Feline signs of love
Cats can and do show affection to both their feline companions and the humans in their lives. They communicate their love with a variety of physical behaviors, some more obvious than others.
The degree of affection a cat shows people will depend on how socialized the cat is, the cat’s personality and how much they trust the person. Because of this, your cat may show you all or just some of the following feline signs of love.
Also know as eye blinks, sleepy eyes or kitty kisses, soft eyes are when a cat purposely looks directly at you and slowly blinks their eyes. They may even keep them closed for a few seconds before opening them and looking at you once again.
The correct response is to slowly blink your eyes back at them to tell them that you reciprocate their trust and affection.
And don’t be afraid to be the one to initiate these kitty kisses. Many a cat has been calmed and reassured by a human giving them soft eyes.
Feline allorubbing is for cats what a hug or a handshake is for a human. It is a positive and social behavior that happy and healthy cats display.
When cats allorub, they rub their heads, bodies and tails against a person to say hello and show that they like you. Allorubbing can be mixed with the cat winding its way between and around your feet and legs.
Cats will usually allorub when they are happy to see you when you enter the room they are in. Although they have also been know to allorub when they are happy you are about to feed them – it is still a sign of affection!
Head butting is also known as bunting and is a sign of affection and trust.
When a cat is happy to see you, they will frequently greet you with a head-butt to your hand (a kitty high five), leg, face or whatever other body part happens to be handy.
Instinctually, head butting may also be a way for your cat to claim you for their own. When a cat head butts, they deposit facial pheromones on people or objects in their environment – an aroma that humans cannot smell but other cats can. Your cat loves you so much that they want the world to know you are theirs.
You may see your cat throw itself down on the ground in front of you and roll over. Or they may roll when you are sitting next to them, in each instance exposing their belly.
A cat’s belly is one of the most vulnerable parts of their body, so when a cat exposes their tummy to you, they are showing extreme trust.
Rolling is a way for a cat to seek your attention. It is also their way of giving you a loving greeting.
Many cats love having their belly rubbed by the humans in their life who they love and trust enough to roll for. As you pet their belly, they may relax so much that they fall asleep on their back with all four paws in the air. This is a sign of total trust and unconditional love.
Remember that your cat feels very vulnerable when they show their belly, so if the cat indicates to you that they are done with belly rubs respect their choice and let them stand up.
Kneading involves the rhythmic stretching and treading of a cat’s front paws. It is also called making bread or making biscuits.
A cat first kneads during its kitten hood when it uses this motion while nursing to encourage milk to be released from the mother cat – an extremely blissful time for a kitten.
As they age, cats continue to knead when they are content and extremely happy – a throw back to the joyful and stress free time of kitten hood.
A petting session with their favorite human can certainly result in a cat making lots of biscuits. Cats have been known to knead even when they are just being held in the arms of the people they know, love and trust.
For your cat, kneading in response to your touch is an obvious expression of adoration.
Cats will lick you in two fashions – a quick lick that is the equivalent of a peck on the cheek and a longer licking session in which they “groom” you.
For cat, grooming another animal or person is an act of love and caring. So when your cat spends time licking you, they believe they are taking good care of you.
Not everyone likes the feel of a cat’s scratchy tongue. If you are not comfortable with your cat grooming you, discourage them in a kind and gentle way since they think they are showering you with love and cannot understand why you don’t like it.
Though more rare, a nose tap from a cat is an extreme sign of affection. A nose tap is the most common form of communication between cats that are friends. The first time you experience a kitty nose tap you may be a bit startled as it is unexpected.
Your cat may start out with a gentle tap to your nose with its paw. In this manner they are feeling their way and working up to a nose to nose tap.
As with soft eyes, you can be the one to initiate a nose tap with your cat if you are so inclined and know that the cat trusts you enough to go face to faced with you.
Cats are extremely expressive if you know what to look for. I feel badly for the cats who are trying their hardest to convey their love for their human only to have their efforts ignored because the person doesn’t know the feline language of love.
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