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Can Cats Feel Love? Vet Reviewed Facts & Considerations

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

woman lying beside brown cat

Can Cats Feel Love? Vet Reviewed Facts & Considerations


Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo


Dr. Chyrle Bonk


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Very few cat owners around the planet would dare utter the possibility that their cat can’t feel love. After all, what are all of the head bunts and purrs all about if your cats can’t feel that you love them and that they don’t love you back?

If you’re wondering from a scientific standpoint if cats can feel love, we’re going to go over everything that we know about cats and affection—but we’re pretty confident that if you’ve encountered an awesome cat, you already know that cats can indeed feel love.

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Cats Can Feel Love

Unfortunately, very little is known scientifically about the way that cats operate on the inside. It’s interesting that despite the closeness between us and our kitty companions, there’s still so much that’s unknown.

However, we as observers can clearly see that our cats do feel love to some capacity, even if it’s not the same way that we typically experience it. Here is what we know for sure and how we can use this information to determine if cats can feel love:

  • Cats are fabulous mothers: You can’t beat a mother cat when it comes to the love they show their kittens. They are always transporting, moving, rescuing, and carrying their kittens around. They keep track of them, groom them, and look after them so well!
  • Cats enjoy the companionship of owners: It’s clear that our cats love us and want to be around us—and it’s not always just because we fill the food bowl! Cats often go out of their way to give owners love and attention.
  • Cats show affection toward other animals: Some cats bond quite well with other animals—and not just cats! You can find tons of videos online alone proving this point. Cats love cuddling, grooming, and napping with just about any fuzzy same-size-or-bigger companions—but not so much prey animals, obviously!
Image Credit: Wanwajee Weeraphukdee, Shutterstock

Cat Personality: The Five Types

According to behavior professionals, cats have five different personality types. These personality types can greatly impact the way that our cats interact with us and the way that they display affection.

  • Skittishness
  • Extroversion
  • Dominance
  • Impulsiveness
  • Friendliness

Each of these personality types shows that cats will respond differently to stimuli in their environment depending on their overall character.


Signs of Affection in Cats

Every cat responds to humans a little differently. They all seem to have their own special love language. Here are some of the ways that cats show pleasure and affection amongst each other and towards humans.


Purring is usually a direct sign that a cat is happy. They often purr when they are comfortable and content with their surroundings, so you must be doing something right! Kitties use purring when they are feeling the highest forms of pleasure, so that has to count for something!

Did you know that a cat’s purr is not only a sign of affection but also that of healing? The cat’s purr resonates between 25 and 50 Hertz. This frequency range has been shown to aid in the healing of broken bones and wounds, and repair tendons and joints.

Happy Cat
Image Credit: islam zarat, Shutterstock

Following You Around

A lovable cat absolutely thrives on being under the foot of the people they adore. If a cat is following you around and demanding attention or being nosy, this is a sign that they probably love you.

They might not be feeling active love at that moment, but they know they are safe and comfortable with you, and love being around you! Cats are also curious little critters that want to know exactly what is going on with their family at all times.


Bunting is an adorable little bump that says, “you’re mine.” While they are rubbing themselves on you for pleasure, they’re also using the scent glands on their chin, head, and paws to imprint their personal perfume onto you.

That way, every other cat around knows that you belong to them! After all, we all know that we are really the ones that are owned by our cats and not the other way around.

calico cat bunting on woman's head
Image Credit: Kristi Blokhin, Shutterstock


Our lovable little cats can be quite bossy from time to time. They always strut their stuff, claiming to know everything that’s going on without caring much about anyone else’s opinion. We are exaggerating, but they really can be furry creatures with only-child syndrome.

The way that they scream and squeal for your attention is a surefire way that they trust that their needs will be met with you. This kind of bond secures a sense of safety and love!

Exposure of Their Belly

Cats are predatory creatures who also know all too well the position of prey. They certainly don’t want to be on that side of it! Most vital organs lie in the abdomen, so for a cat to show anyone their belly is a sign of vulnerability and trust.

So, if your cat rolls over and exposes their belly to you, just know that this is a very vulnerable state for them and a solid indication that they must care about you and trust you a lot. Granted, some cats are a little more free with their body than others.

You might have a cat that just loves winning over the neighbors by flopping down in front of them and rolling around like a real show-off! But cats are generally extremely selective about who they engage with in that way.

grey cat lying on the floor belly up
Image Credit: FotoMirta, Shutterstock


Just like people, some cats give gifts as a form of affection. They might see that you haven’t had your fair share of field mice lately so they leave you one on your stoop. After all, you’re just a dumb human that can’t even feed yourself.

What better way for your cat to show you affection than to give you something to stuff in your gullet? This might not be your idea of a good time, but your cat certainly seems to think you could benefit from it.

No matter how disgusting you might think it is, you have to admit it’s sweet, so acknowledge the gesture, and move on about your day.


Cats need to be extremely relaxed when it’s time for them to go to sleep. They need to make sure that their surroundings are free of any danger. If your cat is sleeping beside or on you, you can assure yourself that they know they are completely safe with their human counterpart.

Safety is a surefire way to know that they are experiencing some form of affection or love towards you as a consequence.

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What Can Influence Cat Behavior?

Lots of different factors can influence cats’ behavior and the way that they bond with you. Some of them will be a little more aloof or standoffish than others and some will not leave you alone, no matter what you do.

Personality plays the biggest role in all of this, as some cats are naturally prone to being more outward than others. Personality is formed by both genetics and a cat’s environment, including past and present experiences. So, if a cat is a little more standoffish, it could be that they’ve had not so positive previous experiences or it could be ingrained in their DNA.

Cute calico cat looking at to the front
Image Credit: Mirahybrid, Shutterstock

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Now you understand that cats are very capable of feeling love. It’s likely that they feel the same love and affection for you that you do for them, although they may have different ways of showing it. Cats can also show affection for other animals, including their young ones.

Remember, cats aren’t less loving than dogs, they are just more independent so they seem to show it less! Learning how all our pets are unique and different is so interesting.

Featured Image Credit: Oleg Ivanov, Unsplash

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