How Cats Show Affection to Their Humans

Cats show affection in ways that often go unrecognized by their pet parents because some people aren't sure how cats demonstrate their love. Since cats express their affection in ways very different from people and other pets, it makes sense that we often miss these precious moments. But if you've ever wondered if your cat loves you, you're most likely going to be happy to find out she does! Although their actions are odd, they're certainly no less meaningful.

Tabby cat rubbing against its owner affectionately

1. Head Butting

One of the most endearing behaviors of cats is when they head butt you and rub against your body. Not only is it cute to watch, it's a sure sign that your cat loves and cares for you. In fact, by head butting you, your cat is leaving pheromones on you to let everyone else know that you belong to her, says Vetstreet.

2. Love Bites

Gray tabby cat nibbling on the knuckle of a human's finger.Biting is generally something people associate with negative feelings, but cats are a little different. When your cat nibbles you playfully, she's really offering her affection. This is much different from a fearful or defensive bite that's meant to cause harm, and the feelings behind it are different as well. Love nibbles are a ticklish, funny little quirk of lovable cats.

3. Kneading

Little kitten paws shown from the underside.

Cats begin kneading as tiny kittens when they are nursing. This behavior is the act of her doing a small little march on your leg, and it translates into affection in adult life. When your cat kneads you, she's being very clear that you make her feel loved and comfortable. Kneading is probably one of the most well-known ways cats show affection, and it's certainly no myth.

4. Purring

Long-haired calico cat lying on a white bed spread stretching.

Purring is one of the loudest ways cats show their love. Although there are times cats purr when they're uncomfortable, the occasion is rare. More often than not, your cat is purring because she's happy to be around you. The more your cat purrs, the better!

5. Following You

Long-haired gray cat lying on owner's lap.

Many pet parents might find it odd that their cats follow them everywhere they go, even right into the bathroom! But this just means that your cat wants to spend more time with you. A cat that enjoys your company and feels comfortable around you is going to follow you around the house and cling to you like glue. She just wants you to know that she sees you as a great companion. For those of you that are trying to get work done around the house and your cat makes it impossible to do so, she's just telling you that she's more important than anything else you're doing and it's time to focus on her.

6. Bringing Gifts

Brown and white cat with big yellow eyes lies down with a stuffed toy mouse in her mouth.

Probably the most unpopular among pet parents is the gracious gifting by their furry friends. Oftentimes, cats show their affection by leaving presents for their pet parents to find. Cats are natural hunters, so when your kitty brings you freshly caught prey, she's actually offering you a delicious meal. You don't want to touch it with your bare hands, but keep in mind she means well and this behavior really is a sign that she cares deeply for you.

How cats show their love can be a bit confusing to their human companions, but as long as you understand their behavior for what it is, you can learn to appreciate it. You love your cat, and it's nice to know that she loves you back. So, knowing when and how your cat shows affection will provide you both with clear communication. After all, there's nothing better than being told you're loved.

Contributor Bio

Katie Finlay

Katie Finlay

Katie Finlay is a pet trainer who lives in Southern California. She has been working with dogs and their owners both in person and through her online content for over six years.

 

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