You love your cat with all your heart, but does your cat love you back? Get the facts on how cats show affection and easy ways to tell if they love you back!
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to ‘prove’ love exists, whether it’s between you and your cat or between two people. With that said, there are plenty of ways cats show affection and compelling evidence that they feel love toward their owners.
Cat relationships vs People relationships
Cats are often labeled as unattached and aloof, but really they’re just particular about how they show affection. So when they don’t come when you call, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It just means they’re happy where they are. In that way, they’re more like people than dogs. A good way to think about it is how a kid will wriggle out of his mother’s grasp as she tries to kiss and hug him – not because he doesn’t love his mama, but because he’d had enough mushy stuff for the time being.
Signs your cat loves you
Despite their ‘I could care less’ reputation, cats develop strong relationships with their owners. You can tell a cat has a strong relationship with someone when they become physically and emotionally engaged around them, like rubbing against their leg, kneading and being affectionate. Some other signs your cat loves you are following you around the house, purring when you pet them, bringing you its toys, and wanting to sleep in the same room as you (even if they want out halfway through the night).
You can also tell if your cat loves you by how they act when you’re not around. In cases of extreme or abrupt separation it’s not uncommon for cats to show signs of distress and anxiety – like refusing to eat, hiding, and even death. In extreme cases, cats have been known to travel hundreds of miles to reunite with their families. Like in 2003, when a cat in Florida named Holly walked nearly 200 miles to find her owner.
How to show your cat you love them
Always be ready to pet them on their terms. As we said, cats can be very particular when it comes to giving and receiving affection, so be patient and embrace them when they’re in the mood. Also, pay close attention to what your cat doesn’t like. Cats, just like people, have pet peeves. Whether it’s having their ears scratched, paws touched or tail pet, keep an eye out for their bugaboos and be sure not to annoy them.
Science may not be able to prove that cats love people, but we do know that devoted owners have devoted pets. So never hesitate to invest your heart in your feline relationships. Remember, love increases the more you give it away!