How Do Cats Show Love?
Understanding cat behavior is often much easier than you might think. In particular, knowing how your cat shows love is very important, because then it helps you to understand when they are happy. There are a variety of ways in which cats show love, and below you will find four of the main ones. When your kitty is showing you a lot of love, you know that they are happy – and, maybe, just maybe, that they are trying to convince you to give them a delicious treat.
Treadling is the name that is often given to the rhythmic movement of the paws that a cat will often engage in when they are feeling calm and happy. Cats have a treadling reflex, it is thought, because when they are being breastfed by their mom when they are kittens, this treadling motion helps them to drink her milk. So, if your cat starts treadling your arm, that indicates that they feel as safe and loving as they did around their mom.
Some owners dislike it when their cat treadles, mainly because they do not understand what it means and because cats can also use their claws when they treadle which can be a little painful. All that you need to do though is to gently move your kitty’s paws away from your bare skin and direct them onto your jeans, or a cushion. Never punish cats for this behavior – after all, they are showing you that they love you and so should be rewarded with a cuddle at least.
Rubbing their foreheads against you.
Cats have scent glads on their foreheads, and this is the reason that they will often come up to you and rub their foreheads on your hand or your leg. They are showing their connection with you, and also helping to consolidate that connection, by covering you in their scent. Now, one might ask whether this is strictly love or whether this is your cat claiming their ownership of you. That would be a very good question! However, there is no doubt that if your kitty starts rubbing their forehead against you, they feel a powerful connection with you. Again, this is another type of well known loving behavior among cats.
You can also help to create a connection with your cat yourself by stroking their forehead. That way, your cat will leave some of their scent on your hand, and feel bonded to you. Don’t worry, though, this scent is imperceptible to humans! Especially if your cat has been spayed or neutered, you will not be able to smell it at all – but your cat will, and that is what is important.
Cats can purr for various reasons and the most common one is happiness. It is almost a cliche to say that a cat purrs when they are happy – every cat owner knows that when they hear those deep rumbling vibrations coming from the couch, that there is one happy kitty asleep there. Cats tend to purr when they are being stroked by you, and when they feel calm and safe whilst you are cuddling them.
Wanting to spend time with you.
If your kitty jumps up to sit beside you on the sofa or follows you in to the next room when you are walking through the house, it is clear that they love hanging out with you. Of course, different cats will have different personalities and some will be pretty clingy whilst others may like their own space but will still love you with all their hearts. If you find your kitty trying to grab your attention all the time, then they could also just be hungry!
Often cats will weave around our legs, jump on our laps and purr and meow when they are keen for their dinner. We all know how cute cats can be when they want something. But, this should not be discounted. The fact that you provide food for your cats is an important part of the loving relationship that you have with them. One of the reasons that your cat loves you, after all, is the fact that you look after them so well and take care of all of their needs.
Do cats see us as humans when they love us?
The loving behavior described above is not something that cats do exclusively to humans. It is also something that they do to other cats. Treadling is a prime example of this. As described above, treadling is what cats do when they are young and being breastfed, and they have directly transferred this behavior over to their human companions. You will also see cats rubbing their foreheads against each other, purring when they are happy with each other, and seeking each other out to hang out with when they love each other.
So, when our cats love us, it seems that they treat us in much the same way as they would treat a cat whom they loved. This leads to the question: do cats see us as humans when they love us? Or, do they rather see as as honorary cats?
Does your kitty display all of this behavior?
How does your cat show their love? All cats are different and some of them may have some pretty quirky ways of showing that they love you. We have not mentioned, for example, the fact that cats will sometimes bring their owners a ‘present’ in the form of a dead mouse or frog that they have just killed as a way of proving their love and devotion. This is something not all cat owners enjoy, but it is a common way for a cat to show their love.
The above list of loving behaviors, though, is pretty common to all cats. Make sure to observe your kitty’s behavior so that you can check if they seem happy or loving or whether they seem a bit more reserved and stressed out. Usually, cats will exhibit loving behavior when they feel relaxed, calm and safe, so a good cat owner will always do their best to promote an environment in which cats can feel totally at ease and very calm.
Have you signed up to our 14 Day Love Your Cat More Challenge?