How Cats Show Affection

So you’ve always had dogs in your life who greeted you at the door, brought toys to you to play with, and snuggled with you every night. Now you have a cat who seems to ignore your existence.

“Why doesn’t my cat like me!?”

The answer: they probably do! You’re just misunderstanding cat language. Some cats are very affectionate in the ways humans (and dogs) might understand affection, but there are several subtle ways cats express their love for you.

  • Rubbing against you
    This means more than demanding to be fed. Your cat is showing comfort with you and expressing they see you as part of their group.
  • Blinking slowly
    Have you ever noticed your cat staring at you—maybe from the opposite end of the room even—with their eyes half opened, they slowly shut them completely, then open them halfway again? This isn’t them expressing boredom, it’s the kitty cat “eye love you” blink!
  • Lifting their tail high and twitching the end
    A cat who otherwise appears relaxed but has their tail straight up is communicating affection, even if not accompanied by more obvious signals like lifting their rear end in the air.
  • Sitting nearby
    Not all cats want to be right in your lap, but enjoy being in your presence. (Kind of like your human friends.)
  • Kneading
    Even if they are not kneading on you directly, if your cat is nearby or looking at you while kneading at the floor this is a sign of happiness.
  • Bringing you prey
    Cats are natural predators and don’t generally like sharing their food with anyone. If you’re welcomed into the club, feel honored!
  • Rolling on their back and exposing their belly
    Exposing their tummy is a way cats show they feel comfortable around you. That said, don’t read this as consenting to belly rubs! I’ve known plenty of cats that show me their belly but when I went to pet them they were NOT happy!

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