When people think of affectionate pets, cats may not be the first animal that comes to mind. They are without a doubt one of the most common household pets, but while their counterparts, dogs, are known for their boundless joy to see their masters and often unbridled affection, cats are better known for their general indifference to their owners.
Cats may share a few minutes receiving affection, but they seem to be famous for having a continuous lack of interest in their caregivers. They may meow incessantly for food, rub against our legs as we fill their bowl, and then proceed to ignore us for the rest of the time. In fact, in the face of affection cats are often known to flee or resist our acts of love. This type of behavior may leave many cat-owners wondering, does my cat even like me?”
Do My Cat Like Me?
You might be surprised to find out that they really do! At least, there are multiple ways to be sure. Cats show affection and love in many different ways that are unique to them. It may be in their nature to be more aloof, but if your cat is exhibiting any of these behaviors, you can be sure that your kitty not only likes you: they love you!
#1. You Make Them Purr
This might seem simple, but it’s first on the list of signs that your cat genuinely cares about you. Cats purr for a number of reasons, but most commonly it is a sign of contentment. (1) A cat will purr without prompting, and will often stop when it’s peace is interrupted by something or someone it doesn’t care for. But if your cat regularly purrs when you are petting it or showing it affection, chances are safe that in truly enjoys the interaction. More specifically, it shows that your cat feels safe and peaceful with you in particular.
#2. Kisses/Love Bites
When you are giving your cat affection, have they ever turned to lick your hand? What about after a few cute kisses, have they decided to bite you instead?
If yes, don’t be alarmed! As long as the bite wasn’t obviously meant to hurt you (you can pay attention to other signals in your cat’s body language and behavior to judge if they feel threatened), chances are they are just giving you a love bite. The gentle kisses before are tied to grooming behaviors, and cats don’t usually groom one another unless they are “special,” like a kitten or a mate. A careful nibble in addition to this only means that your kitty felt so strongly bonded to you at that moment that a simple kiss couldn’t quite cut it. (2)
#3. Bumping and Rubbing On You
Cats, as we’ve established, are typically jumpy and independent animals. So if your feline friend bothers to approach you, rub up against you, or bumping you with their heads, there must be something special about you. Especially if they display this behavior in contexts that don’t involve their feeding schedule, you can be sure that your cats want your attention simply because they like you!
Cats often knead their paws on soft surfaces like blankets when they are settling down, but what if your cat is kneading on you? It’s thought that grown cats knead on things when they are happy and content because the motion is associated with the comforts of nursing from its mother as a kitten. Another reason could be an instinctual action resembling patting down leaves to make a soft, safe place to give birth or sleep in the wild. Either way, kneading implies that your cat feels safe and comforted in your presence, and wishes to settle down and stay a while. (3)
#5. Exposing their Tummy
Even domesticated, cats are predators by instinct. They are often on edge and on the lookout for danger to make sure nothing can prey on them. By turning onto its back and showing you its belly, it is showing you a bit more than how adorable it can be. Being belly-up is an incredibly vulnerable position to be in in the wild. By exposing its greatest weak spot to you, it shows how much it trusts you and how relaxed it feels in your company.
#7. Twitchy Tail Tip
A cat’s tail is a huge way to read how it is feeling. When it is distressed or scared, it’s tail bushes up visibly. When it is happy to see you, it acts a very different and telling way. Their tail, otherwise relaxed, may twitch and curl very casually just at the tip. This shows contentment and happiness and tells you that your cat feels relaxed around you. (4)
#8. Cat Snuggles
With its aloof attitude, your cat can pick anywhere in the house to roam or rest. You know you have something special with your cat when they choose your lap or your side over every other soft spot in the entire house. This is a sign that your cat truly loves being close to you, and feels the safest and happiest place in the world is right where you are.