Cats: Affectionate Lovebugs Or Aloof Loners
Sure, cats have a bad reputation as being aloof and less affectionate than dogs, but that doesnt mean they dont love their owners. Cats can be just as affectionate and loving toward their owners as their canine counterparts, but it can be more difficult for humans to read their feline friends feelings. Cats may sometimes act like they dont care, but if you pay attention, your cat is likely sending you many signals that you are their favorite human.
Your cat is always watching you, even when you don’t know they are there.
Head Butting And Rubbing
Known as bunting, when a cat butts or rubs her head against you, it is a gesture of pure affection. If she rubs the top of her head and cheeks on you, shes saying, Hey, I like you and you are part of my crew, Hovav says.
Cats who rub their human companions this way are also leaving behind feline pheromones from the scent glands in their faces. Cats commonly do this with feline buddies in a display of affection and a scent exchange. While we cant smell these, rest assured they are happy smells for your kitty.
She Rubs Her Face On You
Its true that, for most animals, a headbutt is anything but a sign of affection. But for cats, its actually a loving gesture! You may have seen cats bump someone with their headssometimes gently, sometimes not so gently!and then continue to rub their faces on the person, usually on their legs or feet. This is how cats mark things with their unique scent. When a cat rubs their face on or headbutts their humans leg or face, they are actually marking with the scent glands located along the side of their face and top of their head, says Jodi Ziskin, a healthy pet coach and;Director of Communications for Treatibles. Intermingling scents is a sign of love, acceptance, and ownershipcats only own people they trust. Though headbutting surprisingly isnt one, watch out for these other signs your kitty is mad at you.
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Does Your Cat Love You 11 Ways To Tell
We all love our catsand we want them to love us back. But as anyone with a cat will tell you, felines can be fickle with their affection. One moment they may be eagerly soaking up your attention. The next, theyre stalking away or even swatting at you.
Compared to dogs, cats are more subtle in the way they express emotions, says Dr. Marci L. Koski, a certified feline behavior and training consultant who runs Feline Behavior Solutions. But that doesnt mean that they dont have the capability of loving humans and having close connections with them.
So how do you know your cat loves you? As pet parents, its our job to learn the subtleand sometimes surprisingways that cats show us their affection. Understand these signs of cat love, and youll no longer be left wondering does my cat love me, or just see me as his can opener?;;
The 10 Incredible Ways Your Cat Shows You Love
By Phil Mutz, writer at LittleThings.com
Even though my cat can’t speak aloud, she is constantly trying to find ways to communicate with me.
Whether my cat is “meowing” because she’s hungry, or pawing at my legs because she wants attention, she finds ways to let me know exactly what she is thinking.
While I can’t read her mind, I know that she is also constantly finding new ways to tell me she loves me. And just as there are specific behaviors through which a dog communicates love, there are specific, unique ways that our cats are saying “I love you.”
This exclusive list of behaviors delves into the incredible ways that our cats attempt to communicate their love for us.
And while I knew a few of these already, most of them were quite surprising. In fact, I was shocked by just how often my cat has been trying to show me how much she loves me!
Which of these signs has your cat been displaying to let you know that they love you as much as you love them? Let us know in the comments!
1. Kneading Your Legs
Kneading is when your cat uses their paws to push in and out against a soft surface, such as your lap. This is one of the main ways your cat tries to say “I love you.”
According to PetMD, “If your cat is curled up and kneading your lap while you’re petting him, he’s returning the affection and telling you he loves you right back. Unfortunately, this can be quite painful, since the happier he is, the harder he’ll dig in with his sharp nails.”
2. Bringing You a Present
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What Does This All Mean
The attachment style research and oxytocin findings strongly suggest that;cats are attached to humans and feel the same hormonal response that humans and other animals feel during positive interactions!
Can we call this love?
Well, thats where things get tricky.
As Ive already mentioned, its hard for two humans to agree on what love is! But its fair to say that cats experience pleasant feelings and a close bond with their human companions and thats good enough for me!
Your Cat Licks Your Hair Or Ears
You probably know that some animals groom each other as displays of care and affection, and cats are no different.
Grooming behaviors such as licking a human’s hair or ears signals that a cat trusts that human andconsiders it a close companion, according to Care2. It’s a sign of friendship and shows that your furry friend cares about you.
