How Do Cats Show Affection to Humans?

Our feline friends have many different ways to show they love us.

Posted Sep 17, 2018

Jessica Pierce
Jessica's cat Lovie
Source: Jessica Pierce

Back by popular demand... This is a second guest post about cats by Ibrahim Raidhan. Ibhahim's first post, Why Do Cats Meow at Humans, can be found here

There's a misconception about cats not showing love to their owners, whereas dogs are very affectionate and demonstrate this love in various ways. But cats do actually show love and affection to their humans.

In this article, I will talk about the different ways cats show affection. I will then talk about how you can tell them you love them too.

How Do Cats Show Affection to Humans?

Cats are very subtle animals. But this does not necessarily mean they don't love their owners or never show it. There are many different ways they show how much they love their owners. Being a cat lover myself, I can certainly vouch for this because I'm certain my cat loves me.

So what are the different ways cats show affection?

Purring 

This is one of the most obvious and common ways your cat to express his love and affection. Cats have this little motor inside their throat, which starts to vibrate when they are feeling relaxed or enjoying something — for example, when you are stroking them, especially in areas they love (behind the ear, under this chin). It should also be noted that purring can also mean your cat is in pain. It is important to recognize the difference, although it should be obvious when your cat is purring due to you stroking her and petting her. If you feel your cat is in some sort of pain and is purring, then you should go to the vet.

Grooming you

Yes, that's right. Cat grooming is not just reserved for themselves or other cats they feel comfortable around. Your cat will lick you to show their affection by mingling their scent with yours. This behavior helps them feel relaxed, shows trust and also builds a community scent that is important to recognize in their family and humans.

Slowly blinking at you 

Have you ever noticed your cat just sitting there, slowly blinking at you? This is a good indicator that your cat trusts you and enjoys your company. This is called cat kisses and can also be reciprocated. Next time your cat slowly blinks at you, do the same back to show that you trust your cat, and give your cat a cat kiss, too.

Showing their belly to you 

When children throw themselves to the ground and roll around in front of you, that might be a tantrum. But when your cat does this, they are simply showing you they are happy to see you. It also is a way of saying to you, "I trust you," because they feel safe and comfortable around you, this gesture can be the warmest compliment a cat can give to their owner.

Cheek rub

Cats will greet those they trust and feel safe around by rubbing their cheeks on them. This can also be an invitation to socialize, as cats have scent glands on their cheeks that produce pheromones.

Head bunting

Head bunting is when your cat bops her head against yours. Has your cat ever done this? It's a way for your cat to demonstrate the affection and trust she has for you. She's also marking you as her territory, so this means you belong to her. The scent produced from glands located on your cats head is transferred onto you.

Hanging out with you 

Your cat will show you she likes you by hanging around near you. For example, she may sleep next to you or rest her paws on you. My cat will look for every opportunity to sleep on my lap. 

Now we know the different ways cats show affection to humans. I think it's only fair to your cat that we learn how you can tell your cat you love them, too.

How to Tell Your Cat You Love Them 

Slowly blink at your cat 

Just as cats say "I love you" by blinking their eyes slowly at us, we can do the same back and tell them we love them by slowly blinking at them.

Groom your cat 

Although cats spend around 30 percent of their lives grooming themselves (they are clean animals), I'm sure they would appreciate a helping hand from you. Spend some time with your cat and brush their fur. They would appreciate it.

Spend time with your cat

To show your cat how much you love them, spend some quality time with them. Cats are predators and they love hunting. Grab a toy and let your cat chase it around.

This quality time being spent together will only increase the bond between you two. Also, playing with your cat will keep your cat happy and healthy.

In Conclusion 

Cats do love their owners and show their affection in many different ways. It's also important as cat lovers to show the love back to our cats.

To find out more about how you can communicate with your cat and develop a stronger connection click here