Cats aren’t generally known as the most affectionate animals around. They can be standoffish and grumpy and, depending on your particular cat’s demeanor, you may even wonder whether yours actually even likes you.
For everyone who’s ever been confused by their cat’s affections – or lack thereof – we’ve put together a list of 7 signs your cat really does love you.
1. The Slow Blink
If you’ve ever stared into a cat’s placid eyes while it slowly blinks it’s eyelids, you’ve been given a “cat kiss.” When cats feel calm and particularly trustful they’ll gladly close their eyes on you, only to open them again and stare at you some more. Why do they do this? Who knows. Just go with it.
2. Tail Drag
Your cat may love winding her way in and around your legs but if she does it while gently wrapping your ankles with her tail? Well, she’s in love. Circling you with her tail is your cat’s way of saying, “I claim this human!” It’s territorial, and it definitely means she loves you.
3. Tummy Time
Cats don’t play around with their vulnerable middles. They actually sleep all curled up to protect their internal organs from predators, so if your cat solicits a belly rub you can rest assured she feels really comfortable in your presence. While you’re (gingerly!) rubbing your cat’s belly, beware signs she may have changed her mind, like tensed muscles or sudden intense eye contact.
4. Dead Birds
Does your outdoor cat leave “presents” like mice or dead birds on your doorstep? She might as well be bringing you roses. Cats don’t give gifts away lightly. By sharing her bounty with you she’s saying she appreciates what you do for her and that she’s willing to contribute. Avoid the impulse to scold your cat if she hunts on your behalf. Some simple praise and a lot of antiseptic are all you require before you can move on with your day.
When your cat head-butts you at an inopportune time, it might not feel like love. But since cats have so many scent glands in their heads, yours is likely just trying to “mark” you with her scent to make sure you don’t go anywhere. To be fair, she probably does this to the couch too…but it’s a really comfy couch.
6. Stage 5 Clinginess
Some cats are loners and some prefer to be around people, but if you find yours seeking out your company even when it’s not feeding time? She’s into you, big time. This is particularly true if your cat jumps up on counters and other high surfaces just to be near your eye level.
7. Loving Licks
Does your cat ever groom you? If she occasionally gives your exposed skin or hair firm licks with her tongue, she might be trying to do you a favor. By mixing your smells together you become intertwined, and your cat is hoping to make sure you stay put. If your cat likes to be brushed, return the favor later with some sweet, soft-bristled rubs.
How can you show your cat you love her just as much as she loves you? By staying up-to-date on her annual wellness exams. Healthy cats are happy cats and your cat depends on you to stay in tip-top shape.