Loyal, Loving Companions: Ways Your Cat Shows His Love for You

While many people think that cats are standoffish and aloof, the truth is that they are loyal, loving companions (just like dogs). The key is that cats show their love in very different ways than dogs. Usually, those expressions of love are fairly subtle, so we miss them. In honor of the love they give us, let’s talk a little about the different ways they display it and how we can reciprocate in ways they understand.

Kitty Kisses: It’s All in the Eyes

Does your cat give you kisses? Cat kisses are a much more subtle affair than dog kisses – they look at you with half-closed eyes and slowly blink. The slow blink is a kitty kiss. When cats do this to one another, they’re signaling that there’s no threat and there’s no reason to fight. When Kitty does this with you, he’s telling you he adores you. You can do it back to tell him you feel the same. In fact, you can initiate the kitty kisses - he’ll understand (all cats do, domestic or wild). Just look at him with half-closed eyes and exaggerate a slow blink at him. He may give you one back or decide to come over and initiate a petting session!

Head Bunting and Cheek Rubbing

 A more obvious sign of Kitty’s love for you is when he rubs his head and cheeks on you. Not only does this action show that Kitty trusts you, it also marks you as his human. Because cats have scent glands in their cheeks, they mingle scents by rubbing them on all they consider “theirs.” You can return this affection by inviting Kitty to rub his cheeks on you. To do that, simply extend your finger toward Kitty at his nose-level. If he’s feeling sociable, he’ll come over and sniff your finger and then, perhaps, rub his cheeks on your hand. Then it’s time to share the love!

Purring, Kneading, and Licking

Now that you and Kitty are having a petting session, there are other signs that Kitty loves you. Has he started to purr or knead you with his paws? Cats seldom purr when they’re alone, and they usually do so as a sign of contentment. Of course, cats first purr with their mothers, usually while nursing when they also knead her with their paws to stimulate milk production. When Kitty purrs and kneads you, it’s his way of letting you know he thinks of you as “mom.” If he also starts licking you, that means he really, really likes you and thinks of you as part of his family. You see, grooming is another way cats mingle their scents with those they like, marking them as friends and family.

Tummies, Tails, and Butts

There are other ways your cat may be telling you he loves you. For instance, does Kitty roll around on the floor, showing his fluffy belly to you? Cats don’t show their vulnerable bellies unless they feel very secure with those near them, so if your cat is doing this for you, it means he loves you and would like your attention. (Though most cats don’t use this pose to solicit belly rubs – you’ll still likely come away with some scratches if you try that!)  Kitty communicates his love for you in other ways, too. For example, if he’s ever come up to you for your attention, you’ve likely been the recipient of a (possibly up-close and personal) view of his rear end. Cats don’t turn their backs on those they don’t trust, so take this as a sign that Kitty thinks you’re positively wonderful. You can return the love by scratching him on his back, just in front of his tail. He’ll love it. 

Speaking of tails, did you know you can gauge your cat’s mood by looking at it? Kittens approach their mothers with their tails held high and slightly tipped forward at the end. If Kitty approaches you the same way (like in the banner photo at top), he’s showing you his affection. In general, confident cats hold their tails high and straight as a kind of “Hi there, let’s be friends!” This is the opposite of dogs, so don’t mistake your cat’s happy greeting with your dog’s less than happy one.

There are more ways that Kitty can show his love for you, from gifting of his “kills,” to “talking” to you, playing with you, and snuggling or sleeping on you or near you. No matter what method Kitty chooses, you can rest assured that if Kitty has chosen to spend time with you and focuses his attention on you, it’s out of love and he would like nothing more than to know his love is returned. In addition to time spent with him, a great way to show your cat how much you love him is to make sure he stays healthy. After all, a healthy cat is a happy cat! So making sure he sees the vet regularly is a wonderful way to show Kitty you love him and want him to have many years with you. Need to make an appointment? Fill out our form or give us a call!

Blog Category: