4 Signs That Your Cat Loves You
Many people hold the misconception that cats are solitary, aloof animals. While dogs show affection for their human openly, our feline friends also get attached, but they convey their love and affection towards us in specific ways. They just tend to be more discreet than the resident canine. In fact, if your cat has bonded with you and accepts and loves you, the evidence is there if you know what to look for.
Below we've listed four signs that your cat loves you.
The Slow Blink
Also known as the cat kiss or the eye kiss, a relaxed and happy cat that has bonded to its human uses this common signal to display affection to its owner. Looking in your direction, the cat slowly closes his eyes, keeping them shut for a moment before opening them again. At the same time, cats will purr or show other signs that they are relaxed and happy, such as flopping over, stretching out, or purring.
This article from the Mother Nature Network shows cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy's explanation on how to return the cat kiss: Look directly at your cat, and close your eyes—in the same way that your cat did—languidly and lazily. Then, let your eyes stay shut for a moment before slowly opening them.
The Kneading Action
This sign of affection goes back to cats' earliest moments in life when they were receiving their mother's milk. In these nurturing moments of closeness and warmth, kittens instinctively learned to make a kneading motion in order to bring up their mother's milk. This Reader's Digest article states that many cats duplicate this kneading action in later life when they are expressing joy and comfort, in addition to finding the action soothing and relaxing.
"If your #cat has bonded with you and accepts and loves you, the evidence is there if you know what to look for" TWEET THIS
Head Bunting (Head Butting or Head Bumping)
Bringing their heads close to areas such as your face, your arm, or pant leg, cats will "bump" their face against you to show affection. In addition, there's something else happening: Cats activate the scent glands in their heads when they bump against you. The head-bump action allows those glands to excrete pheromones in the region of the head below the ear, just above the eye.
According to PetMD, cat experts Pam Johnson-Bennett and Ingrid Johnson confirm that feline head bunting is a sign that the cat in a multi-cat environment has accepted you into the "colony" and is actually spreading his scent to make all the "cats" smell the same. Furthermore, it is typically the confident, top feline that head bunts, and is rubbing the official colony scent—his—onto you.
Lastly, virtually everyone is aware of the vibrating sound coming deep from a cat's throat. If your cat is making a purring sound while she appears relaxed, happy, and affectionate, she probably is. However, purring out of contentment and affection is just one of the reasons why cats purr. They could be hungry, stressed, or in pain, and are looking to soothe, or even heal themselves.
By examining the context— your cat snuggled against you while you sleep, or cuddling with you as you relax on the sofa—you'll easily note when the cat is showering you with love and affection. For more information about what cat purring can mean, this article from the Library of Congress describes the different reasons and the contexts in which a cat purrs.
In conclusion, cats indeed show love to their owners, particularly during moments when they are happy, content, and relaxed. Those moments of affection can even be an opening for you to connect further, reciprocating that love back to your feline.
If you have any questions your cat's behavior, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us.
About Dr. Natalie Waggener
Dr. Natalie Waggener has 17 years of experience in emergency work and general practice in Rhode Island, Florida and Massachusetts. She has a special interest in dentistry, wellness care and rehabilitation therapy. She is currently licensed in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island.