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How Do Cats Show Affection? 16 Signs That Your Cat LOVES You

cat standing beside owner

People love their cats. That explains why there are about 370 million pets worldwide. They have endeared themselves to people for an estimated 12,000 years. It’s not a stretch to think that we’d find mutual ways to communicate with our feline companions. Research has shown that cats can adapt their vocalizations to their owners. It only makes sense our pets would try to show their affection, too.

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1. Your Cat Licks Your Hand

cat licking a mans fingers
Image Credit: Piqsels

You don’t have to be around cats long to know that they groom not only themselves but each other, too. It’s something you may observe in many animals, including primates. The act establishes a bond. When your kitty licks your hand, it recognizes you as a part of its tribe. Just as it would do the same for another feline, it shares its attention with you.


2. Your Kitty Gives You Head-Butts

cat rubbing face on man's leg
Image Credit: AlenaBalotnik, Shutterstock

Felines can communicate affection in other ways that are unique to them. Head butts or bunting is a common way a cat lets you know that you’re loved. Sometimes, it’s just a slight bump. Other times, they will make themselves known more forcefully. It’s also an act of trust as your kitty takes its eyes off you.


3. Your Pet Rubs Up Against You

cat rubbing its body the owner
Image Credit: Piqsels

Cats like to remind their human companions that they are owned instead of the other way around. One way they often show it is by scent marking you by rubbing against you. It helps them, too, because it’s a reminder that they’re safe in your home. Often, your cat will use this behavior when something good is on the horizon—like feeding time!


4. Your Cat Sleeps with You

Cat sleeping near woman's head
Image Credit: Marina mrs_brooke, Shutterstock

Most cats are solitary. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll pass up a comfy place to sleep, often up against you in your bed. The affection your pet is showing you is evident. After all, there probably isn’t a more loving gesture than the complete trust your kitty is offering you by letting down its guard for you to keep it safe.


5. Your Pet Learns Your Habits

fluffy white cat hiccup
Image Credit: Helen Bloom, Shutterstock

Cats are intelligent animals that are well-aware of what’s going on in their world. Of course, they pick on the obvious things, such as mealtime. However, some pets take it to the next level by learning your habits. They may pick up on the unique sound of your car as you pull into the driveway. A cat may have an uncanny sense of time, knowing when you’re going to come home from work.


6. Your Kitty Knows Your Voice

savannah kitten
Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock

Communication is a vital thing for cats, both silent and audible. Felines have many vocalizations for sharing their needs and feelings. Research has also shown that our pets can learn the unique sounds of our voices. They can discern if you are talking versus that of a stranger. Then, the positive associations between you and your relationship with your pet soon follow.


7. Your Cat Communicates with You

cat owner talking to his pet
Image Credit: Piqsels

Different breeds are more vocal than others. Just ask anyone who owns a Siamese. Nevertheless, all cats vocalize to some degree, whether it’s the roar of a lion or the purr of a kitten. The chances are that you can build up a unique repertoire of sounds with your pet. That says a lot about how much your kitty loves you. If it didn’t care, it wouldn’t bother to respond to you.


8. Your Kitty Blinks at You

Cat's paw on child's face
Image Credit: Antibydni, Shutterstock

Cats use several other ways to let you know what’s going on inside of them. One incredibly endearing trait is when your pet blinks at you. It’s the feline way of giving you a kiss and showing that they love you. You’ll likely find if you blink first, your kitty will follow. Give it a try next time you’re cuddling with your cat on the sofa.


9. Your Pet Kneads You

bengal kneading blanket
Image Credit: K Lim, Shutterstock

It’s hard to deny the love of this sign. Kittens know instinctively to knead their mothers to nurse. Sometimes, older cats will do the same thing—to you! If you think about it, it’s such an affectionate way to show that your pet cares on an intimate level. Your kitty will also do it to get ready for a nap, perhaps making sure it has a comfy place to sleep.


10. Your Cat Lets You Rub Its Belly

grey shorthair cat lying
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

Many animals show their bellies as a sign of submission. They recognize that something else is bigger or stronger than they are. However, it’s also a sign of trust. Your cat is saying it knows that you won’t hurt it. If your pet lets you rub its tummy, even better.


11. It’s All in Their Tail Position

tabby cat wagging its tail
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Many animals communicate with their tail. Think about how puffed up it gets if your cat gets scared or excited during play. If your kitty holds it upright with a bit of a twist at the end, it’s another sign that your pet loves you. Contrast that gesture with it slapping it to the floor as a warning.


12. Your Kitty Purrs When You Pet It

cat lying on humans lap
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Cats purr for several reasons. Your pet may do it when it’s excited or upset. However, if your kitty is curled up in your lap as you pet it, the chances are that it’s happy and content. Its purring is a vocal way of sharing this emotion. Interestingly, purring is unique to domesticated cats and Cheetahs. Other big felines, such as lions and tigers, can do it. They roar instead because of their different anatomy.


13. Your Pet Lets You Handle Its Paws

cat nibbling on humans hand
Image Credit: Vicrain, Pixabay

Getting your cat used to having its paws handled is an essential owner task. After all, you must clip your pet’s nails sometimes. It’s also a loving sign that can communicate your mutual affection. Your kitty trusts you enough to touch some of the most vulnerable parts of its body. That’s saying a lot.


14. Your Cat Gives You Presents

cat with mouse on his mouth
Image Credit: Piqsels

It’s probably one of the hardest parts of owning a cat: trying not to offend your pet for giving you a present. While we understand that you may not associate a half a mouse with love, that’s what’s behind your kitty’s action. You give it food, treats, a clean litter box, and toys. It is your cat’s way to return the favors.


15. Your Kitty Responds to Its Name

cat meowing
Image Credit: Marvin Otto, Pixabay

Cats have a reputation of being aloof, sometimes. They may stare directly at you and ignore your command to get off the kitchen counter. However, if a kitty comes when called, that’s a sign that your pet loves you and is responsive to your voice. Research has shown they can learn their names, too. That’s why you should only use it when it’s for something positive and not a reprimand.


16. Your Cat Wants to Be Pet

orange cat touched by mans hand
Image Credit: Piqsels

We know that dogs will often push their snouts under your hand to get pet. They don’t have that response cornered. Cats can do it too. However, they are often more subtle. A kitty wanting attention may paw at your hand gently, claws retracted. We think it’s one of the cutest and sweetest ways that your pet shows you that it loves you.

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Final Thoughts

Some people may think that cats can’t show affection. However, our list proves that felines have many ways to make sure you know that they love you. After all, living together for thousands of years has taught both of us something. Mutual signs of endearment are vital to our relationship. It’s not just about feeding them or cleaning their litterbox. It’s about showing genuine feelings that forge our bonds.


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels