Casper, our ragdoll cat is just over a year old now and we have noticed that Casper has some very specific ways to show us his love to us humans. Here are the 15 most wonderful ways (in no particular order) how our cat Casper tells us “I love you”.
You can easily recognise this too with your loving cat. But remember, all cats are different and they may prefer one way above the other. So it is quite normal if your cat doesn’t do show all of these behaviours.
1. Greetings when you come home
A cat that likes you will be happy when you come home, will greet you when you open the door. They simply enjoy being around the people they love. Casper hears when we arrive home and sits by the door.
Like most cats Casper combines this greeting behaviour with other actions such as cheek rubbing or rolling.
2. Follow you around
Casper loves to follow us around the house, from room to room, up and down the stairs, simply because he wants to be close to us. He will get into the same room most of the time and then he will relax or he will just observe our actions. We believe it is such a loving compliment of him by wanting to be near us all the time. I realize that some cats or breeds are more independent than others, but Casper is a ragdoll and it seems they love to be around their humans most of the time.
3. Bringing you presents
When your cat brings you a toy or a present, the cat is offering you the result of his hunting for your inspection. These treasured prizes are only offered to the ones they love and care about. We have seen this behaviour plenty of times, when we are lying in bed, ready to go to sleep. Then Casper brings his stick with feathers up the stairs to our bedroom and offers it to us on the bed. We always praise this behaviour and show our gratitude with some loving cuddles. Casper is an indoor cat, but outdoor cats can bring in prey, such as mice or birds, and offer it as a present.
4. Cheek rubbing and head-butting you
Cats do head butts to exchange scents in their environment so that everyone in their colony smells the same. It is the most important way cats recognize each other. It is more or less the same with cheek rubs, which is also done to leave their scent on things and people they have “claimed”. We should remember that cats live in a very scent laden world and that there are so many scent glands on them.
Behaviour specialists say both actions are a sort of bonding. Cats do this when they are happy and content. It is a strong sign of friendship. It is saying, “I love you, let’s smell the same.” Casper sometimes strides towards me and flops over on the floor before he starts head butting my leg or hands. I like to take the opportunity to return the love by head butt back or scratch his chin, pet him on his head or talk sweetly to him.
When a cat is head butting your leg, with his head and tail high into the air, you can be sure this is a sign of love and affection.
5. Getting jealous of the things you use
Cats can get jealous of the things you often use. Good examples are your laptop or smartphone, the things you use often. Casper jumps on the table and lies right behind the laptop’s screen and starts pawing the screen. It isn’t really jealousy but rather a behaviour to ask for my attention. He wants me to spend more time and love with him than on my laptop.
6. Yawning in front of you
As well as yawning because they are tired your cat or kitten may also yawn in order to show his affection. It is likely that this is his way of telling you that he feels safe and relaxed in your company and so does not need to be on the alert.
Casper does this plenty of times on different occasions.
7. Looking at you and making a slow blink
They say cats can talk with their eyes and that cats only make long and direct eye contact with people they really like. Sometimes it seems like cats are having a staring competition with us humans, but remember that cats are adapted not to blink as often as we, it helps them when hunting. When they are relaxing, a steady, soft stare means more that they feel safe, that they are watching over you. It is a sign of bond between you and your cat.
When you look back at your cat, sometimes your cat will do a slow blink with his eyes, also known as the kitty kiss. Then he is saying to you “I love you”. Quickly return the slow blink to let your cat know you love him too.
You can even start the blinking if you want: look at your cat and make a slow blink your eyes deliberately while talking to your cat. If after a few moments your cat returns the slow blink, you just made a fantastic love connection.
8. Showing you his belly and rolling on his back
Sometimes when I walk past Casper he rolls on his back and he exposes his belly. By showing his belly he makes himself vulnerable, showing happiness, trust, friendship and love.
Some cats roll over and will allow you to pet their belly too, although remember that not every cat showing his belly is sending an invitation to pet his belly. Most of the times Casper enjoys a soft belly rub. Another sign of happiness and complete trust is when he falls asleep belly side up.
