Do you struggle to tell the difference between a cat’s ‘meow’ and its sullen glance of what appears to be pure, unadulterated apathy?
Most people would have you believe that cats are simply aloof creatures, uncaring and self-serving – but as cat owners, we know that there’s a much more affectionate hidden language beneath the whiskers and fur…
That said, it’s never going to be easy to gauge what any animal is thinking or feeling, so we’ve done the legwork for you.
Here are 12 unmistakable signs your cat does in fact love you just as much as you love her!
They bring you
If you’ve ever owned a cat, you’ll already be well versed in this strange feline gift-giving ritual. Although it can be utterly disgusting at times, when your cat brings you a fresh kill (birds, rodents etc.) it’s actually a sign of affection.
Domesticated though our cats may be, they have centuries of hunting instinct bottled up inside, so when they drop that half masticated, headless mouse at your feet – take it as the compliment it’s meant to be.
And wash your hands thoroughly afterward getting rid of it.
Your cat stalks you
Despite the common misconceptions of cats being natural wanderers that can disappear for hours or days at a time, only to come back when they’re hungry – a sure sign of your cat’s love is if he or she follows you around religiously.
No doubt, it can be irritating when you’re trying to write an article and the pesky little fella is determined to leap onto your keyboardjevrvker;eb!!@&£
Argh, sorry about that; he won’t leave me alone today. But at least I know he loves me! Or, at least, the warmth of my laptop.
You get the purrfect purr
Purring seems like an obvious one, but a simple little purr isn’t always a definite sign of warmth and affection. Purring can act as a form of communication between your cat and another, or as a form of calming themselves down.
However, there’s no mistaking that particular frequency of low-rumble purr; the deep, long and affectionate declaration of one cat’s love for their owner. Sometimes followed up by…
Head butts all over
The all-too familiar feeling of a rhythmic head-butt/head-rub from a cat is an unmistakable sign that he or she is relaxed and comfortable around you. However, there’s actually a degree of science behind this little feline ‘hug’.
When your cat rubs their head all over you, they’re actually rubbing their pheromones and scents in with your own – it’s not dissimilar to a dog’s marking territory, just… a lot more pleasant.
Feet up, paws behind their head, belly exposed
A cat’s midriff and belly are the most vulnerable spots on their body; many of us have the scars as proof of an attempted belly-rub of a cat that didn’t like us. However, if you find that your cat is regularly sunbathing around you, working on an early belly-tan, then it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that it’s comfortable and relaxed in your presence.
The real test, of course, is when you go in for that dangerous tummy rub. This it. Make or break. Sink or swim. The difference between life and death. If you survive that first rub and hear the low rumble of an accepting purr, then you have a friend for life.
Best to keep a few bandages at hand in case it all goes south, though.
Nibbles (not bites)
No, Nibbles isn’t just the name of my cat, it’s also another brilliant way to tell if the furry little guy cares about you.
Obviously there’s a degree of categorization needed here. If your cat frequently bites you, i.e. breaks the skin or causes any real pain, then this is not a sign of affection and a clear indicator of some real aggression.
A light, playful nibble, however, is the exact opposite. It shouldn’t feel any worse than a slight tingle or nip, maybe even a bit ticklish, and is a cute little sign of affectionate communication.
Haunts your hideouts
Even the most hard to please cats can show love for their owner simply by parking their behinds in certain locations. We’ve all seen a cat walk away from a person or situation that they’re not comfortable with; they simply will not tolerate an environment that they don’t like.
Thus, if you find your cat is constantly lingering around your bedroom, or living room, or that favorite seat of yours, then the chances are that they want to be in your company.
Again, this is one of those signs of ‘cat love’ that bridges the gap between adorable and annoying, but trust me, you’d miss it if it were gone.
The slow blink
For the un-indoctrinated, a cat holding your gaze can be quite discerning and maybe even misconstrued as a threat (particularly so if it’s a stranger cat). However, if your own cat frequently holds your gaze for long bursts, without getting distracted, then it can be a sign that they have a lot of time for you.
An even more loving sign is if these long stares are broken up with slow, deliberate blinks. It might seem strange, or much ado about nothing, but these small feats of body language are the hugs and kisses of a loving cat!
Your cat licks you
Licking feels like it’s much more within the realm of dogs than cats, which shows just how rare an affectionate lick from a cat can be. Make no mistake; if your cat frequently runs their tongue over your face, hair or hands, then you’ve been granted access to the lauded inner sanctum of cat love.
You get kitty massages
For those lucky few of us that have been bestowed with a kitten’s massage, there’s absolutely no question that it’s a sign of love and affection. Not to mention an untapped market – who wouldn’t pay through the nose for regular cat massages?
Interestingly, though, nobody seems to be 100% certain what the actual cause or origins of this cat-human massage are. The predominant thought seems to centre on the fact that young kittens massage and knead their mother in order to keep up the flow of milk.
The thinking is that when a cat then does it to you, it’s a sort of throwback to their young days, and they see you as a warm, comforting perhaps parental figure.
Your cat sleeps with (or on) you
Much like the belly-exposure, animals are never more exposed than when they’re asleep – usually our pets will pick a spot that they feel is intrinsically safe from harm. So, if your cat decides to snuggle up in bed with you, or catch a few Z’s whilst resting on your lap, they clearly find you to be safe and comforting.
What better sign of love do you need?
They show they’ve missed you
Perhaps the most comforting of all a cat’s loving signs is when they welcome you home. Ever open the door to find your kitty patiently waiting for you? Or come home from a long day to be greeted with meows and comforting figure eights around your legs?
Undeniable signs that the fur ball missed you, and we only miss those we love!