Cats, with their mysterious nature, have always captivated their owners. We adore them, look at photos and gifs of them, but also have a sneaky suspicion that they secretly want to kill us. Now that we know how to tell if a dog loves us, cat lovers are naturally curious about how their furry companions feel about them. With the help of cat behavior expert Anita Kelsey, we aim to uncover the signs that indicate a cat's affection towards their owner.
Anita emphasizes that while cats may not experience love in the same way humans do, they can show affection when they feel comfortable and relaxed. Here are the six main signs that your cat truly loves you, in their unique feline way.
Firstly, observe how your cat interacts with you when you return home. Do they rub their body against your legs? This behavior serves to mark their territory with their scent, using important glands located on the side of their body. It's like they're claiming you as their own.
Secondly, purring is generally a signal of a content and relaxed cat, although it can also indicate pain or be a self-soothing mechanism in stressful situations. The vibration from purring helps them calm themselves down.
Next, cats seem to enjoy having their heads paid attention to. If they feel neglected, they may deliver a gentle headbutt, which is another way they mark their scent on you using scent glands on their face. It's a way of saying that you belong to them.
One behavior that may puzzle cat owners is kneading – when a cat flexes their paws against a surface. While it can be uncomfortable, kneading is actually a sign of affection. Cats learn this behavior from their mothers, as it mimics the action of expressing milk. It shows trust, contentment, and love.
If your cat occasionally lies on your lap, it signifies that they feel very comfortable around you. However, not all cats enjoy being lap cats, especially long-haired breeds that can become too warm. So, if your cat doesn't settle on your knees or stay for long, it's nothing to be upset about.
Finally, the position of your cat's tail when greeting you is also a significant sign of their affection. If their tail is upright and possibly quivering with excitement, along with other behaviors like rubbing against you and headbutting, it clearly indicates that they are happy to see you.
As a bonus sign, we should clarify that when cats bring dead animals to us, it is not a gift but an instinctual behavior. Anita explains that it is an evolutionary trait that domestication has not eradicated. Cats see us as their family and territory, so they bring us prey, imitating their mother's behavior in the wild. Although seen as a gift by humans, it primarily stems from their natural hunting instincts and hunger rather than love.
In conclusion, cats express their affection in various unique ways. Observing behaviors such as rubbing against you, purring, headbutting, kneading, lying on your lap, and the position of their tail when greeting you can help you understand how much they care for you. While cats may not experience love in the same way humans do, their demonstrations of affection are a testament to the bond they have with their owners.