A young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kitten
Barks & Mewsings

The Trupanion blog

9 Signs Your Cat Loves You

By: Brianna Gunter

An Abyssinian kitten gets playful on a white bed

There’s a common stereotype that while dogs are loving and loyal, cats are aloof and harbor no warm feelings towards humans. But as many cat owners are well aware, stereotypes are often more grounded in myth and misunderstanding than actual reality. Research shows that cats really do love their humans, and they can show it in a variety of ways.

Does my cat love me or what I do for him?

As your kitty’s provider of food, shelter, and cuddles, it’s reasonable to be a bit skeptical about his feelings towards you. After all, your fellow pet owners are skeptical as well—“does my cat love me?” is searched between 3,000 and 4,000 times on Google every month (according to Moz data), followed by terms like “signs my cat loves me” and even “does my cat love me or food?”

Cat parents: it’s time to stop being so insecure. A 2019 study published in Current Biology found that cats form attachment bonds to their human caretakers in very much the same way that dogs and human children do. After observing key secure attachment behaviors in over 65% of cats and kittens involved in the study, researchers from Oregon State University concluded that “we may be underestimating cats’ socio-cognitive abilities.”

9 signs your cat loves you

Of course, seeing is believing. Humans still have a lot of learning to do when it comes to cats, but certain feline behaviors are considered indicative that they love their people. Curious about how your four-legged friend feels about you? Here are nine signs your cat loves you:

1. Your kitty purrs around you

Feline behaviorists have found that cats purr for a variety of reasons, but they believe that purring first starts as a form of communication and bonding mechanism between kittens and their mothers. If your cat purrs contently when she’s around you, there’s a good chance she also feels bonded with you.

2. They sit on you

Cats pounce on their prey, but if your kitty comes and sits on you calmly, it’s an indicator of trust and affection. This is especially true if your cat purrs while he does so. And if kneading (rhythmically flexing and pushing with the paws) is involved? You better believe your cat views you as family—there are multiple theories as to why cats knead, and almost all have to do with comfort and affection.

3. You’ve seen the ‘slow blink’

Cats are very expressive with their facial features, especially when it comes to their eyes. If you spot your cat giving you a long, drawn-out blink in the middle of their gazing at you, they are comfortable letting their guard down in your presence and are displaying trust and affection. Go ahead and try slowly blinking back to show them you agree.

4. You have a sleeping buddy

In case you haven’t noticed, your cat sleeps a lot. But like most animals, cats are most vulnerable when snoozing. Therefore, they are only going to sleep where they feel most comfortable and secure. If that’s with you, congratulations! Your cat definitely sees you in a positive light.

5. They bring you gifts

While cats are not innate pack animals, they can and do form social groups or “colonies.” And as natural hunters, cats have the urge to attack fast-moving objects and catch “prey.” Whether it’s a toy or—eek!—an actual small animal, your kitty bringing you one of these gifts is a sign of loyalty and affection. In other words, they view you as an important part of their family.

6. Head bumping happens

Does you buddy come up and nudge her head against you? She may seem like she’s just being playful, but cat behaviorists maintain that this is a very strong form of affection. It’s an action known as head “bunting,” according to Mental Floss, and it’s usually reserved for members of a cat’s colony.

That said, don’t confuse head bumping with more prolonged head pressing that cats may do when they’re in pain. If your cat is pressing her head against your or furniture, or starts making strange noises in the process, she may be in need of medical attention.

7. You’re being followed

Ever notice that kitty likes to trail you around the house? There can be many reasons for this—from wanting food to being anxious—but there are many cases in which your cat simply enjoys your company and wants to be with you. If it’s not close to feeding time, and your cat isn’t acting like he wants anything, chances are he’s just trying to bask in your presence.

8. You’ve seen your cat’s belly, a lot

If you’re no stranger to your cat rolling over to expose her belly to you, you’re definitely someone important. This position puts cats in a vulnerable position, and so they’ll only do it around people they’re completely comfortable around. If that’s not love, we’re not sure what is.

Keep in mind though that just because your cat is showing you her tummy, it does not necessarily mean she wants for belly rubs. Some cats do indeed enjoy being petted here, but many others do not. Pay close attention to the rest of your cat’s body language to avoid getting scratched, not to mention maintain the loving relationship between you two.

9. It shows in the tail

If you still find yourself wondering, “does my cat love me?” take a look at his tail. According to animal behaviorist and cat specialist Marilyn Krieger, felines often show affection through their tails. A curved tip is a friendly greeting and invitation to interact with your cat, while a more gushy display of love is your cat wrapping his tail around your hands, ankles, arms, or really just any part of your body.

How you can show your cat you care

Close-up of a cat face with a loving gaze

Naturally, you’ll want to reciprocate your furry friend’s feelings. While you can always share the love with plenty of cuddles and the occasional treat, it’s also important to take the time to play with your cat and keep him active.

Of course, even the most loving cats don’t always want to be smothered with attention. Another great way to show you care is by taking an avid interest in your cat’s health and protecting him from unexpected illnesses with pet insurance. Sure, kitty may not enjoy trips to the veterinarian, but they’re an important part of making sure he gets to spend many more years with the human he loves (that’s you!)

Have a dog? Don’t worry—your canine pal loves you too.

A dog and cat snuggle

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A WORD FROM TRUPANION

Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

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