Photo: Erica Danger

Does Your Cat Love You?

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Most cat parents I know shower their cats with love and affection every day. In fact, I am constantly hugging and kissing my own kitties and telling them how much I love them. Some of them, like Rosie, will put their head on my shoulder and lean into the hug, almost hugging me back, and I love that! Although this is an obvious sign of love and affection from my cat, not all kitties will welcome the hugs and kisses we can’t help but bestow.

Some of my cats actually squirm and wiggle to get out of my loving embrace! Others just go limp and merely tolerate it until it’s over. If your cats do that, too, how can you tell if your cat really loves you, or is bearing all that adoration and affection just to get treats?

Here are seven “tell-tail” signs that your cat truly loves you, too.

Tail up

I call this “exclamation mark tail,” and what signifies excitement more than the exclamation mark! See? If your cat greets you with his tail straight up in the air, that means he loves and trusts you completely. If there is a little bend at the end making his tail look more like a question mark, that means your cat just simply adores you!

Following you

Whenever I’m doing chores around the house, or even just relaxing, my cats start to migrate to whatever room I happen to be in. When your cat loves you, he craves your companionship and wants to be with you all the time. Of course, there is also the chance you might just decide to make some food or give out treats, and your kitty sure does not want to miss that!

Meowing

Did you know that in nature, cats do not use “meow” to communicate with one another past kittenhood? Kittens use the meow to let momma cat and siblings know they are all right, and they outgrow this form of communication once they become adults. Unless they live a cushy indoor life! Then your cat will meow to talk with (or maybe even control?) you, their favorite human.

Purring

Did you know that a cat’s purr can actually heal you? A purring cat puts out vibrations that are between 25 and 140 Hertz, the same frequency at which broken bones and wounds heal. My friend Linda has a cat who can sense when her daughter, Nikki, is about to have a seizure. Kizzy will put his head on Nikki’s and purr at a frequency that even has a different sound to it. His purring will often ward off the oncoming seizure, or at least make it less severe. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is!

Related: Why Do Cats Purr? Cat Purrs Don’t Always Mean Your Kitty is Happy

Making biscuits

A cat who is happy to be by your side may start doing something we lovingly call “making biscuits.” This action mimics the kneading action your cat made while he was nursing and bonding with his mother, back when he was a kitten. You may find your cat wants to knead right on you, which, although painful with his claws, means he finds comfort with you, and is happy to be in your care. Your cat wants you to feel his love! (Love hurts!)

Washing your hair

My Hope kitty will get on the back of my sofa right behind my head and begin washing my hair! YUCK! Mutual grooming, called allogrooming, is common among many species of animals and is one of the ways cats bond to one another. So, it stands to reason that your cat would use allogrooming to show her love and to bond closely with you, her chosen favorite human. While we don’t groom our cats back in quite the same way, pull out a brush, and just watch your cat come running. Most cats love to be brushed; it’s the other half of the mutual grooming equation that bonds cats (and humans) together.

Making eye contact

Slow blinking motions are kitty sign language for “I love you.” One of my cats, Brownie, is still what I consider to be semi-feral. Although her three siblings all calmed down and became loving cats, Brownie is still somewhat skittish. I get to see her (she hides from other people), but I rarely get to touch her (once in a great while, but usually it’s met with a hiss). However, she will come out where I can see her and give me those ever-so-slow eye blinks, just to let me know that she loves me to the best of her ability. We’ve been through two major moves together, and she trusted me enough to get her into a carrier (with some trickery). I find it a great honor that she gives me those eye blinks to let me know that she is happy here with her kitty pals.

Now that you know what to look for, you’ll recognize those daily moments when your cat can’t help but tell you how much she loves you. She knows she’s lucky to live in a warm, cozy place with a full food bowl and a human who loves her with all their heart.

Top photo by Erica Danger

40 thoughts on “Does Your Cat Love You?”

  1. My panther Salem was my best friend. He went to panther heaven last year. I miss him every day. We had a couple of games he invented for us to play. He liked to be cradled while I rocked him and sang Panther, panther panther to him. Then he would put his paws around my neck and hug me. He liked going to the top of the cat tree located by the bathroom. I would go in the restroom sneak out and he would grab my hand. I miss that panther so much.

  2. Jessica Mansoor

    I always wondered why my cat just sits and stares at me. Or when he wants me to love him he makes sure he is right in front of my face. It’s a awesome feeling to read how much my cat really loves and cares for me. My cat and I share an amazing companionship. It’s almost like as if he was a real person and I gave berth to him. I love my cat very much and wouldn’t change him for anything, he’s purrfect!

  3. I just lost my baby boy, one of three cats, his name was Trouble, and he lived up to it. First week we had him, he hit the panic button that called the police. His sisters were always running away from him. He died suddenly from a seizure in my arms. I still hear him pounce or run thru the house.

    1. If I am being honest I had kitten named melody she was so sweet and kind and she pasted June 2 2020 due to a parasite and a seizure and now her twin sister might be going soon as well but I hope not I lost 2 if my bbys already I can’t lose the third one ????

