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7 Ways Your Cat Says “I Love You”

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

cat cuddling humans legs

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty. Human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” -Ernest Hemingway

When we talk about how our pets show affection, cat owners sometimes fall silent. While dogs tend to wear their heart on their sleeve (or rather, fur) with exuberant displays of affection, cats can be a little more subtle with their feelings. But that doesn’t mean your cat doesn’t love you. Sure, our feline friends are often cool and aloof, and sometimes they might look at us like they’re plotting our demise, but under that tough exterior, there really is a lot of affection. You just have to know how to look for it.

In fact, some of the messages behind your cat’s behavior might surprise you. Has your cat ever head butted you, or nipped at you? Believe it or not, your cat isn’t out to hurt you- these are just a few of many behaviors cats use to communicate affection. So, what is your cat trying to tell you? Keep reading to uncover the many ways your cat is trying to say “I love you.”

7 ways your cat says “I love you”

  1. Kneading

If your cat is using its paws to gently knead you during your snuggle session, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’ve earned their affection. This act is an instinctual behavior from their kitten days when they would nurse. Kneading means that your cat is feeling safe and comfortable.

  1. Grooming

Don’t be offended if your cat starts grooming you- they aren’t trying to drop a hint about your hygiene. Instead, you should take it as a sign of their love for you. Your cat is grooming you to share its scent, and mark you as part of its family.

  1. Bringing you gifts

Although it’s unlikely you’ll ever get a socially-acceptable gift from your cat like a nice bottle of wine or a gift card to your favorite coffee shop, you should feel loved when your cat brings you a “gift.” Try not to react with too much disgust as you dispose of whatever “trophy” your cat brings you.

  1. Head butting

No, this isn’t your cat’s attempt to incapacitate you to regain control over the couch and the good throw pillows. This is just another way they claim their owner. Cats have scent glands in their cheeks and on their heads, so when they rub these areas against you, they’re sharing their scent and marking you as their own.

  1. Slow blinks

Eye contact generally signals confrontation in the feline world, so it is often avoided. However, if your cat looks you in the eyes and blinks slowly, it’s a signal that they love and trust you. If your cat does this, you can bet he or she is feeling calm and serene.

  1. Tail position

Have you ever noticed your cat walking toward you with their tail held high and slightly curved at the tip? They likely were purring and rubbed their heads and cheeks against you when they reached you. This tail position indicates friendliness, familiarity, and affection.

  1. Nipping

As Nazareth famously put it, “love hurts.” This sign of affection is probably the most painful one your cat will show you, but it’s a sign of affection nonetheless. Nipping will typically occur when your cat is grooming you and gets a little carried away. Although it can be painful (or surprising, at very least), love bites don’t typically break the skin or draw blood, and shouldn’t be confused with petting-induced aggression.

Does your cat do any of these things? How does your cat show you affection? Share with us on our Facebook page, we’d love to hear from you!

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