A cat kissing his two humans.
A cat kissing and licking his two humans. Photography by Lucrezia_Senserini/Thinkstock.

Wondering ‘Does My Cat Love Me?’ 9 Ways Cats Show Love

If you’ve ever wondered, "Does my cat love me?" you’re not alone. Cats often display their affection in much more subtle ways than their canine and human counterparts. Let’s look at some of the cat signs of affections here.
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Ever wondered, “Does my cat love me?” Whether or not your cat is affectionate depends on her personality, her breeding and her upbringing. Some cats are aloof; some can’t wait to shower affection upon you. When a cat chooses to express affection, she’s more likely to show you than tell you, so understanding the feline lexicon of love requires that you understand feline body language and how they interact with fellow cats as well as humans. Let’s look at nine signs that (hopefully) answer the question, “Does my cat love me?”

1. Cats Show Love with Slow Eye Blinks

A gray tabby cat with his eyes closed or blinking.
Wondering, “Does my cat love me?” If your cat is looking at you and slowly blinking, the answer is yes. Photography ©KandM-photography | Thinkstock.

When cats encounter strangers or other cats, they usually greet them with an unblinking stare. Your cat’s slow eye blinks — often called “kitty kisses“— are a sign of contentedness and affection. You can make a game of this by slowly blinking back at your cat and see how long the interchange can last.

2. Cats Show Love with Grooming

Cat grooming is not all about hygiene. The answer to, “Does my cat love me?” might mean some grooming and licking from your kitty. If your cat grooms or licks you, it’s a sign that she accepts you as part of her feline “family.” It can also be a way of claiming “ownership” of you.

3. Cats Show Love with Head Rubbing and Head Butting

If your cat rubs her face on you, she is “marking” you as her property. There are glands on her face that secrete pheromones which act to mark territory as well as signal comfort and familiarity. Each cat’s pheromone signature is unique, just as our fingerprints are. When she leaves behind this calling card, she’s saying “MINE!”

4. Cats Show Love By Being Near You

If your cat follows you from room to room and hangs out wherever you are, it’s a sign that she’s interested in you and wants to be where you are. Some cats who otherwise do not display affection can still express their love just by “being there for you.” This is one of the most subtle answers to the question, “Does my cat love me?”

5. Cats Show Love By Bringing You “Gifts”

As repugnant as it is to find that Fluffy has left a mutilated mole or dead bird on your doorstep, do not yell or punish her when you find it. She has bestowed a cherished gift upon you and is hoping you’ll be pleased with the offering, just as a child seeks approval from his parents. The best way to discourage this behavior is to keep her indoors.

6. Cats Show Love with Excitement at Your Return Home

You may not witness this, but your spouse or roommate might. Most cats who are bonded to their owners will respond with excitement when they hear your car in the driveway, or when you make distinctive sounds (like jingle of the key in the lock) when returning home. So, if you’re wondering, “Does my cat love me?” the answer is yes if they run for the door when you come through it. They’ve missed you and are relieved that you’ve returned safely home to them.

7. Cats Show Love with Belly Displays

When your cat rolls over and exposes her belly to you, she is signaling that she trusts you and loves you. Exposing her belly exposes her vulnerability. If she did that in the wild, she’d be toast. She’s comfortable enough with you to let down her guard.

8. Cats Show Love with Tail Language

Many cats use a question mark-shaped tail to greet someone they like. A tail in the full upright position also indicates familiarity, trust and affection.

9. Cats Show Love with Kneading

This instinctual gesture originates from birth, when your cat kneaded her mother to stimulate milk flow. In later life, cat kneading signifies contentment, pleasure and adoration. This is one of the greatest expressions of love that your cat can bestow upon you.

Remember: The Answer to “Does My Cat Love Me?” Can Be Subtle

Unlike dogs, cats usually won’t shower you with sloppy kisses, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you. In their own subtle way, cats will let you know where you stand, and petting a purring, head-butting cat in your lap is a quiet pleasure that can make your day.

Thumbnail: Photography by Lucrezia_Senserini/Thinkstock.

Tell us: Have you ever wondered “Does my cat love me?” What are some of the unusual ways that your cats show their love?

Read more about cat love and affection on Catster.com:

Plus, read about the 10 most affectionate cat breeds >>

22 thoughts on “Wondering ‘Does My Cat Love Me?’ 9 Ways Cats Show Love”

  1. Pingback: Signs a Cat Has Bonded With You | CutesyPooh

  2. My cats like to show their affection by laying on my chest or shoulder right in front of or beside my head. On occasion, my male will flop right onto my face when I’m laying in bed. Sometimes, I like to think that they think that I am helpless and that they need to keep my warm. Other times, I think that maybe they are trying to smother me in my sleep.

  3. Marian Fritzemeier

    My c at is an indoor cat but she still brings me “gifts” she finds in the house. It can be anything she finds on the floor. Often it is a dog toy. She makes a callind sound for me to come to her and get the gift. Then I say, “Thank you, Cali.”

