6 Ways Your Cat Says I Love You
If you’re like me, you love your cat unconditionally the same way you love your dog unconditionally. But again, if you’re like me, you know this isn’t always easy – mainly because while the dog instinctively shows unconditional love (making it easy to reciprocate), the cat doesn’t give a hoot about me arriving back at home. Honestly, she doesn’t even pick up her head. It’s like she’s going out of her way to show disinterest and I’m-better-than-the-dog energy.
None of it’s true. Our cats love us dearly – they just show it very differently than dogs. They don’t provide us with the foolproof love signs of wagging tails, drool, barking, whining, jumping up, licks, kisses, etc. No, they are much more subtle and calculated. Whereas the dog shows us love according to the HUMAN TIMELINE (we come home, they go nuts), cats show us love on the FELINE TIMELINE – meaning according to their own clock. With that in mind, let’s explore that love… when and what (besides the obvious: we installed a Kitty Korner door) causes their love of humans to reveal itself on their clock?
Except in the case of puppies, we generally associate dog biting with fear, anger, protection, etc. Totally different with the gentler species. For cats, playful biting is love! Listen, their fangs are real – they could hurt you if they wanted to. So when they put a little tooth-pressure on their human without breaking the skin, that means they are being playful and fun. And guess what? A cat is not playful and fun with anyone or anything they don’t love and trust. So when you’re playing with the cat and she digs those fangs into you without breaking the skin, recognize that she’s telling you she loves playing with you… and that she loves you!
#2: Eye contact
Felines associate eye contact with danger, which means that if someone or something is staring at them, they get very agitated. They instinctively know they need to be on guard. So… if your cat will share a long, unblinking gaze with you, it can mean only one thing: they love and trust you. The very idea that my cat routinely engages with me in an activity that is otherwise reserved for hunting and fighting gives me a warm feeling in my heart. Despite her instincts, she’ll have a staring contest with me – how cool is that?
We’ve previously described this activity as playing the organ. When they were kittens, cats would knead mother’s teats to squeeze the milk out. It is thought that when they do this as adults, it is a throwback to their kitten nursing days and is performed only when a cat feels completely safe and loved. So, when your cat climbs onto your chest and starts softly digging those paws and pads and nails into your shirt, just know that – outside of mom – s/he has never felt more safe. That’s love.
#4: Feline Gifts
This one isn’t for everyone, because not everyone loves the skeletal remains of a mouse on their doorstep. Alas, you need to know what you’re in for when you buy a cat: their very nature is to hunt, especially mice. Now, their instinct is to use the fruits of their hunt to feed themselves and their family – not to give it away, so when they present those grizzly remains on your doorstep, it’s tantamount to the three wisemen bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Well, that might be hyperbole, but you get the idea: it’s a pretty good sign you’re loved.
Dogs lick. We know that. And if you’re a dog lover, you know licks mean love. Cats, on the other hand, tend to lick only themselves. Their cleanliness routines are world-renowned – nobody washes like a cat washes. But here’s the thing: have you ever been licked by a cat? If so, you know their tongues are like 40-grit sandpaper – it could peel paint off the walls. BUT… for cats, licking their human is a sign of total love. Think of it this way: they have only so many coarse licks before they run out of saliva… if they share a few on your skin, they love you madly.
#6: My favorite - following me around
Cats can go anywhere – literally. Have you seen one jump from the floor to the fourth shelf in a closet to nestle into your clothes? Mine does it all the time. If cats want to get on your roof or chimney or into your attic or crawlspace, they will. The fact that they haven’t yet only means they don’t care enough to try. Cats can do nearly anything.
Now… go back to the first paragraph of this post: the fact that they don’t even care when you come home from work is telling – they neither need nor particularly want you (except on their terms). So, if your cat is following you around the house – practically underneath your feet as you walk – they miss you, love you, and want to hang out with you.
I used to think our cat wanted to eat or a snack or to go outside, but I eventually I learned she just wanted to hang out with me. And if that doesn’t melt my heart, nothing will, right?
OK, so what’s your next move?
So there you have it: six ways your cat tells you s/he loves you. Now, what’s your next move? If you related to anything herein, it seems like time to show your cat you love him or her! And the best way is with a kittykornerdoor.com – a gift that shows your cat that you want them to have freedom to go everywhere in the house. As we often ask, what are you waiting for?