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Do Cats Feel Love When You Kiss Them? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

young man kissing a tabby cat in his arms

Do Cats Feel Love When You Kiss Them? Facts & FAQ

For some of us, there is no greater love than the one we share with our pets. We will do whatever is needed to keep them safe and happy, spend a lot of time and money on them, and shower them with our unconditional love. Much like our affections towards a fellow human, we are naturally compelled to express this love, often by kissing. Since cats are sometimes independent and aloof, we find ourselves questioning whether the feeling is mutual. So, the question is, do cats understand we love them when we kiss them?

Cats express love and affection in their own ways. They may not react the way that you had hoped, and that may be because they don’t kiss the way humans do. Therefore, kissing is probably not the best gesture of expressing love to your cat.

It is helpful to understand how your cat communicates, so you will know why your cat reacts a certain way when you kiss them.

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Do Cats Like Being Kissed?

Whether or not a cat likes kisses depends on the cat. There are a few signs that indicate whether your furry friend is enjoying kisses or wishing they would end. When your face is close to your cat’s, watch their body language. Hissing, pulling away, and lowering their ears are a sign that your kisses aren’t being appreciated, but if the animal pulls in close for snuggles paired with purring and licking, you’ll know that your kisses are being well received.

Cats do not enjoy being kissed on the nose since it’s a sensitive area for them. They usually don’t appreciate having our breath close to their noses and mouths, and it can be perceived as an invasion of their space.

Cats can be fickle, so try not to take rejection too personally. If your cat is showing signs that they are not enjoying your kisses, move away. Being kissed when your pet is not in the mood can be a negative experience, and you don’t want your cat to think kissing is unpleasant.

woman kissing her cat
Image Credit by: Uschi_Du, Pixabay

How Do Cats Show Affection?

Your cat’s method of expressing love is very different from other pets. However, you will be happy to know that your cat indeed loves you! It just its own way of showing it. Ways that your feline friend show affection include:

  • Headbutting: Headbutting is a sweet way your cat shows affection by leaving their scent on you.
  • Kneading: The act of kneading begins during nursing and later translates into adult life as a sign of affection. It is a clear sign that your kitty is feeling safe, loved, and secure.
  • Licking: Licking is a grooming behavior that can be a sign of affection.
  • Purring: Purring is your cat’s vocal way of showing you it loves Although they can purr when they’re unhappy, this does not occur very often.
  • Sleeping on or with loved ones: Snuggling is an affectionate act from your kitty. Your cat may nestle on top of you, where it feels safe and can show its
  • Slow eye blinks: A slow eye blink is a big “I love you” from a distance. This shows that your cat is relaxed and trusting.

What You Should Know About Kissing Your Cat

Your cat won’t always appreciate kisses and can be hot and cold in its reaction, leaving you confused. Never take it to heart, and be mindful of these guidelines when you are feeling affectionate:

  • Wait for your feline to be relaxed and calm before going in for a kiss.
  • Avoid kissing cats on the lips, as this can be perceived as an invasion of privacy. Parasites and bacteria can also be passed through the saliva, so it is also important to make sure your cat’s vaccinations are up to date.
  • Teach your child about kissing cats at a young age to prevent them from kissing and smothering a cat that won’t tolerate it. A sloppy kiss from a child could result in a bite or scratch.
  • Don’t kiss a cat that you do not know. Your cat may tolerate kissing, but all cats are different.
cat sleeping in owner's arms
Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

Alternative Ways to Show Your Cats Love

If your cat is showing signs that your kisses are not appreciated, there are a few other alternative ways you can show your cat affection:

  • Talking: Mimic your kitty’s voice, and they will consider it a display of affection and feel safe and secure.
  • Grooming and petting: Once you have discovered your kitty’s favorite spots, you can give them a gentle rub or tickle. If your cat is enjoying the attention, they will usually rub their head against you to communicate.
  • Eye contact: You can speak their language by gazing lovingly into the cat’s eyes with a slow blink.
Tips to Keep Your Cat Safe
  • If your kitty is prone to wandering or is an outside cat, make sure they have an ID tag so they can be identified and brought home safely.
  • Spaying can help prevent uterine infections and brain tumors and neutering can help prevent testicular cancer and prostate problems.
  • Annual checkups at the vet are essential to keep your cat’s health in check.
  • Check what items in the household may be toxic and keep them in a place your cat can’t get to. You can find a list of toxic plants at

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Final Thoughts

While cats can have a confusing way of showing affection, they feel our love for them when we kiss them, pet them, and talk to them. They can be distant and anti-social, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Learning what they enjoy and what they don’t enjoy is the best way to bond and form a connection with them.

Featured Image Credit: Magui RF, Shutterstock

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