Jennifer Wilber is a life-long animal lover. She currently has two black cats, and has had many dogs and small pets throughout her life.
Cats: Affectionate Lovebugs or Aloof Loners?
Sure, cats have a bad reputation as being aloof and less affectionate than dogs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t 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 friend’s feelings. Cats may sometimes act like they don’t care, but if you pay attention, your cat is likely sending you many signals that you are their favorite human.
1. She Always Just Happens to Be in the Same Room as You
Perhaps your feline friend doesn’t enjoy cuddling with you on the couch as much as a dog might. Maybe they don’t seem as excited about belly rubs and head pats as you would like. Cats can be particular about the amount of physical affection they can tolerate, but you have likely noticed that your cat frequently just happens to be hanging out in the same room you are in, watching you from afar. If you get up to go to a different room, don’t be surprised if your kitty friend is close behind.
Cats tend to prefer to be near their favorite people. Cats might be independent creatures by nature, but they still want to spend time with you. If your cat loves you, she will love being near you, even if she doesn’t want you to be too close all the time.
2. She Gives You Kitty Kisses (The “Slow Blink”)
The slow blink is one sign of kitty affection that is often missed by humans if you don’t know what to watch for. If you notice your cat staring at you, slowly closing and opening her eyes, she is trying to tell you that she trusts you and cares about you. Cats only exhibit this behavior around people and cats they trust. Cat experts affectionately refer to this slow blinking behavior as a “kitty kiss.”
Next time you see your cat slow blinking at you, try mimicking her slow blinks to return her kitty kisses! What better way to tell your beloved pet that you love her than in her own language?
3. She Gives You Love Bites
Some cats express their affection through love bites. You can tell the difference between a love bite and an aggressive bite by how hard she bites you. If it hurts, you better watch out. A light, playful bite that merely tickles is one way your cat lets you know she loves you.
If your cat likes to nibble on your toes or arm, she wants to play with you. You are likely one of her favorite humans!
4. She Shows You Her Fluffy Tummy
Cats don’t expose their tummies to just anyone! If your cat is laying or rolling on the floor with her tummy up, she is vulnerable. She will only get into this position when she feels safe and trusts you. Cats show their tummy when they feel protected and loved.
She may also be trying to entice you to play. Cats know that no human can resist petting a fluffy kitty belly. Be careful if you try to pet her tummy, however, as it is likely to be a trap!
5. She Headbutts You
A headbutt is another way in which cats can tell you that they love you. When a cat headbutts or rubs her head against you, she is depositing pheromones from special glands on her face onto you. Cats do this to mark their own property. If your cat makes a habit out of headbutting you, they mean to let other cats know that you are their special human.
Some cats may butt their head against you forcefully, whereas others prefer to simply nuzzle up against their favorite humans. Whichever way your cat rubs their scent onto you, you should feel privileged that she chose you as her human.
6. She Meows at You
Cats rarely meow at other cats, with the exception of kittens meowing to their mothers. Adult cats generally only meow to get the attention of humans. Since cats first began living with humans, they have learned that vocalizations are the best way to communicate with us, a species that just won’t stop talking. A cat’s meow is their closest approximation of communicating in a way that humans can understand.
Cats meow at humans to get our attention, ask for food, or to simply to say “hello.” When you meow back and forth with your cat, you can think of it as sort of a cat/human pidgin language. Your cat is trying to speak your human language, and you, in turn, are giving your best attempt at speaking their cat language.
Some people also theorize that cats purposely meow the way they do to imitate human babies in order to get humans to want to care for them. Cats care about their favorite humans, and they want to make sure their humans care about them in return!
7. She Brings You Gifts
Your cat may also show her appreciation for all you do for her by bringing you gifts. While you may not appreciate a dead mouse or bird in your bed at seven in the morning, your cat is only thinking of you when she selects such presents. Cats are natural hunters, and she only wants to share with you, her best friend, the spoils of her latest hunting trip.
Your cat has probably noticed that you don’t seem to bring home your own kills too often, so she is only trying to make sure you are well fed when she shares hers. You open a can to give her food every day. She only wants to return the favor.
8. She Makes Biscuits on You
When cats are especially content, they exhibit a behavior called kneading, or “making biscuits.” This is when cats push their paws in and out on a soft surface, pulling lightly with their claws, in an alternating left/right pattern. This is likely a left-over behavior from kittenhood, when kittens use this motion to stimulate milk flow from their mother cat. Cats likely do this in the presence of their favorite humans because they see their humans as their parents.
Another theory of why cats “make biscuits” is that this is simply another way for cats to leave their scent on their favorite things and people to claim them as their own. Either way, if your cat kneads on you, it means they really need you!
9. You Get Her Purr Motor Running
Cats purr when they are happy and feel safe and content. If your cat purrs every time you pet or play with her, it means she feels very comfortable around you and is happy you are there. The louder your cat purrs in your presence, the happier she is to be around you.
If your cat is purring loudly, she feels relaxed, safe, and happy. If your cat really loves you, you may notice her purrs becoming more intense when you pet her.
10. She Grooms You
If your cat licks your hair or ears, she considers you part of her family. Cats that are close to one another often groom each other. This builds friendship and trust amongst a group of cats, as well as establishes a group scent amongst the members of the group.
Cats don’t groom members of other species, including humans, often, so if your cat tries to groom you, you know she considers you part of her close family.
11. She Naps With You
Cats are very particular about where they sleep. In the wild, cats are extremely vulnerable while asleep, so they don’t choose their napping places lightly. Cats are very careful to conceal themselves from possible threats before they doze off.
