9 Ways Your Cat Shows You They Love You

Every cat parent knows that their kitties love them. However, naysayers may try to convince you cats aren’t capable of love or showing true affection for humans. Below, we’ll uncover some of the most common ways cats show their humans how much they appreciate and love them.

9 Ways Your Cat Says “I Love You” 

Cats express themselves in a variety of different ways – I am sure we’re all familiar with the hissing of an angry cat or the prolonged meow of a cat who is begging for food in the middle of the night…but let’s talk about some ways your cat is telling you they love you.

Cats Show Love By Using Their Eyes

You know that look: the slow, almost lazy-looking blink from your kitty when you enter the room. This is not your cat being indifferent to your arrival. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

Cats show love for their human families with the long, slow blink. It’s often referred to as “cat kisses” and it’s just as sweet as it sounds. Some cats even appear to add a contented smile along with that leisurely lowering of their eyelids or a little tilt of the head to encourage a scratch behind the ears.

How is this a sign of affection?
Remember that cats are still animals and they have very strong instincts when it comes to safety.

If a cat doesn’t trust you, it won’t take its eyes off of you. So, a cat that happily closes her eyes when you approach is showing how much she trusts you and feels relaxed and safe in your presence.

You should try giving cat kisses back next time your kitty does this to you.

They can understand this language just as well as they can send it out to you! You may even get a little kitty kiss in return.

Just don’t force this on your cat. Staring into his eyes can be taken as an act of aggression. Instead, offer slow blinks every so often when your kitty is relaxed and lounging about.

What it means beyond affection:
Did you know that a cat kiss can indicate much more than happiness and affection? It’s true!

Kitties are masters of hiding illnesses and injuries. They may act perfectly (purrfectly?) normal while still suffering greatly. But there’s one thing they don’t usually do when they’re in pain, scared, or sick. Cat kisses.

If your kitty is giving you cat kisses every day, he’s probably feeling just fine.

Cats Tail Says It All

Everyone knows that dogs wag their tails like crazy when they’re happy. It’s a very obvious sign of affection.

Cats like to do things differently. They are far more subtle than dogs can ever be, but they don’t skip the tail wags completely.

Have you ever seen your kitty’s tail sticking straight up and giving a tiny quiver? That’s a “happy tail dance” and it means your kitty is madly in love with you.

This exciting little quiver is a subtle sign that your cat is extremely happy to see you. She may even move from side to side, lifting one front paw after the other, almost kneading the floor to get your attention.

Even without that adorable tail quiver, an upright tail with a slight curve to the top is another sign of affection. This is an alert but relaxed kitty trying to show you that she wants some love. This is often accompanied by a quick trot across the room to be near you and maybe a sweet little pip or a meow.

The third love tail is the one I like best. When my cat is curled in my lap, gently purring, he’ll often wrap his tail around my arm.

It’s so much like holding hands I can’t move or I’ll break the magic spell. Cats will wrap their tails around their humans’ arms or legs or gently rest their tails on you.

How is this a sign of affection?
Kitty tails are extremely sensitive appendages. They don’t just flop them around willy nilly or they could end up injured. These carefully groomed and fragile kitty parts also help with balance and comfort.

No self-respecting cat would allow someone they didn’t love to touch their tail. If your cat is touching you with it, showing it off to you, or wrapping it around you, consider yourself deeply loved.

What it means beyond affection:
Feline tails are excellent sources of unspoken communication between you and your cat.

Learning the language of the tail will help you decide how they’re feeling inside. A high tail with the happy quiver isn’t likely to happen if Kitty is feeling sick, hurt, or depressed.

Head Bumps and Cheek Rubs

Everyone knows the cat head bump, but did you know it serves a purpose beyond scratching an itch?

Cats will rub their heads against your leg, arm, or face as a way to show affection.

There are two kinds of rubbing affection. One is the head bump and the other is the purposeful cheek rub. They both show affection, but they have slightly different meanings.

Cheek rubs…
The cheek rub is the sign of “social time”. With scent glands in their cheeks, cats will rub against an object, person, or other pet that they’d like to interact with more.

