One of the biggest misconceptions about cats is that they don’t love humans. Many people assume cats tolerate humans simply because they provide food and a place to enjoy their cat naps. People who doubt the love of a cat have usually had negative experiences with cats in the past. Give cats another chance, and you’ll likely find a friendly kitty purring contentedly in your lap!
Let’s take a look at the many adorable ways cats express their love for humans.
- The cat purrs when you pet them: This is the most obvious sign that a cat loves their human companion. Cats only purr to communicate with humans. In this case, your cat is trying to say you make them happy!
- They greet you with a head butt: Affectionate cats often greet their owners with a head butt somewhere on the body. Cats have scent glands on the chin, lips, forehead and cheeks. A head butt means the cat is spreading their scent to claim you as property. Consider it a high honor—head butting indicates they really like you!
- Their tail twitches and stands upright: Cat owners have learned the hard way that a tail swishing rapidly from side to side means the cat is feeling aggressive. However, a cat is excited to see you when their tail sticks up straight in the air and has a twitchy end. They feel content in your presence and don’t view you as a threat.
- The cat exposes their fluffy belly: The stomach is the most vulnerable part of a cat’s body. They won’t expose it to just anyone! Cats feel safe around their owners when they stretch to their full length and roll around on the floor. An exposed belly means they’re perfectly relaxed and detect no immediate threats in their environment.
- The cat leaves you “gifts”: Pet parents commonly mistake a dead bird on the porch as a “gift” from their kitty companions. Cats don’t leave gifts for their owners—rather, they collect dead animals in places considered to be part of their home. If your cat leaves their kill around the house, that means they share a safe space with you.
- They nibble your limbs: People who don’t have cats often believe biting is solely used to display aggression. This is true for hard, painful bites, but not little nibbles! A cat that gently bites your toes or arms means they’ve chosen you as their play buddy. Cats also nibble their owners when they’re feeling extremely affectionate.
- They lick your hair or ears: Pet parents often find it silly when cats attempt to groom them. You should be flattered—this behavior means the cat feels close to you! Cats groom humans they want to take care of and welcome into their circle of trusted companions.
- The cat kneads your lap or chest: Cats knead various parts of the body as a sign they want to cozy up with their humans. Kneading is a behavior left over from their kitten days. Kittens knead their mother’s stomach to stimulate milk flow. In a way, a cat that kneads your lap has chosen you as their parent!
- The cat slowly blinks at you: Pay attention when your cat stares at you from across the room. If you maintain eye contact, the cat might slowly close and open their eyes. Cats only exhibit this behavior around humans they fully trust. They might also slowly blink to let other cats know you mean no harm. Next time you catch a kitty staring at you, slowly blink at them and see what happens. Chances are, they’ll return the affection!
- They constantly want to be near you: While it’s true cats need their space, they also like to stay in close proximity to their favorite humans. They might take a cat nap in a nearby chair or sneak into the bathroom while you shower. As an experiment, get up and walk into a different room. If the cat follows at your heels, that means they want to keep enjoying your presence!
A cat’s body language always tells the truth. And the truth is, they’re more than capable of loving their human companions! Pet parents who grow to understand all these peculiar kitty behaviors will realize that feline family members are just as affectionate as dogs. You simply have to learn how cats prefer to express their love!