As cat parents, we love and low-key worship our majestic fur babies. We scoop their poop, pay their vet bills, and share our beds. But do cats feel the same way about us?
Spoiler: Yes! If you give your cat the TLC it deserves, they definitely love you back. They just have a funny way of showing it sometimes.
Here are 10 signs that your cat loves you.
If your cat could talk they’d tell you how much they love and appreciate you. But since they can’t, here are 10 ways cats show their love:
- They like to be close to you.
- They purr when they’re around you.
- They bring you “gifts.”
- They give you head bumps or cheek rubs.
- They softly blink their eyes at you.
- They paw at you.
- They drool.
- They share their belly with you.
- They lick or try to groom you.
- They give you love bites.
Here’s a deeper look at the ways cats express love toward their hooman companions.
1. Blessing you with their presence
If your cat likes to be in the same room as you — but doesn’t actually come near you — don’t worry. This just means that being in the same space as you is enough to fill them up with love. So, don’t be sad if your kitty doesn’t like to be on your lap 24/7.
A classic sign of cat contentment and bliss is the purr. When your cat gives you a purr-fect vocal performance it’s a sign that they trust you. It also means they feel relaxed and happy in their environment.
Purring PSA: Cats don’t just purr when they’re happy. Some cats also purr when they feel stressed, lonely, or hungry. Make sure to pay attention and pick up on other signals to understand what your cat is trying to tell you.
3. Gift giving
Nothing says “I love you” like a dead rat at your door, right? While murdered rodents and birds prob aren’t on the top of your wish list, there’s a reason why your cat keeps bringing you these ghastly gifts. Cats are natural hunters. Lots of kitties flex their killing skills as an offering of love toward their human fam.
As for indoor cats, your kitty might bring you one of their favorite toys. But there’s also a chance they present you with trash. Like, literal trash. Just remember they mean well and it’s usually not a sign of passive-aggressiveness.
4. Head bumps and cheek rubs
Scents are super important to cats. They have scent glands on the sides of their mouth which secrete pheromones that help them mark their territory. These chemicals are also how cats certify someone as safe and trustworthy.
So, when your cat gives you head bumps and cheek rubs, they’re prob trying to share their kitty chemicals with you. Cute, right?
5. Soft blinking of the eyes
Also known as kitty kisses, soft blinking is one of the most adorable examples of feline affection.
Studies show that this behavior helps your cat communicate. When a cat slowly blinks, they’re keeping their eyes closed for longer than normal. This signals their trust in you to keep them safe while they’re at their most vulnerable.
6. Pawing and clawing
You know that old expression love is pain? Well, when your cat claws (aka kneads) at your lap, face, or arms, they might just be telling you how much they care. Some call this “making biscuits.”
As painful as it may be, kneading is an instinctual sign of comfort and happiness for your cat. This behavior stems from when their mothers fed them in kittenhood and it can continue into adulthood.
So, the next time your cat sinks their claws into your thighs, don’t be quick to get mad. Try trimming your cat’s claws or putting a blanket between you.
Cats rule but they also drool. When cats are relaxed AF they might drool on or near you. This is a sign that they’re 10/10 comfortable around you and feel safe letting their guard down.
Just keep in mind, drooling can also be a sign of a potential health problem. Take your kitty to the vet if they start to drool excessively, have trouble chewing their food, or if the drool is discolored or foamy.
8. Going belly-up
Does your cat like to lie on their back and show you their belly? Congratulations! This is the GOAT of all kitty compliments.
A cat’s belly is one of their most sensitive and vulnerable spots — so when a feline shows you theirs, it’s the ultimate sign of trust. For some cats, it also means they want to play and will even let you tickle their tummy.
FYI: If their claws pop out when you try to touch their belly, your cat might be giving you a “look but don’t touch” warning.
9. Licks and grooming
Cats groom each other to reinforce a social bond and as a sign of affection, so why would it be any different when it comes to their human?
Part of this behavior comes from kittenhood when your cat’s mother licked and groomed them. Hand licks can also be a sign that they’re curious about the snack you were just nibbling on.
10. Love bites
Hoomans aren’t the only ones to dole out love nibbles. Playful love bites are an affectionate gesture that usually happen when your cat is being caressed. This toothy behavior signifies that they want love and attention.
Unlike aggressive bites, love nips usually don’t hurt or leave a mark. But if your cat shows any signs of aggression, respect their space and back off.
Being a cat owner has proven perks for your body and mind. So return the favor and show your cat how much you care.
- Learn their love language. Similar to human relationships, learning to adapt to your cat’s communication style can deepen the level of love you share.
- Slow blink back. If you look at your cat with relaxed, soft eyes and blink slowly back at your cat. You’ll show them that you feel relaxed and safe with them too.
- Chin and face scratches. Most cats really dig these types of scratches from their humans. It helps release pheromones from their scent glands and can make them feel adored.
- Respect their boundaries. Cats will let you know when they want attention vs. when they want to be alone. So, respect their space and don’t force affection on them.
- Give them a treat. Just like dogs, cats respond to positive reinforcement and treat training. This can strengthen your bond over time.
- Share your dirty laundry. Cats are attracted to the scent of people they like, so your stinky smell might actually be a source of comfort for them.
- Quality time. Some cats are content with being in the same space as their human. But others like to interact and play on the daily. Buy some cool cat toys and show them a good time!
- Provide enrichment. It’s key, especially for indoor cats, that they’re given opportunities for their personalities to flourish. They’ll be more comfortable, interactive, and loving if you provide them with enough space; quality food and fresh water, an appropriate litter box; toys to scratch, chew, and play with; and opportunities for exercise and interaction.
Cats continuously show humans love through many means of affection. They understand love through actions and communicate their love through scent, body language, vocalization, and touch. You can show them how much you care by giving them lots of attention and cuddles.
Reminder: Respect your cat’s unique personality and boundaries. Every cat is different and not all cats express love in the same ways.