  4. So, I’ve read all the comments from the other Cat owners and become more convinced that Cats are capable of feeling love for you but that indeed with the 2 cats I had I never sought to develop a true relationship with them for many reasons including the way my life was then. I’m learning that unlike a Dog, whom is divinely created with a very strong capacity to want to give love; I think with a Cat you have to demonstrate you qualify for that strong affection and trust from them by first giving and developing an affection relationship with them in addition to the good and quality care you give them.

    Having been a Dog/person all my life I just did not understand this big difference between Dog and Cat. Perhaps, the difference also exist because the Cat remains more primitive and is a predator. The Dog has been in relationship with us humans many thousands of years more then the Cat so thousands of years longer of getting domesticated and socialized into accepting us as family.

    Thank you Catster for this article and thanks to all the Cat owners for their very informative comments.

  5. my baby boy Simba seems to think hes a human baby & if I knew how to post photos on here Id post 2 photos of him-
    the first one is him in my arms head & front paws on my shoulder as he falls asleep like a human baby
    the 2nd is my 17yo son holding Simba with simbas 2 front paws on tristans cheek one paw on each cheek
    Simba will touch the cheeks of the rest of us but Tristan is the only one who always gets a soft gentle paw on each cheek like that
    who ever said cats are aloof independent and not affectionate only needs to see how Simba & our 2 other cats respond to us to have evidence that they don’t know what theyre talking about!!!!

  6. we are so lucky to say yes on every show of love that’s mentioned in this article
    Our cats are just as much part of our family as any human member & growing up in a farming family & loving family we were taught to treat animals with love & respect as well so we now have wonderful guardian angels in our lives that just happen to have 4 legs & tails our 3 cats are 1, 3, & almost 7 & we the 2 younger ones are boys with Bengal cross while our girl is ragdoll x birman who is the household diva & queen bee lol
    they each have very different personality traits but are all very loving & we wouldn’t be without them
    because we are so loving to them I have found they are the same to each other & we don’t have fights & nastiness between them
    animals will give back tenfold what u give them so we are so lucky to be so loved by our Simba, Puss Puss & Crystal & so lucky they picked us as their family

    1. Totally agree Jodi. My cats never fight with each other & in fact they are all very silly & playful.
      I believe, as you do, that this is because they are given so much love & affection that they have no reason to be jealous of each other .

  7. Mary-Lou Mayfield

    Some cats show love by “talking” to you. They are partly treating you as their “Mama cat” and partly trying to communicate the way you do! Also, cats greet each other cat and favorite humans with nose touches – my Tuxedo cat kisses me on the mouth – something his must have learned from his first owner or foster “parent” (he was a stray).

  8. Just a reminder to you and other Columnists and “Authors” would realize there are also MALE cats in the universe. While ready this useful and interesting article, I notice just “She” and “she” are the only mentions.

      1. My cat Milo is always by my side, gives me headbutts all the time and follows me everywhere in the house, when I leave the house or go I the room and close door he will grab his stuffed animals and carry them around with him making weird cat meows and when I return he drops the toy and is right there to greet me

      2. My cat TomTom follows me all over. He climbs in my lap and he thinks I am the only thing that rules this world and the only reason I say that is because if I leave a room he follows me. If i sit down somewhere he’s in my lap if I put him down he’s back in my lap, if I leave the house he wants to go with me if I come in the house he wants to come with me. He is up my behind 24/7 I love him to death would do anything in the world for him and he seems to want to do anything he can for me.

    1. i don’t sumbit

      poor, poor tom. it’s jarring to some men when they’re not automatically the default in everything isn’t it?

  9. Simon was a shelter rescue at 6 weeks; he will be 2 soon. He greets me when I come home by pawing my leg. I always get ‘kitty kisses’, follows me around, licks me when we wake and best of all flips over on his back for belly rubs as soon as I walk in the room. If I say, “I love you” he head butts me. He is the BEST:).

  10. My boy Buddy gives me love bites, he also will jump & bump back of my legs when I am fixing his food. He is a 2 yr old ginger, he was a stray that my friend found and I took him in.

    1. My shelter adopted ginger, greeted me by climbing up my leg onto my shoulder and put a beautiful kiss on me. Gotta love these cats. I took him home that day which was five years ago. He was a previous member of a four cat family and clearly at the bottom of the totem pole. Now he is happy and so loving and even his housemates like him, though he is still very humble. These cats just want someone to be nice to them. Don’t we all!????

      1. Couldnt agree more.I have four rescue cats of various ages. Thomas, Jonesy,Luna & Charlie. We all live in harmony & the affection I feel from them is palpable.
        They sit & stare at me as if they are thinking how lucky they are & how they want to make sure I dont go too far away.
        They speak to me all the time, I wish I could look after every cat in the world
        They are such wonderful creatures. As I write this, my newest addition to the family, 7 month old Charlie is resting his head on my arm. Bliss.

    1. ME TOO ! WANTED TO READ AS I READ THESE ARTICLES EVERY MORNING and. NO SURPRIZE THERE and I HAVE 5 ! SO HAPPY IM DOING A GREAT JOB

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