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8 Unmistakable Ways Your Cat Says ‘I Love You’

Head bonks, purring and kneading are just a few ways your cats tells you you’re loved.

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A gentle nuzzle is one way cats show their love of their owners. Via Gatto Mimmo/Flickr
Rita Reimers

Many myths exist about cats and their ability to bond with people. It has been a long-held belief that cats only see us as their servants and not as real companions. As a cat mommy to many cats, and cat caretaker to thousands more, I can tell you with unwavering certainty that nothing could be further from the truth. Cats love unconditionally and with loyalty; they just have their own way of showing it.

If you’ve ever wondered if your cat really does love you, here are 8 ways your cat says “I love you” every single day. I am sure your cat exhibits some, if not all, of these loving behaviors.

1. Purrs and Meows
Is your cat purring so loudly that you think a tanker truck has pulled up in front of your house? Or is she meowing at you incessantly from another room, beckoning you to come and play? Oh yes, it’s unmistakable then. Your cat loves you. Purring is the highest sign of feline love and contentment. Coupled with meows, which is a sound reserved only for a cat’s special human, your cat is saying she loves you. My cat Sweet Pea will stand in the kitchen and meow until I come over to see what all the fuss is about. It’s her way to get me alone so she can have my undivided attention.

2. Follows You Everywhere
If your cat is constantly following you around, getting in your way, preventing you from getting anything done, then you have a cat who loves you. Cats want to be close to their humans and also want to be their focal point. For example, my cat Abby gets very jealous anytime I talk on the phone. She will sit beside me and paw at my arm until I pay attention to her. All my cats like to follow me from room to room as I do chores around the house, sometimes tripping me along the way to make sure I pay them some attention. And forget about going into the bathroom alone; I am not allowed to close the bathroom door unless I want them to rattle it off the hinges!

3. Belly Up
A sign of trust, love and contentment is when your cat rolls around at your feet and exposes her belly, or when she falls asleep belly-side-up in the middle of the room. Only a happy and trusting cat will show you her most vulnerable side. But remember, showing the belly does not mean it is an open invitation to pet the belly. Not every cat likes to be touched there, no matter how much they love you! A client cat of mine, TJ, has come to trust and love me. He will often show me his tummy, but I have learned the hard way not to scratch him there.

Belly rubs feel so good! Via Takashi Hososhima/Flickr

Belly rubs feel so good! Via Takashi Hososhima/Flickr

4. Kitty Presents
One of the most loving gestures a cat does is to bring her owner presents, which for an outdoor cat would mean bringing home her prey. Our wonderful indoor cats will, thankfully, bring you their toys instead. My foster kitten, Sonny, brings me his little pink mouse every morning. We play a little game of fetch; I toss it and he brings it back to me several times before I get breakfast ready. Perhaps one of the most touching things I’ve seen recently was when my cat Trouble passed away. The next morning, some of my cats piled up toys outside of the kitty cubby where Trouble used to sleep. That is true feline love.

5. Head Bonks
The head bonk is a sure sign your cat loves and accepts you as one of her own. Cats do this with one another too, as a sign of friendship. When I added a new young male cat, Colby, to my household recently, I knew he was going to be accepted when alpha cat BooBoo gave him a loving but firm bonk with his forehead. My Cupcake cat bonks my leg with her head incessantly while I am getting her food ready. Especially when accompanied by “elevator butt” (when a cat raises her rear end high into the air), a head bonk is a sure sign of loving affection.

A head bonk is a sure-fire sign you're cool with the cat.  Via Giphy

A head bonk is a sure-fire sign you’re cool with the cat. Via Giphy

6. Love Nips and Making Biscuits
I am not talking about full bites, but those gentle little nips a cat gives you while you are petting her are signs of total love and devotion. They are usually accompanied by half-closed eyes and deep purring. Some cats can get a little overly exuberant about them, but teach them to keep it gentle by saying “ow” and pulling away if the bite gets too intense. Gentle little nips are a high honor, and you are very special to your cat if you receive them. If you also get some kneading action along with the love bites, affectionately referred to as “making biscuits,” then you really are the cat’s meow!

7. Your Lap Is A Cat Bed
Do you watch television with a cat snoozing on your lap? Do you usually have a purry companion in bed with you at night? If your cat likes to sleep on or next to you, then you are a most beloved cat owner. My tiny 3-pound foster kitten, Smoochie, runs to sleep on my chest or in my lap the moment I sit down. And my big 16-pound cat, Lovey, isn’t happy unless he’s snoozing on my hip. I always have a few furry companions in bed with me all night. In fact, the first face I see in the morning is usually that of my BooBoo kitty.

“This is the perfect place to sleep.” Via Serena/Flickr

“This is the perfect place to sleep.” Via Serena/Flickr

8. Slow Eye Blink
In even the most shy of cats, the slow eye blink is a sure sign acceptance and love. My semi-feral cat, Brownie, has been with me since she was 8 weeks old, yet she retains much of her reclusive feral quality. Although she is very shy, she does return my slow blinks to let me know she appreciates and loves me. Look at your cat and blink your eyes deliberately and slowly while talking to her. If after a few moments she returns the slow blink, you have indeed made a love connection.

 It's all in the eyes. Via Giphy

It’s all in the eyes. Via Giphy

Your cat’s love may manifest itself in unique and special ways, but her love for you runs just as deep as your love for her. Now that you know the signs, you’ll be able to understand her cat love language and deepen the bond with your cat even more.

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Article Categories:
Behavior and Training · Cats

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