The Latch has partnered with Budget Direct Pet Insurance to help you keep your pets healthy, for many years to come.
Cats are fickle animals. We give them all of our love and yet . . . it can be sometimes be difficult to tell if they’re as obsessed with you as you are with them. Every cat is different and, sure, some are snuggly little babies, but this article isn’t really for you. This one is for the people who shower their cats with love daily and feel like they’re getting very little back in the way of love and attention.
We’ve enlisted Dr Ben Schuster, the resident pet expert and vet at Budget Direct Pet Insurance to decode your cat’s behaviour, once and for all. Ahead, you’ll find all of the subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways your cat is showing you they love you, every single day — and the good news is, a loved up cat is a happy and healthy one.
1. The Slow Blink
According to Dr Ben, the slow blink is the most widely recognised sign of affection between cats and humans, and is sometimes referred to as an “eye kiss”.
“This body language is similar to a smile, meaning your cat is relaxed and reassured when they’re around you,” Dr Ben tells The Latch. “Interestingly, cats have been found to respond to slow blinks from people — so if you slow blink at your cat and they return the favour, it’s proof that you really love each other.”
2. They Sleep on You
“Cats need to feel secure and safe when they have a nap, that’s why often your cat will choose to sleep on you,” says Dr Ben. “If you wake up with your cat sleeping on your head or your chest, don’t be frustrated, take it as a compliment! It means your cat feels safest and most content when they’re around you.”
3. They Greet You When You Get Home
We all know that dogs greet their owners with a huge amount of enthusiasm when they come home, but apparently, cats can do the same thing, albeit more subtly. Dr Ben explains that if your cat does the same and greets you immediately when you arrive, it means they’re excited to see you, too.
4. They Headbutt and Rub Their Cheeks on You
In further proof that cats live by the life motto of “treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen”, Dr Ben tells us that headbutting is actually a good sign in cats.
“You might notice your cat headbutting or rubbing their cheeks on your legs — this is because these areas contain special scent glands,” he says. “These behaviours are your cat’s way of essentially claiming you as their own. After all, they’re obsessed with you.”
5. They Lick You
Grooming is an important behaviour for cats and Dr Ben explains that they can spend hours caring for their coat every single day.
“But grooming can also be a social behaviour, showing affection for their close network of friends and family,” he says. “If your cat is fond of licking you, they may just want to show their affection for you by helping keep you clean.”
6. They Vocalise
Cats can make many different noises; we’ve all heard them meowing or purring. “But if you find your cat is making excited and enthusiastic mews, trills and chirps when they see you, they’re probably trying to express their affection for you in a more vocal way,” says Dr Ben.
7. They Bring You Gifts
Happy and healthy cats love bringing their fur-parents a gift — it’s a fact. “Many cats love to leave presents for their owners as a means of displaying affection,” says Dr Ben. “This can be as simple as bringing you a favourite toy, or maybe something else a bit less pleasing (IYKYK). In these situations, your cat has a generous offering for you as part of their family.”
8. Purring. Lots of Purring
Dr Ben explains that cats can actually purr for many different reasons and this behaviour is not always associated with contentment. “But if your cat is purring happily like a miniature motor while being stroked or groomed, chances are they’re loving it and want you to continue,” he says.
9. They Ask For Belly Rubs
The ultimate sign of vulnerability for any animal is exposing its soft belly, according to Dr Ben. “If your cat truly trusts you, they may roll over specifically asking for a belly rub,” he says. “If they’re receptive to this and accept it happily, your cat is feeling comfortable and head over heels with you. But make sure to watch their body language and know when they’ve had enough.”