9. Sleeping in your lap
They say that if your cat likes to sleep on or next to you, then you are a most beloved cat owner. Some cats may love to sit on your lap, others like to lay on top of you when relaxing in the couch or in bed. The fact that your cat wants to have a physical contact with you is a sign of his friendship and love for you. It is an amazing compliment, I think.
I must admit that Casper doesn’t display this sign of love that often as we would like too. He used to do this more as a tiny kitten.
10. Curving the tip of their tail when walking towards you
When you cat walks towards you with his tail standing tall up in the air with a slight curve in the end, this means your cat is expressing confidence and happiness. It can also mean that your cat is feeling playful and ready for some interaction and loving communication. Twitching the tail is a sign of a particular happy and loving moment.
11. Gently biting also known as love biting
Sometimes you will notice that your cat will bite your hands and fingers in a gentle way. It may still hurt a bit, because their teeth are sharp and our skin is soft. I am talking about those gentle bits, little nips that a cat gives you while you are petting. These gentle bites are signs of love and devotion.
As a cat owner you should learn to make the distinction between love bites and hard bites.
Because some cats can get a little enthusiastic about them, you must teach them to keep it gentle by saying “auwch” and pulling away if the bite gets too intense. It also helps to hold your hand still while making a sassing sound. These gentle little nips, also known as love bites are truly a sign of love and you should realize that you are very special to your cat if you receive them.
Casper gives gentle bites often and I have to make a sassing sound to remember to keep it gentle. Then he quickly stops and sometimes gives a quick lick. I can also see on his soft eyes he is ending me his love when he does those small nips.
12. Rubbing against your legs
If your cat is rubbing against your legs remember that this action is a form of feline greeting. Casper often shows this behaviour when he enters the room after being separated for some time in another room. He enters and says hello together with some vocal meowing.
This behaviour often goes together with head butting, where your cat is marking it’s people with the same scent. When you have visitors, and especially when meeting someone for the first time, your cat may rub up against the visitor in a friendly way of greeting to get information about the visitor.
Specialists say that it isn’t sure if this action serves as an invitation for affection, it will vary from cat to cat.
It feels very loving when Casper rubs his head and body against my legs. And as mentioned earlier, when your cat is rubbing your leg, with his head and tail high into the air, you can be sure this is a sign of love and affection.
Most of us know that in most cases a purring cat is a content and happy cat. Purring is the highest sign of feline love and contentment and it is a sound that is reserved to say I love you. When your cat purrs in your presence, you can be sure your cat is expressing his or her love for you.
Casper often starts purring when I pick him up and or when he lays comfy in my arms or over my shoulder. Then you can hear and feel the loving purring.
14. Kneading your legs or belly
You probably already have witnessed your cat kneading a soft surface such as a pillow, a soft blanket or maybe even your sweater. Kneading is the action of rhythmically pushing their paws in and out against a soft surface. This surface can be your lap, legs or any other body part.
This is one of the main ways for your cat to tell you how much he or she loves you.
Very often your cat will use his nails while kneading, so this can be quite painful, so it is wise to use a soft cushion in between his paws and your skin.
15. Licking you, grooming you
Licking is often simply “a way of showing trust and care”. Your cat is actually grooming you. It can be a very funny feeling on your skin, because a cat’s tongue has this sandpaper sensation. Vets say it is better not to allow cats to lick you in the face, because cats can harbor many bacterial organisms in their mouth. Anyhow, when your cat starts licking and grooming your hands, face or even your hair, this is truly a sign of affection and love for you as a person.
I am sure that you have already observed the majority of these 15 ways of cat love with your own cat. As I mentioned above, all cats have their own personality, and some show their love more explicitly then others.
If you are not convinced that you have that loving relationship with your feline, you can nurture the love between you both by actively initiate certain behaviours. These behaviours will be shown by your cat more often when you are bonding with your cat, while doing activities together, such as soft brushing, giving treat rewards, or just communicating with your cat by simply kneeling down at your cat’s level, low to the ground, and encouraging your to come over and share some love with you.
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