10 Clear Signs Your Cat Loves You
Cats are often more independent than dogs and so reading their emotions can be harder than with a bouncy, waggy, excitable dog. But that doesn’t mean that cats aren’t experiencing an array of emotions and significant love towards their owner(s). In fact, cats are just a little harder to read – that’s all.
It’s not well known that cats have been domesticated for a much shorter period of time than dogs and they have not been selectively bred to the same extent either. It may be that dogs exhibited much more independence earlier in their relationship with humans and cats still show those signs of independence and also of roaming more freely (sometimes).
So, how do you read your cat? And how do you know what signs to look for to know if you're making your cat happy and they love you? Here are the 10 clear signs to look for to show that they love you.
This is an obvious one but cats definitely purr when they’re content. If you’re lying with your cat and they’re still and relaxed and purring a lot then you know they’re in a happy place. Did you also know that purring can mean different things too? Cats may also purr when they are hungry, but the purr sounds different and is usually accompanied by other noises like meowing. Kittens will also purr a lot and this is thought to be a reassuring signal to their mother that all is fine with them.
2. Showing you their belly – but be careful because it could be a trap!
If you see your cat sleeping with their stomach exposed, you can take it as a sign that you’ve created an environment where your cat feels really safe. You’ve probably seen your cat roll onto their back and expose their belly to you when they’re awake too. When that happens, you might wish to proceed with a little caution. The ‘tummy trap’ is a real thing and can mean that your cat will claw, scratch or gently nip you out of nervousness! Don’t take it personally though, they probably just feel vulnerable being so exposed as their vital organs are close to the surface with their stomach on show.
3. Kneading – cats will often knead with their paws.
It’s a similar action to kneading bread and cats will very rarely do this if they are not relaxed and comfortable. Cats may knead for several reasons, but many feline specialists believe there is a strong association with stimulating milk from a cat’s mother when they were a kitten. The behaviour is carried forward (and largely innate) to them from early life. It’s even possible that the harder your cat kneads on you the happier they are!
4. Sleeping on you.
When your cat sleeps on you (or even near you) they are quite possibly looking for warmth but you can be sure they are also feeling a very strong bond with you. Cats are most vulnerable when they are asleep and so they may be especially selective about the environment they choose to sleep in. If that environment includes you then your cat is definitely crazy about you. Additionally, your cat will also know that sleeping on you will leave their scent on you which is a natural way for them to mark their territory – and that should be really flattering too!
5. Tail posture.
Your cat’s tail can tell you a lot about their mood and decoding it can give you amazing insight into their feelings and emotions. A cat’s tail held high when they are relaxed is a strong indicator that your cat is feeling comfortable in their surroundings and that they are happy to see you and feeling engaged. And if the top of the tail has a tiny twitch in it then they are very happy indeed!
Your cat licking you is really strong primal behaviour and means that they see you as one of their family. Mothers clean their kittens by licking them and so this behaviour shows a very strong emotional bond to you and is a display of affection. Cats are also leaving their scent on you when they lick you and so they’re marking you as one of their own. So, getting licked by your cat is usually a huge compliment!
7. Love bites.
There are a few different theories about why cats give us little soft bites (that are usually harmless) during petting. Some people believe that it is a signal that they have had enough interaction from you and don’t wish to receive any more. Others believe that these little love bites are more closely related to ‘allogrooming’ or social grooming that cats do to one another in a family unit. So, similarly to licking you, these ‘nips’ could be a strong sign of affection towards you.
8. Brings you gifts.
As we mentioned earlier, cats have been domesticated for a relatively short period of time and still retain a lot of the instincts of wild cats because of this. Wild cats of all types are hunters and many of them also live in packs. Because of this, if one of the group kills (or just catches) some prey – it is a strong act of generosity and love to provide it to others within the pack. In this instance, that’s you! Female cats particularly have a strong instinct to educate others in their family group on how to hunt and eat. So, it might not be a welcome surprise if you’re presented with a mouse or a bird at 2 am – but you can take it as a signal of love for sure.
9. They follow you around.
Sure, your cat might be hungry and so they’ll follow you hoping for food but it’s also perfectly likely that they want your attention or just want to feel close to you. Some breeds, like Ragdolls, Bengals, Persians, or Siamese are often quite clingy with their owners but just about any cat can form a strong social bond with a human and want to follow them around. They could like being close to you or they could be curious about what you’re doing. Many cats can be particularly fond of following people into the bathroom where fun things like toilet paper rolls, dripping sinks and towels on the floor are all available to them for playing!
10. They squint their eyes at you.
This is a somewhat new finding but if cats squint at you it could be a sign of positive emotional communication with you. It can even manifest as a series of half-blinks followed by eye narrowing or eye closure too. Crazily, this can also mean something similar to cows and horses too! Try narrowing your eyes at your cat to see if they will reciprocate. If they do – it’s a surefire indication that they love you.
Each cat is different, and you may know your cat’s specific love signals. They might drool, rub against you or give you a certain meow that you know means they are content and feeling a strong bond with you. Cats can sometimes prefer that they approach you to begin with but generally over time you will form a strong connection with your kitty that works both ways.
Ultimately, if you give your cat lots of love it’s likely they’ll love you back. Getting pet insurance for your cat is also a great step in protecting them from unforeseen health situations. Generally speaking, cats are less expensive than the cost of dogs per year for their health needs and so pet insurance premiums for cats are typically less too (but it does depend on other factors as well). And if you have more than one cat, we at PHI Direct offer a 5% multi-pet discount – so you can protect all your pets while saving even more.