If your cat chooses to nap near you, or even on your lap, know that you mean something special to her. If she feels safe enough with you to fall asleep near you, she really trusts you.
12. Her Tail Twitches When She Sees You
You can tell a lot about a cat’s mood by their tail. When cats are particularly happy, they will hold their tail up high with the tip of their tail twitching slightly. Just make sure they aren’t swishing their tail back and forth quickly, which indicates agitation rather than contentment.
If your cat approaches you with her tail held high, twitching the end ever so slightly, she is happy to see you. Cats are happiest when they are near their favorite people.
Decoding Your Cat’s Language
Though many people claim that cats aren’t as affectionate as dogs, this just isn’t true. Cats are very affectionate and loving pets. While it can be a bit difficult for humans to read cat’s emotions, if you know what to look for, it is easy to see that your cat loves you just as much as you love her. Though cats are more subtle about revealing their feelings than dogs, they still feel affection for their favorite humans.
Questions & Answers
Question: What does it mean when my cat meows at me constantly but stops once I pick him up, and when I pick him up he purrs loudly?
Answer: This means that your cat has successfully trained you to pick him up whenever he wants.
Question: What does it mean that my cat likes walking up and down me when I am lying down?
Answer: This behavior likely indicates that your cat loves you and wants to be close to you.
Question: Why does my cat at times go into my plant pot and scratch out the dirt? sometimes she pees in it other times she's poos in it. Is that her way of saying she needs attention?
Answer: Cats have a natural instinct to bury their waste. Perhaps she finds the dirt in your potted plant preferable to her litter box for some reason. If you don't clean her litter box regularly, perhaps try scooping it more often. Just like humans don't like using dirty restrooms, cats don't like using dirty litter boxes, and will look for somewhere else to relieve themselves. If the condition of the litter box isn't the problem, perhaps she just doesn't like the type of litter you are using in her litter box. Try a different type of litter to see if she likes it better.
Question: Why has my cat stopped sleeping with me? He now just lays next to the bed. He has also become lethargic. He is fourteen, and it happened suddenly. Is he dying?
Answer: Take your cat to the vet ASAP to find out if there is something medically wrong with him. A change in behavior like this could indicate a medical problem, or it could just mean he changed his mind about where he wants to sleep. Since you say he is acting lethargic and is displaying a change in his normal behavior, it is important to take him to the vet right away. The sooner he sees a vet, the more likely they will be able to do something for him.
Question: What does it mean if the cat just sits and stares at you?
Answer: Cats often stare at the people they like, so if your cat is often sitting in the same room as you and staring at you, it probably means they really like you.
Question: Why does my cat bite me hard when I use the bathroom or enter the shower?
Answer: Cats often bite to show affection. If your cat is biting too hard, you can get them to stop by pulling your hand away and ignoring them every time they bite you, or hissing at them (like a cat) when they bite. Though it might feel silly, hissing at them is particularly effective because you are speaking their language.
© 2018 Jennifer Wilber
animal lover on July 24, 2020:
Why does my cat, Precious, get on my notebook or computer when I'm working in the garage? (She's only allowed in the garage) Also why does she bite my pencils? And why only the part with the led sticking out? And also, why did she just jump on the chair I'm sitting in??
firstname.lastname@example.org on June 23, 2020:
Love this information. I love cats and dogs.
Stephenmillington@gmail.com on June 18, 2020:
I am loving these
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on March 06, 2020:
Jennifer . . .a very good item. Well-written. Professional in fact. Loved the topic, and yes, I am biased due to the fact that I LOVE CATS. Nothing against dogs, and I am an animal lover because The Creator
made such a beautiful array of birds, fish, and wooded creatures. This hub was so in-depth that everyone who is in the market to get a cat needs to read this work.
I am serious.
Margaret on December 18, 2019:
cat keep chewing on my spider plant why does my cat keep chewing on my spider plant
Lynsey on November 04, 2019:
My kitten loves me she is so soft and loves me to hold her and sleeps on me she purrs every time she is petted too even let's me stroke her belly
Jennifer Wilber (author) from Cleveland, Ohio on October 06, 2018:
He probably just want attention or wants to play. Kittens have lots of energy and are usually awake when humans want to sleep. Consider getting him a friend to keep him company while you are sleeping or away.
Amy on October 06, 2018:
Hi just got kitten i had him for a week now and i dont know why his not letting me sleep
Jennifer Wilber (author) from Cleveland, Ohio on September 23, 2018:
I hope you find your Tutu. You could put her litter box and/or a blanket that she sleeps on outside on your porch to help her find her way home. She will smell her familiar scent and will likely come home. Also, post on a local missing pets Facebook group if one exists for your area, and on the NextDoor app, in addition to putting up posters, so that your neighbors will know to keep an eye out for her.
SONIA SOGSWITCH on September 22, 2018:
My TUTU really loves me. she sleeps on top of me every night, and does all of the cat lovey things that are mentioned, she suckles any soft garment that I am wearing. She is 3 years old now and still looks and acts like a kitten. ALAS, she is missing just now.
Jennifer Wilber (author) from Cleveland, Ohio on July 09, 2018:
I’m so sorry about your kitten, Janisa.
Janisa from Earth on July 09, 2018:
My Argentinian kitten really loved me... I was so sad when she got killed :(
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 21, 2018:
Our Peaches definitely loves me given all of the things that she regularly does according to what you have written. She definitely shows her affection and trust.