How Do Cats Show Affection?


Medically reviewed by Nicole Wanner, DVM
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Just like every other animal, cats display signs of affection. For new cat owners, this may not be as evident and clear compared to other animals. Cats are distinctive and unique, which means they have different ways of expressing their love. 

WHY IS MY CAT RUBBING AGAINST ME?

When your cat rubs against your face or legs, this behavior is a sign of affection. Research has shown that cats perform these gestures to rub their scents on their owners. By doing this, your cat is claiming you as their own. And the smell also serves as a form of familiarity for your pet. Additionally, your cat may also perform a headbutt gesture to help rub their scent while displaying affection to the owner.

WHY DOES MY CAT LICK ME?

Licking and nibbling is another love language expressed by cats. Like rubbing and headbutting, licking, this is a way for a cat to rub their scent off on its' owner. Licking also displays a cats' social bond and trust with its' owner. Typically, when your furry friends get more comfortable with you, their personality will begin to show. It becomes more natural for your cat to lick you during petting or grooming.

Furthermore, nibbling is another sign of affection from your cat. Your cat might do this when interacting and playing with other cats to show affection; because cat skin is tougher than human skin, these nibbles may hurt at times, but your cats' intentions are pure. 

WHY DO CATS BRING YOU DEAD ANIMALS?

Cats are natural-born hunters, so if you notice your furry friend bringing you small birds, mice, or toys, that is a sign of affection. In wildlife, female cats teach their babies how to hunt at a young age; in cat packs, most cats would bring their kill to show the rest of the pack. These hunter instincts are often displayed by your cat bringing you presents to show-off their catch, which shows that they consider you to be a part of their family.

WHY DOES MY CAT FOLLOW ME?

If you notice your cat following you around the house, this is another sign of affection. This gesture may follow by warm purrs, kneading, and face rubs. These gestures show that your furry friend loves having you around them, even when it's not their feeding time.

Equally important, try to pay attention to your cat's tail. You may start to notice a curved tail when your cat is following you around the house. Research suggests that curved tails symbolize happiness, which is another sign of affection to show how much your furry friend loves you. 

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