  4. Sharon Younger

    I’m posting this about my cat Poncho
    Both me and my husband love this cat unconditionally, he recently feel ill and after lots of test he is terminal. We will have to make a decision soon to have him put down. I have cried rivers for this cat
    He was a recue cat and we had the opportunity to be with us for 10 beautiful years

    1. It is a very hard thing to do. I had three kitties put to sleep within two years. I loved each one dearly. Take comfort in the knowledge that you gave your kitty the very best possible life. You never want your kitty to needlessly suffer. The cat that was put to sleep last November was my very favorite because I had her since she was four weeks old. She was rescued from the campus of the university where I worked and lived to 15. I adopted a beautiful two year old calico in February. There are many homeless cats and when the time is right, you will get another. My new cat joins my 16 female and 7 year old male both rescues. Adopting a rescued cat is the most rewarding thing I have done besides giving birth to my own children.

  5. 9 years ago.Sitting on my fence. Was tiny furball . She was a feral tordie in January extremely cold day.I had seen her mom a while now back.Took a couple months before she calmed down.Now.9 years later my Allie. Kathleen/Allie Kat lol is a Velcro girl.Has 5 furry siblings and my 2 grandchildren residing with me.

  6. I adopted my two little girls, Nala and Butterscotch, in 2009. The moment we saw each other in the shelter I knew they were my babies and that I was their daddy. Amongst several of the ways listed above that they show their love, they both love using their mouths. Nala will suck on my finger, which goes fine for a while until she starts turning back n forth and the fangs dig in. And Butterscotch will chew my thumb gently four or five times before sinking her teeth in for a good bite. She’s never fully happy until I yell “ow!”. Sometimes when she is so sleepy that she can’t muster a good bite, I will fake the “ow” for her after a few bites and I can tell she really appreciates it. I Loved all the comments above and the article!

  7. Carole L Saylor

    I have 2 cats, Roscoe and Jazzy. They both sleep on me, follow me, kneed me, and wash my face and neck. But Jazzy gets between my shower curtains and watches then wants to dry me off. Roscoe gently bites my chin. Both keep me in line of sight.
    Both of my fur babies are rescues from caring hands in Newton KS.

    1. Carlos Cerecedo

      My Gatuchi is totally blind..but he sleeps with us ….finds us …..shows lots of affection..and he roams inside and closed outside perfectly aloof….he is amazing and very affectionate….

  8. I call the slow blink my kitty, Krash, does back when I slow blink at him his “kitty kisses”. He generally comes over to bite my kneecap for treats after a make out session!

  9. Tommy Cat helped me clean the kitchen today. He and his sister Princess Jasmine ( from the movie ” Second Hand Lions”) are orange tabbies we got as 6 mo. Old kittens from the local shelter. Jasmine is all tabby and Tommy has white paws, chest, belly. He followed me
    all around the kitchen watching every chore. He likes to “help “. Puts his paws on surfaces I am working on.
    They are learning how to turn on the water in the bathtub because they like the sound, so now we have to keep that door shut.
    Life with cats, never boring!

  10. My husband and I just adopted a cat from a rescue shelter and she has been a blessing. We lost our Zoe a month ago after 15 years unexpectedly. That was one of the hardest days of my life and I wasn’t sure I was ready for another fur baby, but once we seen how Violet was isolating herself from the other cats and hiding in a cat tube we knew that was no life for her. We brought her home and she’s like a different cat. Shes so loving and playful and always wants attention. Our Zoe was a rescue and I think she would want us to rescue another kitty. Every day there’s something that reminds me of Zoe and I sit and cry, but Violet has made it a little easier.

  11. Reading everyone’s anecdotes about their own kitty loves is making me smile so so much. My own kitten, Cash, (who is 4 but will always be “kitten”) is very affectionate and attached to me. I didn’t intend to get a cat at the time but i found her as a 6 month old kitten near my work and we bonded so quickly. I don’t know what i would have done without her the past few years. Kitten snuggles are already precious enough but when she starts making biscuits i think my heart is going to explode it’s too sweet.
    I always get defensive when people say that cats don’t care about their humans. some cats may be picky about their love, and some might be more withdrawn, but i really think it comes down to people not realizing that cats just don’t show affection in the same ways dogs do. it might be subtle (like “love” blinks or tail gestures) but it is definitely there!

  12. We have had cats for the last 28 years we have had six our last cat Tux a Texido was 4 1/2 years old and just developed a sudden hypertrophic cardio myopathy he died within a day I am heartbroken we have no pets right now and I don’t know what to do I know it’s too soon to consider adopting but I am so so lonesome as my husband just wanted to share again our little guy was Tux.

    thank you for listening keep us in your prayers

    1. I no longer believe it can be too soon to offer a home to another cat. Our beloved Mrs Brady died aged 18 and we were numb with sadness. We didn’t think we were ready to have another cat but events overtook us and we adopted two kittens. They needed us and we needed them. We asked Mrs Brady and she told us she didn’t mind! It was the best thing we could have done.

