Experienced cat owners can easily tell what their cat's body language and gestures mean. They know when Kitty is angry, hungry, sad or happy and they can tell when he or she is doting all over them, sending a crystal clear message of love. However, if you're new to cats, you may be wondering what are the exact telltale signs that your cat loves you? We asked our experienced cat owners on the forums what they thought and put together a comprehensive list based on what they told us.
Before we begin, a couple of things to keep in mind -
1. Different cats have different personalities. Some are extroverts, openly showing their feelings and needs. Others are shy and sometimes even timid. They can be just as loving and they need their owners just as much but they may have a harder time expressing that. If that's the case with your cat, please read this article: 10 Tips For Living With A Shy Cat.
2. It takes time to create a loving relationship. If you've only recently adopted a cat, you may need to give him or her more time to learn how to fully open up and trust you enough to show her/his feelings. Take a moment to read this article: How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home.
And now, without further ado...
1. Purring at you, especially when being petted.
TCS member @jellycatfish says about her cat Happy: "He often starts to purr loudly when he watches my boyfriend and me from his window spot and his scratching post."
If your cat purrs while you're petting or stroking her, that's a great sign! Keep in mind that when cats feel vulnerable or in pain they may purr as well.
2. Approaching you for interaction
TCS member @lovefive says: "Martha makes me happy by coming up to me for fuss."
3. Wanting to be in your lap
TCS member @Losna says about her cat Sinbad: "He jumps up to sit with me and snuggle when I sit down."
4. Head butting against your hands and face
TCS member @caitini says: "Pierre smooshes his face all over me. I only have to stick my hand out and he's there spreading his face pheromones all over it!"
TCS member @Lyrajean adds: "Aya is definitely an expert head-butter. Sometimes she gives me the "stealth" or "drive-by" head butts."
5. Asking to be petted or even lifted
TCS member @sarthur2 says: "One of my cats stands fully upright on his back legs and puts his front paws on me to be picked up. Since he's huge, it's like a small child wanting to be lifted and held!"
Some cats don't like being held in a human's arms though, so please respect your cat's boundaries.
6. Squinting eyes when looking at you
TCS member @Sirentist says about her cat Isabel: "Often after a few exchanges of blinks she'll come over to me and let me give her a few pets."
Slowly shutting their eyes and opening them again is a sign of trust for cats. Try slowly squinting your eyes at Kitty and she or he will likely return the gesture.
7. Wanting to sleep with you
TCS member @jcat said: "Every cat we've had has slept in bed with us, from kittenhood to old age."
In a recent poll, we found out that 88% of TCS members share their bed with cats.
8. Kneading you with their paws
TCS member @RickR says: "Archie wakes me up each morning at 6am by kneading my back and rubbing his head on my face."
Read more:Article: Why Do Cats Knead
9. Moving paws as if kneading
TCS member @StefanZ says about his cats: "When you come in and they want to greet you they open and close their paw - it's sort of a mini version of kneading..."
10. "Helping" you work and study
TCS member @Sirentist says about her cat Isabel: "If I'm working on a project at the table, she'll often come deposit herself in the middle of it, or just to one side."
Take a look at these helpful kitties:
11. Keeping the tail high up in the air when walking around you
TCS member @PHarber-Murphy says: "My favorite is seeing their little tails go up in the air like a flag waving hello whenever I walk through the door. I know they're thrilled to see me, and I'm thrilled to see them."
12. Chirping at you
TCS member @Columbine says: "Asha runs towards me chirping like crazy when I get home!"
13. Rubbing against your ankles
TCS member @Losna says: "Sinbad comes running to me to rub around my ankles."
14. Showing his/her belly and sometimes letting you pet his/her belly
TCS member @Banana Queen says her cats like "Rolling onto their backs for a tummy rub when I approach."
15. Sharing your bed
TCS member @foxxycat says: "Honeybee sleeps right on top of me. Floey next to me and Pumpkin face next to me."
17. Licking and grooming you
TCS member @MServant says : "Mouse likes licking my face or hair esp while I'm stroking him so it's almost like mutual grooming. Mouse likes to tidy up my eyebrows that way."
18. Talking by meowing at you
TCS member @Jalindal says: "Mackerel responds at the spots in the conversation you'd expect her to, and with the tone that you'd expect, as well."
19. Yawning and stretching when they see you.
TCS member @StefanZ says: "My resident cats Muskis and Vagis often yawn and stretch when I enter the room they are in. I guess it means they feel comfortable and friendly with me, and are telling me that. They also often greet each other this way."
20. Bringing you gifts
Cats that are allowed outdoors sometimes bring their humans gifts in the form of prey (alive or dead).
21. Sitting by the door when you're about to go out
TCS member @Plan says about his Buddy : "He's literally parking himself by the front door when I leave the house, and staying there until I come back. I've had people over and when I've run out quickly, like to grab something from the store, they've told me Bud stays by the door the whole time instead of just hearing me approaching and coming to the door."
22. Following you everywhere
TCS member @Columbine says: "Asha runs towards me chirping like crazy when I get home. She wants to be with me everywhere."
23. And we mean everywhere. Including the bathroom!
TCS member @stephanietx says about her cat Emmie: "She follows me to the bathroom and lays on the floor between my feet."
24. Giving you love bites
TCS member @RickR says about his cat Lucy: "She likes to pull one or more of my fingers into her mouth and gently lick and nibble."
25. Nursing you when you're sick
TCS member @StefanZ says: "When you get sick with something, maybe rheumatism or a cold, you may notice the cat lying with you, giving you warmth and comfort."