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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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