Technically speaking, they are marking their territory, but it’s more than ownership happening here.

When cats rub their scent glands on you, they are also trying to mix their scent with yours. This is how they show that you are someone they trust and would like to spend more time with.

If you don’t know a cat very well, but you’d like to, you can try this move. Squat down to kitty level and extend your index finger.

Keep it straight out, about nose level with the new cat. If the cat is open to social time, he’ll come over to you, touch his nose to your finger, then rub his cheek against your hand.
Congratulations! You just made a new friend!

Head bumps…
This action sometimes comes along with the cheek rub because there are also scent glands on your cat’s head.

The bump is a little more forceful than the cheek rub and is often displayed with well-established relationships.

The head bump says, “I want you to love me right now” and you better obey. An ignored head bump can quickly turn into a nip to get your attention.

How is this a sign of affection?
The cheek rub and head bumps are up close and personal ways that cats show how much they care.

They are interested in getting to know you or expressing their already deep love for you. A cat will never cheek rub or head bump something or someone they don’t want to get to know.

What it means beyond affection:
The absence of head bumps and cheek rubs could signal a cat that is unhappy. She may not like a new pet in the home or the fact you were gone for so long today.

While these small irritations will pass, if a cat refrains from head bumps or cheek rubs for an extended time, and also refuses to show other friendly and loving signs, she may be sick or injured.

The “Cat Language” of Love

Cats can talk. I know that as a cat parent you are already well aware of this, but to newer kitty parents, maybe this will be news.

See, kitties have a language all their own, but they’ve modified it to communicate with us.

You may hear a variety of cat sounds each day, and each one probably fills you with warm fuzzies in your heart.

There’s the meow, purr, trill, chirp, mew, and pip. Each sound has a special meaning when combined with body language.

How a particular cat says she loves you will vary.

That’s something you two will develop over time. You can be sure it’s a loving sound if it accompanies one of the other loving gestures on this list.

Purring is the obvious one that almost all cats use. This sound is relaxing, soothing, calming, and that’s exactly what your cat wants you to feel. Purring is her way of showing you that she herself is feeling amazing and comfy, and it’s all because of you.

How is this a sign of affection?
Simple. Do you like to talk to people you don’t like? Cats don’t like to either. If your kitty is talking to you, no matter how loud, soft, cute, or weird, he’s letting you know that you matter to him.

What it means beyond affection:
All cats have their own ways of communicating with you. If your usually vocal cats turn eerily silent one day, there may be something wrong.

Check to be sure he isn’t feeling ill or that he’s not injured. If he seems fine, look for signs of distress. He may be upset about something in the house or even outdoors.

Interested in learning more about your cat’s love language? Check out the cute little video below! 

 

Bathing The One 

Grooming is a sweet way some cats will show affection for their humans.

I’ve even seen some cats grooming their dog, bird, or bunny companions!

An especially loving kitty will want to groom you. Maybe this is a lick on the nose or chin, or maybe he’s going to town on the back of your hand or arm. Whatever Kitty decides to groom, consider yourself blessed.

How is this a sign of affection?
In cat communities, scent means everything. Grooming among a cat family or close community helps scents mingle. In essence, they are marking one another with familiar scents to be sure family members are easily identified.

If your cat is grooming you, she’s trying to mark you with her scent and take a little of yours. This shows the whole world how much she loves you. It’s like a “best friends forever” necklace that only cats can sense.

What it means beyond affection:
Some cats may groom their humans if you have something yummy on your skin. While usually harmless, make sure you’re not inadvertently exposing your cats to dangerous chemicals or food items that may be toxic.

Be Near, My Dear

Oh, picky kitties, you can be so elusive!

But not when they love you to pieces and can’t stand being away from you. Cats will show affection by being around you.

They may want to crawl into your lap and be stroked or they may just linger around corners and watch you. Either way, this is a sign that your cat loves you.

If your cat is more aloof, don’t fret. He might be showing this sign of affection in a much more clandestine way.

If he often sleeps next to you, but not touching you, he’s still showing that he cares. If he stares at you from the hallway but runs when you walk near him, he’s still showing you love.
He simply doesn’t want to be touched, and that’s okay.

