Even though my cat can’t speak aloud, she is constantly trying to find ways to communicate with me.
While I can’t read her mind, I know that she is also constantly finding new ways to tell me she loves me. And just as there are specific behaviors through which a dog communicates love, there are specific, unique ways that our cats are saying “I love you.”
This exclusive list of behaviors delves into the incredible ways that our cats attempt to communicate their love for us.
Just occasionally a cat will almost throw themselves at you – head first! This is called “head bunting” which is their way of showing you just how much they adore you. It’s one feline demonstration of affection that’s normally reserved for the people they absolutely adore. You may have wondered just what your cat intends on doing when they face you and then lower their heads. This is just the preparation for them to lean into you and then proceed to rub you vigorously with the tops of their heads. It’s your cat’s way of showing you they love you, and very often this action releases what are known as “feel good” hormones in both you and your cat which are called endorphins.
You may be familiar with your cat bringing you presents, such as toys or small, dead animals. This is your cat’s way of showing love.
Cats are adorable but they’re still tiny carnivores who have hunting instincts. Evolution and domestication have not stripped your cat of her inner hunter. Cats may catch everything from toys to mice and they often share their bounty with those they love. Cats who present you with this bounty deserve praise. They wouldn’t bring these special gifts if they didn’t love you. Very often, they will leave a dead “something” where they know you will find it which is not always that welcome – however, whatever they have left you is their very special gift to the person they adore!
Kneading behaviors hearken back to kitten hood. Kitten paws knead against the mother cat’s breasts to induce milk to be released. Adult cats continue this behavior when they’re feeling most relaxed, content, and loved, and that’s often when they’re being petted on their owner’s lap. Kneading is a distinct expression of adoration.
Kneading is when your cat uses their paws to push in and out against a soft surface, such as your lap. This is one of the main ways your cat tries to say “I love you.”
If you need a sign it is time to trim your cat’s nails, nothing is clearer than when she perches on your lap, purrs and starts kneading your thighs with her front paws. But this is also a sign of affection. Experts say that this action beckons your adult cat back to a safe, welcoming memory when she was nuzzling her mother for milk as a newborn kitten. She is being affectionate and a bit nostalgic.
They recommend that you ease the painful part of this kneading by “placing a thick, soft barrier between the cat and your lap.”
You’ve heard your cat purr before, but you may not have realized that this was a love purr.
The most obvious and common way cats show their happiness and love is through purring. Cats seem to have a special little motor inside them that gets started when they are relaxed and enjoying something. You’ll often hear this rumbling, vibrating noise while you are petting your cat. Purrs can also mean your cat is upset but this is not as commonly seen or heard as a happy purr.
Cats purr when they are happy and content. Some cats purr so loudly it can almost be deafening. Cats purr when they are nursing their kittens or when they are just feeling the need to be calm. They purr when they are happy with life as they lie in the sun or by a warm radiator.
This steady, rhythmic sound emitted when your cat inhales and exhales is often associated with contentment. But cats also purr when they need to self-calm or while nursing a litter; however, your cat saves the special full-bodied rumble as a smile directed to you. It is her way of saying, “I love you.”
Staring at you and slowly blinking is a way in which your cat shows you great affection.
Most of the time a cat will avoid any sort of long eye contact both with people or other animals. However, when it comes to their owners this all changes because a cat will hold eye contact with them with no trouble at all. They do this because they trust their owners implicitly. They will stare and blink slowly which is their way of showing you their pure feline love.
A kitty’s eyes are proportionately huge. As such, cat eyes are important assets for survival, yet extremely vulnerable. Cats that place their faces and wide open eyes near a person are expressing great trust and love. A slow “eye blink” from across the room is considered a cat kiss.
Don’t expect a cat to maintain a steady eye-to-eye stare with a new houseguest. Cats save eye contact for people they know and trust, like you. The bond is accented when she blinks softly at you. This is the equivalent of a kitty kiss. Respond by softly blinking back.
Cats typically sleep up to 16 hours a day and since they are the most vulnerable while sleeping, the place your cat chooses to snooze must be a secure and trusted location. There is no greater loving compliment than a cat picking your lap as their favorite sleep spot.
Cats crave warm places to nap and sleep, but when they bypass a comfy cat bed or your bedroom pillow to perch on your lap, you should feel honored. Your cat has sized up her options and is conveying that she prefers being with you rather than being by herself in her cat bed.
7. Cheek Rubbing to Make Their Mark
Think of your cat as a feline graffiti artist. To make her turf really feel like home, she will rub her cheeks against the corners of furniture and, possibly, your legs or hands when you pet her. This act secretes oils from her facial glands. It’s her way of claiming you as her own. Just be grateful that she does so by cheek rubbing, not spraying.
Cats love marking their territory and this includes making sure the rest of the animal world knows you belong to them. They mark their territory by rubbing their cheeks against everything they come across which can be furniture, gate posts and then of course, you. They may rub their cheeks on your legs, hands and against your cheek, and all the while they are leaving a little oil which they secrete from their facial glands. It’s a bond your cat creates with you, the person they love the most!
When your cat just can’t seem to get enough of your legs, that is likely a sign of true love.
If you’ve ever petted a cat, you’ve probably encountered the “elevator butt” pose which invites you to pay particular attention to the base of the tail. Cats love to have this body area scratched but they also use their upright tails to signal their love. When a cat approaches you with their tail held straight up and the end slightly tipped over it’s a sign of love. A cat that holds their rear end up in your face is also a sign of affection. Kittens greet their mother with tails flagged high in respect and adult cats continue this behavior with their favorite people.
The feline tail acts like a mood barometer. The tail puffs out when your cat is frightened or agitated. Conversely, your cat expresses love to you when she approaches you with her tail hoisted lazily up in the air and the very tip twitches. In cat speak, she is saying, “You rock my world!”. This tail curve “is sometimes called the happy tail dance.”
Cats rarely meow at other cats. Typically, only kittens meow to their mothers and they grow out of the habit as adults. Your adult cat uses these vocalizations specifically to interact with people. Just like us, cats don’t “talk” to people they dislike so even when your cat pesters you with lots of meows, remember that they are interacting with you out of love.
Cats are capable of more than a dozen vocalizations, ranging from the hiss to the meow. Listen carefully for the high-pitched trill or chirp. These sounds convey affection and attention — not a feline demand for second helpings in her food bowl. Trill back, watch her reaction and enjoy a true cat chat.
Cats boast quite a vocabulary which ranges from a hiss to a very contented purr and lots in between. There is one sound they make which is very similar to a chirp and which is pretty high-pitched. You may think your cat is being a little more demanding than usual for some of their favourite food – but what they are really telling you is that they absolutely adore you and are trying very hard to let you know just how they feel!
Cats spend an enormous amount of time self-grooming and friendly cats also groom each other. Cats that groom their favorite people, by licking their skin or hair or even nibbling or sucking on their clothing, indicates great affection. This spreads familiar scent and helps mark their person as an important part of the family group. Your cat is regarding you as another cat — albeit a big one — in her inner circle. Only special “cats” are deemed worthy of these special grooming sessions.
Although it can feel a little rough when a cat licks you, they are in fact, kissing you just like a dog would. Only very special people are given this treatment, only the “inner circle” is worthy of being licked by a cat and given a very special grooming session that demonstrates their pure affection. If you have two cats, you may have noticed they quite often groom each other, and if they offer you the same treatment, you are very privileged indeed! In a multicat household, mutual grooming is a sign of trust and friendship. Pay attention to which cats, if any, in your home team up for mutual grooming. You may be the only one meriting such a gift!