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How Cats Show Their Love

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As a cat parent, you say, “I love you,” to your cat in a thousand little ways. Whether it’s buying her favourite treats or playing with her after a long day at work, you show her that you care every day. But have you ever wondered, “How do cats show love?” Cats show their affection in both obvious and subtle ways. 

Here are 5 ways that cats show their love.


Cats will often rub cheeks with their owners and other kitty friends. This allows them to exchange facial pheromones with you. Cat behaviour expert Pam Johnson-Bennett says, “The pheromones (scent chemicals) located along the cheek and on the cat’s head are associated with friendliness, affection and familiarity.” When your cat rubs cheeks with you, it’s a sign of affection.

Following you around

When you’re cooking or working on a DIY project, you may feel like your cat is constantly underfoot. In fact, this is a sign of her affection for you. She really likes to hang out with you!

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Pam Johnson-Bennett explains, “Also known as the milk tread, this behavior consists of the cat flexing and relaxing his front paws against a soft object. It originated when the cat was a kitten and used the milk treading behavior to stimulate the release of milk from the mother’s teat during nursing.” When your cat kneads, he is demonstrating his affection and appreciation for you.

Sleeping in your lap

Since most cats sleep for an average of 15 hours a day, your cat needs a safe place to sleep. She might sleep in her outdoor cat house, or she may choose to curl in your lap and take a nap. Because sleeping makes her feel vulnerable, this shows that she trusts you deeply. Sleeping in their owner’s lap is a common way that cats show their love.

Slow eye blinks

As many cat parents know, a slow eye blink is a common sign of affection. It means that your cat is relaxed and content with you. Cat expert Roger Tabor writes in his book, Understanding Cat Behaviour, “Blinking is a very powerful communication as a reassurance signal and is commonly used between cats…” If you will return the blink, your cat will understand it to mean, “I love you.”

Cats show their love in many different ways. Tell us in the comments…how do your cats show their affection for you?

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