      1. Im sorry about mrs brady!
        I had my share of tragedy and loss
        Silverfox .mr cab callaway … and the love of my lofe my stoogie(we had an extraordinary bond tovether)
        Left me with a brolen heart but im glad that at times my other 2 cats
        Mojo and boots (all from the same familytree) make me laugh
        And thats ok
        Oneday we all be together
        Hang in therr

      2. my cat name is king and trust me he is living up to his name he the king of my house and very loveable cat and I just love him like crazy I couldn’t ask for a better king in my life

      3. I completely agree Anne. We lost our 20 year old Birman, Pasha, 8 years ago and 8 weeks ago we adopted a little 2 year old from the RSPCA who we named Milo. I’m sorry we didn’t adopt years ago. Milo has changed our lives and bought so much laughter and love back to us. I say only leave it the shortest time as there are way too many unloved cats just desperate for a loving family ????

      4. I completely agree Anne. We lost our 20 year old Birman, Pasha, 8 years ago and 8 weeks ago we adopted a little 2 year old from the RSPCA who we named Milo. I’m sorry we didn’t adopt years ago. Milo has changed our lives and bought so much laughter and love back to us. I say only leave it the shortest time as there are way too many unloved cats just desperate for a loving family ????

    2. CHRISTINE Hinderberger

      Just go look or volunteer at a shelter
      You may find a cat that selects you
      Also, besides the kittens there you may find an older bonded pair or older cat just full of love to give
      What a great new path to chose!

    3. I am so very sorry fr your loss.

      It is NEVER too soon to adopt again and give another Furbaby a chance at life! I totally agree, a house is not a home without a Furbaby. So, to honor your Tuxedo Furbaby go get another Baby to love!! You both will be richly rewarded for it!

    4. It is NEVER “too soon” to adopt an other Furbaby!! Tux would be honored to know that youare sharing all that love with another Furbaby who needs YOU to love them!!

  13. I have a cat that I rescued from a shelter and wow does she love me! And, how much I love her let me count the ways! I feel honored to have her love. She follows me from room to room, she makes biscuits on me, she “talks” to me, she sleeps with me and lavishes the attention I give her. I got her at 10 years old she’s almost 12. I fear that dreadful day as I LOVE her so much and I will be painfully heart broken. This floof of mine is my world!

  14. I had never ‘adopted’ an adult cat and it took me awhile to get to love Leo as much as I adore Elia, who I got as a kitten. Leo and Elia are very much in love: I call them my “gay cat kids”. But lately, Leo, the adopted cat, is so affectionate to me that is it incredible to see the change. Leo not only kneads – making bisuits, as you call it – he also sucks on the blanket that I lay down on me while kneading. I believe that he was taken very young from mom cat …and I have become just that! Only he does the two part thing: Elia only kneads.
    In any case, cats fill your life like no other pet can, as far as I am concerned.

    1. Carlos Cerecedo

      My Gatuchi is totally blind..but he sleeps with us ….finds us …..shows lots of affection..and he roams inside and closed outside perfectly aloof….he is amazing and very affectionate….

  15. I didn’t realize that my Gracie’s licking and chewing my hair is an act of affection. I thought she did it just to be annoying! She’ll also just lick me in general, like a dog. “Making biscuits” is what Jackson calls “smurgling.” The only place Gracie does it is in her bed.

  16. You missed something. Headbutts. One of my five ferals often headbutts me because he loves me so much. They all come to me frequently for attention with purrs. The only one that is kind of still a bit standoffish is Tabby. Although he has been with us for more than 1-1/2 years, he still tends to be rather skittish with me, and wants things more on HIS terms. He tends to purr very silently, and he started to meow at me a few months ago, rather than just squeek. Often, in the morning or in the evening, he comes into the office and rubs against me leg to let me know he’s there and open to some attention.

  17. My cat loves to lay next to me while exercise. She purrs until I pet her and then she roles on her side so that I can pet her belly. On occasion, she will stick her paws straight up in the air and knead with her toes off the ground. Fun to watch…

  18. My fur babies are always behind me and when it’s bed time for me I say, “ok boys, mum is going night night”. And they come and hop into bed. I love my babies so much, I fear losing them. Mum Loves you Max & Bo ❤❤

  19. My furbaby Flopsie (because that’s exactly how she greets me) was/is kinda feral. Don’t know her backstory except she was isolated from all the other cats. While she’s never going to be a lovebug or Velcro cat in her way she does accept affection BUT ONLY on her terms and for this I am ever so grateful. . . .

    1. :) it warms my heart to hear all these stories. I’m thankful there are people like you all that are there for cats of all backgrounds. To win the love of a cat takes time, but when you do it is worth it.

    1. I adopted my cat as an eight week old kitten, and from day one this cat has been very affectionate towards me. He licks my nose, butt heads, lays on my chest and looks forward to me rubbing his belly. But once I leave the bedroom the cat acts like he is afraid of me, I can not get close to him. What is going on with him.
      Jessica

  20. Pingback: Does Your Cat Love You? – Info Body

  21. Pingback: Does Your Cat Love You? | PetTraining.org

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