Cats certainly have a reputation as being one of the more aloof species in the world of household pets. They aren't easily excitable and affectionate like dogs, but that doesn't mean they don't feel it on the inside. They don't need to run to the door every time you leave or come home, licking your face and jumping all over you in excitement. While that keeps some people firmly in the camp of "dogs are the best," there are many cat-lovers out there who will insist that cats are just more subtle.
In fact, cats clearly love their humans quite a bit - they've just got their own way of showing it. So, next time your feline displays any of these 11 behaviors, he's just showering you with cool, calm, and collected love.
1. Kneading your lap is more than just a little massage.
According to pet experts, when your kitty curls up in your lap and kneads your legs as you’re petting him, he's just trying to return the affection you're showing him. Make sure to wrap up in a blanket though, because the happier he is, the more enthusiastic his kneading will become ... and the further those sharp nails will dig in.
2. A present, no matter how gross, is still a present.
Cats have no problem showering their owners with gifts; unfortunately, a cat's idea of a thoughtful present and a human's might be a little different. Even if your tiny hunter brings you something you'd rather she left outside, always appreciate the thought behind it.
3. Head-butting is just a way to get up close and personal.
This oddly affectionate behavior can actually be attributed to unique feline anatomy. Cats have glands concentrated around their bodies, including cheeks and heads. By rubbing his forehead against you, your kitty is just marking you as his own.
4. Staring deeply into each other's eyes isn't just for humans.
That prolonged stare isn't meant to creep you out; it's actually the kitty equivalent of a kiss. If your cat stares at you, blinks, opens his eyes wide, and then slowly blinks again, he's just trying to communicate his love and trust.
5. Showing off the belly isn't just a stretching maneuver.
Most animals are very conscious about keeping their more vulnerable sides to themselves. For a cat to show off her stomach in your presence, she's indicating that she trusts you enough to let down her defenses.
6. It's all in the tail.
Tails aren't just decorative; they can actually tell you quite a bit about how your cat is feeling. If your kitty fluffs up the base of his tail and curls it at the top, consider him chuffed. Some animal behaviorists call this motion "the happy tail dance."
7. That nip isn't actually aggressive at all.
It might be a little painful, but a slight nip on the fingers or leg from your cat is actually a sign of love. Feline skin is a bit tougher than that of humans, so these playful nips don't hurt other cats, and your cat doesn't always realize it might be different for humans.
8. Dancing around your legs isn't just your cat's favorite way to trip you up.
Similar to head-butting, cats rub around their favorite human's legs as a way to get their scent onto you. It's an important bonding ritual for your cat, so best to just let her love on you in this slightly inconvenient way.
9. A purr means your cat is just as happy as she sounds.
While purrs can differ in tone, volume, and meaning, it's a sure sign of communication. When your cat purrs in front of you, she's definitely expressing her fondness.
10. If he's stuck to your side, it's definitely love.
Cats are renowned for their sense of independence, but sometimes your cat will become your shadow. If that's the case, it's a clear indication that he greatly enjoys your company. And if he's still following you around when it's not even close to meal time? Yep, that's true love.
11. The endless scratching might be tiresome, but this explanation might make you happy.
Just like spraying, cats simply love scratching. It's not just the physical act that's satisfying, but also the scented and visual marks of ownership it leaves behind. When your cat shows a preference for scratching in places that are heavily associated with their human, it's a sign of the love between them.
And, if you want to know any more about cat love and friendship, take it from someone who knows:
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