Does Fluffy love me? Does Fluffy love me not?
Chances are your cat Fluffy loves you. Even though stereotypes perceive cats as being anti-social and/or aloof, they do communicate and show affection in many different ways.
The way cats show love is very different than the way dogs do. The cat’s way tends to be more subtle, leading feline parents to wonder if their cats really love them. Rover.com has complied a list of the hard-to-spot gestures of cat love, so owners can more easily identify the signs of affection their cat uses. Hopefully, this will alleviate some of the uncertainty about how your feline truly feels.
Rover.com’s human-pet relationship expert, Phil Tedeschi, has created this checklist of the unique ways cats say “I love you” to help all those curious kitty parents out there.
- Purring: When cats are deeply relaxed and content they tend to purr to self soothe. But when a cat rubs against you and purrs it is synonymous with saying “I love you.”
- Slow Blinks: When cats close their eyes in the presence of another animal or human it is a sign of trust, which is a fundamental aspect of love. Anything can happen when your cat’s eyes are closed, so when they close their eyes and let you pet them at the same time, it shows their complete and utter trust. Humans do something like that too, where they soften their facial muscles around the ones that they care about. Cats will often slow blink back at you if you slow blink at them, too!
- Showing the Belly: A cat showing their belly indicates that they are relaxed and comfortable. If your cat invites you to rub their belly, it is a pure sign of care and affection. That being said, if you know your cat doesn’t like having their belly rubbed, then just appreciate their complete comfort from afar and understand their relaxed state as a form of love.
- Grooming: If a cat tries to groom you by licking your face or eyebrows, take this as a true sign of feline affection. Cats groom their loved ones, so if your cat is an affectionate licker it’s a sign that they love you and care for you.
- Head Bumps and Cheek Rubs: Scent is very important to cats. By giving head bumps and cheek rubs, they are communicating with pheromones from scent glands on their head, which is called “Bunting.” It mainly communicates that you are safe to be around.
- Love Bites: These can leave a mark and may hurt, but it is an obvious sign of love from a cat. If a cat bites you it’s a sign that that are being playful but also that they are comfortable with you. Any sign of your cat being comfortable while being playful is a true testament to their affection for their pet parent.
- Bringing you gifts: A cat sharing “gifts” or items they have found and compiling them near you is also a sign of trust. While we may not want the bird or mouse our cat has found, their natural hunting instincts allow this act to be interpreted as providing you with a “present” and as a sign of their love.
- Hanging out: Perhaps the simplest way that your cat shows love and affection is mere companionship. A cat spending time in the same room with you is also a way that they tell you, “I love you.”
- Vocalization: Vocalization with cats is really neat. Adult cats don’t really meow to communicate with each other, they do that specifically for us, I imagine because from a cat’s perspective, we walk around yelling or speaking really loud all the time. If you talk to cats frequently, when they are around talking people, they also talk. Cats will also use friendly cat sounds, like chirps and trills, when trying to communicate affection with people that they like.
- Kneading: A lot of cats participate in kneading . Some cats experts hypothesize that adult cats associate kneading with the comfort observed in kittens nursing to stimulate their mother’s milk. So when a cat kneads there is reason to believe they feel very connected.
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