Cats say “I Love You” to their humans all the time, but many of us may be surprised by how they actually show this or how often they may be telling us! We’re very blessed that Cole and Marmalade are loving enough to demonstrate the many ways <3
The Flop & Belly Exposure – Many people may see this as a “trap” that will cause untold damage when drawn in to pet your cats belly, but this is actually an indication that your cat TRUSTS you enough to expose their fluffy tummy. In this defenseless position, your cat loves you enough to show you they are open to the love you have to return. Be warned however… there may be a time limit for belly rubs!
Purring & Meowing – Although cats can purr for a variety of communication reasons, when cuddling and snuggling on you, you can be sure the purr is their vocalization of their love. Outside of kittens meowing to their mother, most cats don’t “talk” to each other by meowing. If there is anger between cats, this is usually relayed through hissing….so meowing is reserved for human communication and their way of literally telling us they love us. Or they’re hungry! LOL
Head Bonks, Body Rubs or “Bunting” – The term “bunting” refers to the way your cat presses and rubs their head against objects. This can be a gentle rub of cheek to cheek affection or an all out head butt that causes you to see stars. But WHY do they do this? Cats have scent glands all over their body that they use to “mark” objects. In this case, this affectionate gesture is marking YOU with their love…and territory.
Scratching to Claim Ownership – Again as with bunting, a felines paws contain scent glands that they use to mark their territory. When scratching on your chair, couch or other commonly used furniture, they leave an undetectable odor to humans that is unmistakable to other cats….not to mention the visual scratches left behind. Even if there aren’t other cats within your household, this action is so ingrained in their purr-sona they still feel the need to communicate their ownership of you, their most beloved.
Kneading & Sleeping on you – Kneading or “making biscuits” as many cat servants refer to it as, is in many ways similar to the practical bunting and scratching actions used to mark territory. Some believe that this action may also stem from the days when wild cats used to create soft beds for themselves by patting down grass, leaves and other outdoor comforts. They are just using us as a nice, warm bed that they can snuggle up on. This shows us that they love us enough to be asleep and at their most vulnerable, knowing we are their protectors.
Butt Presentation – Most cat owners know that this situation usually occurs more often than they’d like. You’re relaxing, hear a noise and turn your head, only to come face to face with your felines backside! They’re not doing this because they are mad at us or trying to make us gag, but in fact, they’re trying to say hello and be nice. Physical communication and body language is key in understanding our fur-babies. We just need to accept and recognize that butt presentation is their way of “opening” up to us by allowing us to view their heart from another angle =)
Tail Positioning – The position of your cats tail is a ameowzing glimpse into your cats emotions! When a cat walks towards you with their tail straight up, it means the cat is happy, excited and feeling prideful. Who doesn’t want to feel that way in love?! Another specific that Cole likes to demonstrate is what we call “Peacock Tail”, where he fluffs out the base of his tail and subtly quivers with a slight curve at the top, making it look like a question mark….which DOES make sense as he usually does this near the treat cabinet while begging/”asking” for snacks. Playing on our heartstrings like a master!
Grooming YOU – While most cats spend half their life grooming themselves or their feline companions, occasionally they like to spread the love by grooming their humans too. Again this is primarily linked back to marking you with their scent and/or showing affection. Just be careful that your cat is not licking off any dangerous lotions, hair products or perfumes!
Gift Giving – Indoor and outdoor cats can show this behavior, many times to our dismay when the “gift” left was a recently successful prey. Since cats are predators, their way of providing for us and showing their love and pride is unfortunately what they consider “food”. Luckily many indoor cats practice their hunting skills on their favorite toys, which are much less shocking to wake up to on your pillow!
Love Bites – A love bite is when your cat gently bites you while playing or when you’re petting them. It is another of their unique forms of communication that as we learn about our felines’ personality more over the time spent bonding, can show a range of emotions. Many cats can give love bites when overexcited during play or to tell us they want to play more! It’s important to curb the behavior by introducing toys or non-human limbs into your interactions if the biting becomes aggressive though.
Slow Blinks – Lastly but we believe one of the most significant is the “slow blink”. In the feline domain, closing one’s eyes in the presence of another cat or person is the ultimate sign of trust. If you slowly blink at your cat, you are conveying that you post no threat to their presence. Once the blink has been exchanged, you can be sure there is trust enough to build a solid loving relationship together.