or shoes? They are not rubbing up against you because they are itchy.
No, they are actually getting their scent on you as a way to show you, and the world, that you belong to them.
By rubbing up against something, the place their scents from their glands on their checks onto the object or human of desire.
While this action is more territorial than affection, I still like to lump this into the affection category.
Because it’s more of the reason as to why they feel the need to mark you. Usually, they are wanting to mark their humans, and all their human’s stuff. When you leave, your cats want the world to know that they are yours.
My cats love to completely rub up against every new pair of clothes or shoes I own.
Less than ideal when your cats shed lot of gray hair. But hey, it’s their way of traveling with me whenever I go. Since I can’t take them everywhere with me, I’ll just let their scent travel around.
6. Giving “Gifts”
No, cats have not figured out how to actually give you presents you want! Outdoor cats will sometimes bring you presents to show their love for you.
What are these gifts? Well, unfortunately, these gifts are usually dead, or half-dead, animals.
Why would they do this? Well usually, cats give you presents because they think us humans are horrible hunters and love us too much to let us starve and die. They don’t completely understand that we are fine and the food we eat will not let us die.
The cats the bring home half-dead animals, usually do that because they want to “teach” us how to hunt.
It is a sweet, sickening way to show that they love you. So if you have an indoor/outdoor, or an outdoor cat that keeps bringing you ‘presents’, don’t get discouraged. Your cat is actually doing something they think is really kind and caring.
They are also ‘giving up’ their meal for you as well. Like I said, kind gross, kind precious.
7. Body Language
A cat’s body language says a lot about how they are feeling. When cats are laying down with their back towards you, that is a sign of comfort and truth. The same is true if they show you their belly, the most sacred thing on their bodies.
Now the showing of the belly is something to be weary of. It is not an invitation to pet said belly, no, that would be a trap.
This is just an acknowledgement that they care, and respect you. The same is true if they come sit next to you. This is not an invitation to snuggle and receive endless pets. (Even though I still try!).
Sitting next to you is simply a sign that they trust you and are trying to show they care, so long and you know their limits.
Another sign of contentment is when they ‘loaf’.
What is loafing?
Loafing is the process of cats sitting on their legs so they become invisible and resemble that of a loaf of bread. They do this to show you they trust you, but in the loaf position, it is not as easy to run away than if they were in the alert position.
You can tell a lot about what a cat is feeling based on their body position, so if you have any doubts about how your cat is feeling about you, take a few days and watch the body language of the cats.
Meowing is one of the ways I learned cats show their love most recently. I always knew they cats would meow to humans to try and get their attention. But there are actually a lot of reasons why cats meow.
I won’t get into the many reasons why cats meow.
Instead, I will focus on the affection reasons why cats meow. They do want to get our attentions, but sometimes cats will mimic their humans. If they see their humans are talkative, they will meow as a way to talk to them.
A perfect example is one of my cats Wobbles. When I’m talking to my fiancé, she will come up and meow to us. We look down at her and she will meow back at us like she is joining in on the conversation. (Heck, when I am home alone, her and I will have conversations.
No, I don’t think she understands what I am saying. But I do think she enjoys the act of having a conversation).
And cats won’t do their friendly, talkative meows to anyone. They only do it with people who they are comfortable with.
So if you cat is being extra talkative lately, then don’t get mad or frustrated. Take a step back, and appreciate the loving statement they are trying to send you.
9. Making biscuits
Alright, this is probably not the proper technical terminology for what they are doing. But when cats knead you, or blankets, like they ‘making biscuits’, it is a sign of affection.
Cat’s make biscuits, or knead, because of a natural response to kittenhood.
As kittens, they would knead their mother’s belly to get milk. So, kneading became associate with something positive, like relaxing, warm milk. As they got older and no longer needed their mother’s milk, they continued to knead as a form of comfort.
Anyone have a nervous tick that they like to do?
Personally, I like to pinch things. That is my nervous tick, but it calms me down. For most cats, kneading helps calm them down.
And if your cat kneads, you should take that as a huge compliment. They are so comfortable with you that they can almost go back to kittenhood and be comfortable.
So whether you call it making biscuits, kneading, dough making, or any other form, if your cat does it…they love you. And more importantly, they feel comfortable around you.
10. Butt in face
Last, but certainly not least, do you ever wake up from a great night sleep and an excellent dream to a cat butt pushed against face? Your initial thought is probably, ‘HOW RUDE?!’ and you think your cat is a jerk for putting his or her butt in your face.
In reality, it is actually a sign of a huge compliment. They trust you enough to put their butts, their most vulnerable body part, in your face. They see your face as extremely valuable, which is why they headbutt your face, and also why they put their butts in your face.
So, as long as they don’t accidentally let some air slip out, let them put their butts near your head. It is like letting them give you a compliment.
My mom’s cat loves to do that especially after a stressful night, but mine have not actually done that to us while sleeping. (Yet).
Do Cats Feel Love When You Kiss Them?
While some of these come as second nature to you, some may come as a complete shock to you.
There are many instances where my cats where exhibiting some of these behaviors and I thought they hated me! I could not be more wrong. They were just trying to show their love for me and my family in their own ‘unique’ ways.
So next time you go to say cat’s don’t show love because they don’t jump on your and lick you like crazy, take a step back and remember how different cats are from dogs.
They do love, they do care about their humans. They just show it a little bit differently than other animals.