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Your Cat Brings You Presents
If you’re the proud owner of an outdoor cat, you may have been on the receiving end of mice or other feline prey. I know it’s pretty gross and kind of upsetting, but your cat considers those rodent deliveries an expression of love! I Heart Cats notes that cats are natural hunters, so their prey is a true offering to you. Assuming your cat lives inside, they may bring you toys or trash in the same spirit.
Cats Release Oxytocin When Interacting With Humans
It all hinges on an important hormone called oxytocin which is often referred to as the love hormone. Oxytocin is released when humans interact with people they love, when mothers breastfeed and dozens of other positive interactions including when humans pet dogs or cats.
In other words, oxytocin levels in humans give us a way to quantify a positive experience and add some scientific backing to the idea of love.
Things get;really interesting when you learn that cats and dogs;also release oxytocin when they interact with humans which gives us a chance to measure the love that our pets feel!
That shows us that, at least from a scientific perspective, cats are feeling the love!
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It Gurgles All The Time
Though it might sound strange to people who don’t own cats, some felines make a distinctivehigh-pitched gurgling or “chatting” sounds when they’re feeling friendly and sociable, according to WebMD.
These sounds are distinct from the typical meowing sound and might be made by a chat that’s in a particularly cheerful or excited mood. If your cat is a gurgler, you’re probably keeping them in good spirits.
Can Cats Give Unconditional Love
Even when we think our cats love us, is that affection still conditional â dependent on us feeding them, providing for their basic needs, and generally caring for them?
âRegarding conditional or unconditional love, I will say that there is minimal evidence one way or the other to support this,â Tynes says.
But if one aspect of unconditional love entails putting up with harsh treatment or a loved oneâs bad habits, then cats are probably less likely to be capable of such love, explains Tynes. She compares cats to dogs, who may be more likely to display affection toward an owner, even after facing punishment.
âOn the other hand, I believe cats are very sensitive to punishment from their owners, and punishment or harsh treatment seems to be more likely to damage the bond between the human and cat,â Tynes says.
Pankratz views the question differently, however, suggesting a catâs ability to freely express love is dependent on trust between owner and pet.
âIf that trust is broken, there may not necessarily be no more love, but the ability to express that behavior may different may differ or vary with those sorts of experiences or influences,â Pankratz says.
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Felines Form Attachments To Humans
Another study from Oregon State University examined the attachment style of both kittens and adult cats. Kristyn Vitale, the study lead, explains that Its the first time that researchers have empirically demonstrated that cats display the same main attachment styles as babies and dogs.
While that might not be the exact same thing as love, the study does go to show that cats;are attached to humans despite the fact that theyre often labeled as aloof.
The study used the same approach that researchers use to test attachment styles in children. It starts with an important person or loved one entering a new room with the cat or child. That person leaves and the behavior of the cat or child is observed.
When the person is gone, securely attached cats will be less interested in exploring the room and overall a little more concerned about where the person went. How long this lasts varies by attachment style.
After some time passes, the person returns and sits down in the room. An immediate difference in the cat is usually noticed and theyre suddenly more confident and willing to explore the entire room or interact with toys in the case of kids.
This shows that felines;are attached to their humans and while it might not be love in the exact way that humans think of it, it does show the same sort of bond and attachment style thats seen in children.
And We Mean Everywhere Including The Bathroom
You could try keeping Kitty out when you go into the bathroom. Good luck with listening to their urgent calls and dealing with claw marks on your door *wink* Or you could just do what most of us do and let them inside to share the moment.
TCS member says about her cat Emmie: She follows me to the bathroom and lays on the floor between my feet.
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They Knead You With Their Paws
Kneading, or making biscuits, is an instinctive behavior that cats start as soon as theyre born. This movement is carried out on their mothers stomach and is designed to help stimulate the flow of milk. Many adult cats continue kneading well into adulthood.
Its thought to be a behavior that they carry out as a sort of self-comfort mechanism. So, if your cat snuggles up next to you and starts kneading you, it can mean theyre trying to bond and gain comfort from your presence. Cats also have scent glands on their paws, so kneading is a way of depositing pheromones and marking you as clearly theirs!
Unmistakable Signs Your Cat Loves You
Ever wonder if your cat loves you?
Like, really loves you and doesnt just think of you as a good source of food?
While your kitty may not be able to say the words, there are signs that prove cats really do get emotionally attached to their owners.
Related: 7 Signs you are a slave to your cat.