If your cat is staying away, but still within sight, try giving a slow blink every so often and see if you get one back. Some cats are more into loving from a distance.

How is this a sign of affection?
If a cat doesn’t like you, you’ll know it because you’ll never seen him. Cats are picky about who or what they spend their time around. If they like you, they’ll be nearby. If they can’t stand you, you’ll never even know they’re there.

What it means beyond affection:
If a typically affectionate cat suddenly disappears or refuses to spend time with you, there might be something wrong.

This could be as simple as a dirty litter box or as serious as an illness. Try to find out why your cat has suddenly shunned you so you can make it right.

 

How I Roll

There’s very little in this world more adorable than a kitty rolling around playfully at your feet. This can melt even the most stone-cold heart.

When a cat of any age rolls on the floor next to you and gives you those darling stares, he’s trying to get you to play, rub, or talk to him.

This is his way of inviting you for some social time. It’s especially precious when they expose their tummies to you.

How is this a sign of affection?
No cat wants to play with a person or other animal they hate. That means if your cat is rolling in front of you and trying to tempt you to play, he likes you.

As far as the tummy exposure goes, no cat will show his belly to someone he doesn’t trust. It’s a sensitive and deadly area if shown to the wrong person. If your cat exposes his tummy to you, he trusts you.

What it means beyond affection:
There are playful rolls and then there are challenge rolls. Be sure you can tell the difference. If you misinterpret this sign, you could end up scratched. Don’t touch your cat’s tummy unless your absolutely sure she wants you to.

Making Biscuits

When a cat kneads something underfoot, some people call that “making biscuits”. It’s a throwback to kittenhood when they’d nurse from Mom.

Kittens knead their mom’s tummy to help release the milk during nursing.

If your kitty is kneading a blanket in your lap or even tries to knead directly on you, it’s her way of saying she is so happy and content that she feels like a kitten again.

How is this a sign of affection?
Being a kitten was both the most peaceful time of your cat’s life and the most dangerous.

Being blind and deaf at birth means all cats are born defenseless. They feel safest when Mama is around, and when Mama is around it’s time to knead.

When a cat kneads its humans, it’s a sign that they feel just as safe, sheltered, and loved as the day they were born.

What it means beyond affection:
Some cats will actually begin to knead when they’re hurt or sick. Maybe it’s a self-soothing technique. If your cat is kneading but doesn’t seem happy or content, you may wish to head to the vet.

Gifting Prey

Cats want to take care of you just as you have always taken care of them. They can do this by gifting you their hard-won prey.

For outdoor cats, this might be an animal they caught and killed just left on the doorstep. For indoor kitties, this may be a toy or your own sock dropped at your feet.

How is this a sign of affection?
Felines share their kills with the whole family. It’s not just about affection, but survival. This instinct is still deeply ingrained in domestic cats.

If a cat loves you and considers you family, she may be willing to share her bounty. Be sure to thank her appropriately with plenty of love and cat kisses.

What it means beyond affection:
Some people have posited that cats bringing prey to their humans is more than just a loving gesture. Some people think this is your cat trying to teach you how to hunt. We’re not sure if that’s true or not, but it’s a fun thing to think about.

So much love, so many ways!

There are so many ways a cat shows affection to their humans, it’s hard to name them all. Every cat is different, so be on the lookout for any special things your cats do to show you how much you matter to them. You can also encourage loving behaviors by showing love yourself.

Groom your kitty to show that you care. This is similar to when they groom you, except you probably shouldn’t lick her.

Slow blink to your kitty as often as you can. Make sure you use relaxed, soft, loving eyes and then slowly blink. This shows your cat you understand her language and want to speak to her in a way she can understand.

Listen to your cat’s wants and needs.
She’s talking to you every day, so make sure you listen. Learn her body language and do your best to give her what she needs. This is the number one way to show a cat you care.

Above all else, just keep treating your cat with respect and kindness. Everything you do speaks volumes to your cats. From your choice of foods to the kinds of toys you bring home, your cat is counting on you to help her feel loved, safe, and secure.

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