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People that have never owned a cat or spent a lot of time getting to know them often have the misconception that cats are aloof, unfriendly animals that are only interested in people when there’s something in it for them-such as food! However, anyone who has owned a cat will know that this is not true, and cats are generally very affectionate animals, who show their love in a wide variety of ways that are often missed or misinterpreted by the uninitiated!
In this article, we will look at just six of the numerous ways that cats show people that they love you, even if this may not be self-evident if you’re not overly familiar with cats! Read on to learn more.
People who think that cats are aloof, self-involved animals that only tolerate people because they’re a source of food often cite the behaviour of cats when they are clamouring for something to eat as a classic example of this!
When your cat knows that dinner time is approaching, or in some cases, if you just open a certain cupboard door or try to open a tin of something else, they will generally make a big fuss to let you know that they are there and would like to share with you, by meowing, getting in the way, and purring and rubbing around your legs!
It is certainly true that your cat will likely want to prioritise eating when food is in the offing over being fussed over-but what about when your cat has finished their meal?
A large proportion of cats will come straight back to their owner after they have been fed, and purr, show affection, and sit down with you.
Hearing a great fanfare of tweets and meows as your cat brings in yet another unfortunate rodent for you generally isn’t most cat owner’s favourite regular occurrence, but your cat is actually showing you the height of their love and respect by presenting you with prey!
However, it is a misconception that cats that bring you prey are giving it to you because you are their boss and leader, which is a very dog-like behaviour-essentially, the truth behind this behaviour is much more likely to be that your cat simply thinks that you are a really bad hunter who needs a little push, much as a queen will bring prey back to their litter to feed them and teach them how to hunt!
By bringing you prey, your cat is telling you that they are concerned about your ability to fend for yourself, and want to make sure that you get enough delicious rodents, because they care about you!
If you have ever observed your cat cuddled up when they are warm, comfortable and contented, you may witness them blinking very slowly-gradually closing their eyes to slits, holding that position for a few seconds and then reopening them just as slowly. However, this behaviour doesn’t indicate a cat that is on the verge of falling asleep struggling to stay awake-it is actually one of the most meaningful and clear methods by which cats show affection, both to other cats and to people.
If you want to repay the compliment, copy the motion right back at them!
Whilst some cats will throw themselves at your feet and beg to have their tummy rubbed, for a great number of cats, the belly area is too sensitive for petting, and is a no-go zone! Any cat that allows you to stroke their tummy is displaying a high level of trust and affection for you, and this becomes even more meaningful if your cat usually won’t let you touch it.
Proceed with care if your usually reticent cat offers up their tummy-stick to very slow, light strokes, and know when to stop!
Cats are very territorial animals, and they mark and maintain the boundaries of their territory and everything within it by scent-marking it as theirs. Whilst we generally think of scent-marking as something that is done by male cats when spraying, day to day scent marking is actually a lot more subtle than this!
Cats have pheromone-rich scent glands along the sides of their faces, and when they rub their faces against people or furniture, they are marking it out as theirs.
If your cat does this to you, they are letting you (and other cats) know that you are their person!
Finally, kneading! Cats are fairly unique when it comes to kneading behaviour-how many other pet owners can say that their pets show love and affection by sticking tiny needles into them? While kneading can potentially be uncomfortable and even painful, it is very meaningful for your cat to do this, and it lets you know that they hold you in the highest regard, trust you, and love cuddling up with you.
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