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Can Cats Fall in Love? Signs & Emotions Explained

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

cat rubbing its head against the owner's legs

Cats are usually independent animals that march to the beat of their own drum. Some can be aloof, but not all cats are reclusive and keep to themselves. In fact, some cats downright adore their owners and other companions in the household. On the other end of the spectrum, some cat owners wonder if their cats love them back at least half as much as they love them.

Some cats are extremely affectionate, but can cats fall in love? Can they fall in love with you? Cats can certainly feel love for you and other companions, but not in the romantic sense. To fully answer this question, we must first define the word “love.” What is love for a cat? Read on to learn more!

Do Cats Fall in Love?

Cats can feel love toward their owners, but not in the same way humans fall in love with one another. They can, however, feel a strong bond with you or another companion. So, how do you know your cat loves you?

Body language is an excellent indicator of how your cat feels toward you. If you come home and your cat head-butts you on the leg, that’s a sign of affection. Your cat is saying, “I’m so glad you’re home! I love you.” Head butting is also a way for your cat to “mark” you as its own by leaving its scent on you. Now you know the next time your cat head butts you; you should feel privileged because it shows your cat loves you!

Cat rubbing against owner's legs
Image Credit: Evan Abram McGinnis, Shutterstock

What are Other Ways a Cat Shows Love? 

Cats have numerous ways of how they show affection toward you or a companion. Let’s check them out.

Eye Contact

Eye contact is usually ill-advised with some species because it can be misinterpreted as showing aggression. Cats, on the other hand, only stare into the eyes of people they love and trust, followed by slow blinks. If your cat slowly blinks at you, slowly blink back to show you love your cat right back.

Grooming and Kneading

Cat owners know that cats love to groom themselves, but when they groom you, it means they love you and have accepted you as a suitable being to live in their presence. Licking you means they trust you, as does letting you brush them.

Kneading is something that carries over from kittenhood, as kittens knead while they are nursing. A cat that kneads is showing contentment, and your cat may knead you while you pet or stroke him.

cat licking the face of bearded man
Image Credit: Caterina Trimarchi, Shutterstock


Cats do not meow to other cats—cats only meow to humans as a form of communication.1 Your cat may meow when you walk through the door or when they simply want your attention.


Every cat owner loves to hear that distinctive little motor-like sound. Purring signifies that a cat is content and happy and can accompany a petting session. However, not all purring sounds are a sign of contentment—it can also be a sign of nervousness or stress; watch for body language, such as tail swooshing, flat ears, a bowed head, or hiding.

Belly Flops

When cats roll over and show their bellies, it means they trust you. This form of body language shows they are extremely relaxed and happy as a lark. Although, make no mistake—this does not necessarily mean your cat wants you to rub its belly. A cat showing his belly means he feels comfortable enough with you to display one of the most vulnerable parts of the body.

closeup of ginger cat lying on couch and stretching itself
Image Credit: asadykov, Shutterstock

Following You Around

Is your cat your shadow around the house? If so, your cat loves and trusts you. Your cat may also weave in and out of your legs or even follow you around outdoors if you have an outdoor cat.

Greet You at the Door

Most dogs greet their owners at the door, but cats do not display their affection in the same way. However, that’s not to say your cat will not greet you at the door. When your cat greets you, it means he’s happy to see you. Purrs and walking in between your legs usually accompany this behavior, but this can also mean he needs food, fresh water, or a clean litter box. If your cat greets you, check these things to ensure your cat has everything he needs.

Tips for Keeping Your Cat Healthy, Happy, and Safe

 Keeping your cat healthy, happy, and safe plays a vital role in cat ownership. Ensure you take your cat for yearly checkups, feed high-quality cat food, keep fresh water around at all times, keep litter boxes clean daily, and ensure you provide plenty of toys for physical and mental stimulation. Playing with your cat is an excellent way to bond with your kitty, and your cat will love you for it!   

Cats love to hang out by windows or on windowsills. Pick a window designated just for your cat and ensure no blind cords are dangling nearby or any other hazards. Also, ensure your cat cannot fall out of the window by keeping window screens secure.


Cats can absolutely fall in love, but not in the same way humans do. A cat’s love is not romantic; instead, cats show love by bonding and showing they trust you. Cats are much different from dogs when it comes to showing affection, but now, you know the signs that your cat loves you. Even if your cat is sometimes reclusive, it doesn’t mean your cat doesn’t love you.

Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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