Do cats love us and how can we tell?
Many people, ESPECIALLY some cat owners will laugh at how cats just don’t show love. “They’re too important for us, haha, we’re beneath their dignity.” A joke maybe, but there is definitely a sense that they might just believe their words when they say it. Let’s look at why cats get such a bad rap and a few things to look out for to prove that your cat actually does love you.
A definite way to know that your cat is in a good mood is their purr. Cats of all sizes (even Cheetahs!) purr to show joy and relaxation. Did you know that their purr can also release endorphin which can have healing properties for human ailments like depression?
A cat’s belly is a really delicate and private spot! Being in the vicinity of their vital organs, most felines are super protective over their bellies. If your cat rolls over, this could be the ultimate sign of trust.
Have you ever wondered why your cat rubs their cheeks or forehead on your leg? This isn’t just to cuddle. They’re marking you, just like an assassin might. However, they’re marking you as their territory by using scent glands on their heads, hoping that the scent will warn other cats to stay away!
Yes, cats sleep a ton so this probably seems difficult to believe. And yes, you’re probably equally frustrated and pleased with your cat. Sometimes she sleeps on your lap and others she’s sleeping on freshly washed clothes. Before you get upset, think about why she’s sleeping on them. Cats love familiar smells and are probably sleeping on your clothes because they smell like you.
Just like your local baker, cats knead because of love. A habit that forms from kittenhood, it marks a special bond between you and your cat. A stressed-out cat may knead you to calm themselves down (what a compliment!) An unstressed cat kneading you signals that they feel very calm and content near you.
As much as many people try to treat cats as cute cuddly creatures who are “innocent,” they are animals with natural hunting instincts. That’s why you may find your cat bringing you something like a rodent from outside. This isn’t as ominous as some superstitious people may think! Sharing their bounty with you is a cat’s way of sharing affection with you and, instead of being reprimanded for doing something natural, they should be rewarded for the effort and thoughtfulness.
The way they look at you
Much like you want your crush to look at you in a certain way, the way a cat looks at you is a strong indicator of how they feel about you. You can easily tell if a cat is afraid or wary of you (or even feeling aggressive toward you!) when it stares at you with wide eyes and dilated or slitted pupils. Most people don’t know the other end of the spectrum of kitty eye-gesturing. If your cat looks at you and blinks slowly, this is the equivalent to a kiss and basically says, “I see you there and I trust you enough to let my guard down.”
As we’ve discussed already, cats communicate with their bodies a lot. A big part of this is their tails. You may be familiar with the “elevator butt” pose, which can be seen in the image below. This pose signals a cat’s comfort and is an invitation to come closer and interact. A cat with its tail flagged up high is showing you the same reverence that kittens show to their mums. That being said, there are several cat positions which can show their discomfort and even anger that need to be looked out for.
Felines are clean freaks and spend a lot of time grooming themselves and their friends. If your cat licks your skin, hair or clothing, this probably signals that they see you as part of the group and is a major form of showing affection.
Your cat’s way of showing you love is different from anything we are used to. Giving them a chance and opening up yourself to their version of love is often rewarding in unexplainable ways. If you ever wondered, “why would I get a cat, they are so selfish,” think again and consider opening yourself up to what can turn into a very healthy, nurturing relationship.