How Do Cats Show Love?

Purring is the most common and most obvious way cats show love.  But there are several more ways cats show love that may not be quite as obvious.  In this article, we’ll discuss 10 ways cats show love and affection, and we’ll also talk about 5 ways to show your cat you love them!

10 Ways Cats Show Love for Their Owners

How do cats show love?  Here are some of the ways your cat may be trying to tell you they love you!

1.  Purring.  Cats show their happiness, contentment and love by purring.

2.  Rolling.  Cats sometimes throw themselves on the ground and start rolling around. This is a true sign of love and happiness.  My cat, Whiskers, is a drama-king!  He pours on the cute by throwing himself on the floor in front of me and laying belly-up.

3.  Head Bunting or Rubbing Their Cheeks on You. Head bunting is when our cat rubs their forehead on yours.  They’ll also rub their cheeks on you, and on objects around the house.  These are both ways cats mark their territory.  Cats mark things they value and love with their scent to claim it as their own.

4.  Kneading.  Cat kneading starts when they’re kittens.  Kittens knead their mother’s breasts to induce the release of milk.  Adult cats will sometimes continue this behavior when they’re feeling content, relaxed and loved.  Think of your cat’s kneading as an expression of their happiness being with you! For more about why cats knead, especially if you think your cat is kneading excessively, read this article from

scratching post5.  Scratching.  A cat is actually showing love by scratching things, because scratching leaves both their scent and visual marks as a way of claiming things as their own.  If they typically scratch things associated with their owner like the couch or the owner’s favorite chair, this is a sure sign they love and value you. If you need help to stop your cat from scratching the furniture, read my article, How to Stop a Cat from Scratching Furniture (includes video).

6.  Bringing You “Gifts.” If your cat brings you their toys, especially their favorite ones, it’s a sure sign of love.  Cats are quite possessive in the wild, because they have to be.  They go to great lengths to mark their territory and claim things as their own.  So if they’re willing to share something they value with you, it’s true love!  Unfortunately, an outdoor cat’s gift may come in the form of a dead mouse left at the front door!  It’s a gift.  They hunted and caught it for you.  So try to remember to say thank you as you get rid of it as quickly as possible. LOL

7. Sleeping On or Near You. Cats sleep a lot, but in the wild they do so “with one eye open.”  Cats are prey in the wild and are most vulnerable when they’re sleeping.  So instead of falling fast asleep, they take little cat naps, still aware of their surroundings.  So if your cat feels safe sleeping on or near you, and especially if your cat falls fast asleep, belly-up and snoring, you can be sure they love and trust you!  For more interesting facts about cats’ sleeping habits, read my article, How Much Do Cat Sleep? (includes video). Spoiler alert…cats are not nocturnal!

8.  Meowing.  Cats don’t usually meow at other cats.  Other than kittens expressing their needs to their mothers, meowing just isn’t a way cats communicate with each other.  So if your cat is actually meowing at you, it shows they truly want to engage with you.  Unless, of course, they’re meowing loudly and excessively, which more likely indicates they have a need that’s not beeing met.  If you think your cat is meowing excessively, read my article, Why Does My Cat Keep Meowing? (includes video).

I adopted my current cat, Whiskers when he was a feral kitten.  That’s him in the pic. He barely made a peep when I first got him, then only quietly squeaked his whole first year.  I was told by both his siblings’ owners that they only squeaked as well – all three sounded like little pigeons!  But since Whiskers reached a year old, he meows all the time now.  I think it means he finally feels safe with me.

9.  Licking You. Cats spend a lot of their time grooming, and they may groom you as well!  A cat licking their owner is a sure sign of love.  For more information on this topic, read my article, Why Do Cats Lick People? (includes video).

10.  The Slow Blink.  I only learned of this recently from a video by Cat Expert, Jackson Galaxy.  Apparently cats in the wild will refrain from blinking to keep their eyes wide open to see potential threats.  So to them, blinking means safety.  It means things are ok.  Jackson believes a cat slowly blinking at you means they feel safe with you.  And your slow blinking back is a way of communicating to a cat that there is no threat here.  Watch his video here.

How to Show Your Cat You Love Them

With our busy lives, it can sometimes be difficult to remember to make an effort to show our cat we love them.  Here are 5 tips on how to show your cat you love them:

1.  Food.  We’re not just talking about providing nourishment or treats here.  Try to make an effort to try different foods to see which your cat thrives on.  You’ll know by their energy level, bright eyes, shiney coat and overall disposition.  While I think it’s important to feed our cat the highest quality food like Smalls Cat Food, also know that it’s perfectly ok to choose the best cat food you can afford.

2.  Keep Their Needs in Mind.  As cat owners, we sometimes don’t realize that our cat needs something, or that they’re having some sort of issue they need our help with.  We need to make sure our cat’s basic needs are met such as keeping their food and water bowls clean and full, keeping their litter box clean, making sure they get enough exercise, mental stimulation, love, and time with us.  For lots of information about keeping your cat’s needs met, read my articles:

How to Keep Indoor Cats Happy – 10 Things They’ll Love! (includes video)

Cat Stress Relievers – 10 Things That Stress Your Cat Out (includes video)

How to Help an Aging Cat – Symptoms, Issues and Ways to Help (includes video).

3.  Attention. My cat, Whiskers loves attention.  Every morning he insists I sit on my bed and pet and hold him for at least a few minutes before I get up!  When I get home from somewhere, he meows and follows me around until I pick him up and hold him for a few minutes.  In the evening, he sits on the couch  next to me, and he sleeps in a little cat bed on top of my bed.

Now, I admit Whiskers is an absolutely LOVER BOY.  I personally have never owned a cat who loves attention so much!  But all cats need affection in the form of petting or holding them, or simply speaking to them often.  Pay attention to the sort of affection your particular cat likes:  scratches under the chin, nose-to-tail stroking, rubbing their forehead.  Many cats also enjoy brushing.

cat training4.  Be Knowledgeable About Cat Training.  If your cat behaves badly, it will result in your being angry at your cat and sadly may even result in your having to get rid of your cat.  Get any bad behavior issues solved and prevented by learning effective cat training techniques.  I recommend an EBook called, The Complete Cat Training Guide from the folks at Kingdom of Pets.  It covers 25 real-life cat behaviors and also includes tons of additional information about general cat care.  You can check it out here.

cat language5.  Treats.  Most cats love treats and look forward to receiving them.  Make sure you don’t give too many treats, and try to choose healthy treats.  You can find some here. You might also spoil your cat with a monthly cat subscription like KitNipBox.  It’s a box full of toys and treats delivered monthly.  You can watch my full review video, or you can check them out here.

How Does Your Cat Show Love?

Please feel free to comment below to let me know what sorts of things your cat does to show you they love you!

If you’re also interested in how dogs show love, read my article, How Do Dogs Show Love? (includes video).

How Dogs Show LoveI Donate to Animal Charities

Thank you for visiting my website.  I donate 10% of my earnings on this website to animal charities.  You can see a list of the charities I donate to here.  If you like this website, please share it with your friends who have a dog or a cat.  Thank you!  Debra

For More About Cat Care, CLICK HERE

2 thoughts on “How Do Cats Show Love?”

  1. What an awesome informational article on cats and how they show love!  My sister adopted the best cat in the world, he is so playful and sweet and loving.  Instead of calling it kneading, we call it making biscuits :)!! 

    I think it is so wonderful of you that you donate 10% of your earnings from this website to animal charities! 

    1. Thank you so much Jenny!  I saw that expression, “making biscuits” when I was researching for this article.  Funny!  Another I saw was, “kneading the dough.”  LOL! Debra

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.