Today, were going to explore seven signs that your kitty is trying to say hey, I really do love you!
Lets check them out!
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It Blinks At You Slowly
Cat owners are probably familiar with the trance-like gaze felines can sometimes deliver. Turns out, they may actually be trying to communicate their affection.
“Slowly blinking at you is a sign of pure love, and it’s often even referred to as a ‘kitty kiss.’ When other cats are around, you may see your cat slow blinking a lot. This is to let the other cats know that everything is cool,” Hickman reports on Petful.
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One Make Sure Your Cat Has Been Socialized
Cats can love their humansbut not all cats can love the way we want them to. In order to make a great pet, it helps if a cat has become accustomed to human behavior from a young age.
Delgado cites a sensitive period in a kittens coming-of-age, between two to nine weeks, during which they become comfortable coexisting with people. Kittens that are handled by people at that time are going to be more open and trusting of people later in life, Delgado says. Dr. Sarah Nold, staff veterinarian at Trupanion, suggests that adopting a kitten up to seven weeks old for the speediest bonding.
When the sensitive period is over, a kitten can still learn to love a humanbut its a slower process. Even though cats are a domesticated species, theyre able to live independent of human care. A feral cat, for example, would never be wholly at ease with people; and likely, vice versa. Itd be like trying to tame a squirrel or raccoon. You wouldnt end up cuddling a raccoon, Delgado says.
As for homing stray cats? That’s a go, in certain situations. Some cats that live outside do get a lot of exposure to peoplethey just may have never lived in a home. They learned, through association, that people are good. They bring me food, maybe I should trust them. But it’ll be an adjustment to living indoors,” Delgado says.
Then, look out for these behaviors.
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The Cat Surprises You With A Little Present
Cats love to hunt. It is something instinctive, even though cats are domesticated animals, they will never let go of their inner hunter. So if you ever your pet surprise you with a gory prey item or hunting prize, instead of going crazy because of the blood all over the bed-sheets, pet your cat and reward the little fellow for their effort. In the feline world, this means that your cat has hunted something specially for you, you are part of the crew and the cat does care about you.
There are two main schools of thought as to why cats present gifts to you, but they both show they love you. One is that they treat you like a kitten and are trying to show you how to hunt or what sort of food to look for. The other is that cats present gifts to cats in their clowder who are high ranking and dominant in the group. This shows that they love you, that you are one of them. Whether or not you’re at the top or the bottom of the pile is maybe a little unsure.
Helping You Work And Study
When you love somebody, you want to be with them. Always and everywhere! And when theyre busy doing something you want to help out! That goes for curious cats and kittens too.
TCS member says about her cat Isabel: If Im working on a project at the table, shell often come to deposit herself in the middle of it, or just to one side.
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Kneading Or Making Biscuits
There are competing theories about why exactly cats knead. One theory holds that adult cats forever associate kneading with the comfort of nursing , so when a cat kneads near her human, it shows she is relaxed and comfortable with her family. If thats not love, what is? And when that kneading happens on your lap and is accompanied by purring and an intense, searching gaze, you know you have one content cat on your hands!
Rubbing Against Your Ankles
We mentioned head butting earlier, and now its time to list the stand up version of the same behavior. This is a common expression of love with cats that may not feel comfortable being picked up. Show love back, talk to your cat, and reach down to pet them when theyre rubbing against your ankles.
TCS member says: Sinbad comes running to me to rub around my ankles.
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Wanting To Be In Your Lap
When youre fortunate enough to have a feline snuggle up to you and take their place in your lap, that means they enjoy the closeness and feel safe in your arms. Not every cat is a lap cat, though. Dont think Kitty doesnt love you if they prefer to spend time in the same room as you!
TCS member says about her cat Sinbad: He jumps up to sit with me and snuggle when I sit down.
Try Not To Skip The Vet
OK, so your cat may not decipher an excursion to the vet as an indication of friendship, yet she will not hold it against you all things considered! And surprisingly however going to the vet is presumably not your cats #1 thing to do, it is paws down one of the most mind-blowing ways you can show you give it a second thought.
Cats are aces at concealing indications of affliction and inconvenience. Without standard visits to the vet, you could pass up on a significant opportunity to analyze and treat little medical problems before they become enormous ones. Say I love you to your cat by dealing with her wellbeing so she can partake in a long, glad existence with her number one human!
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