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Does Your Cat Love You?

Does Your Cat Love You?

Cats seem to be known for being aloof and independent. But anyone who owns cats knows they can be very loving and affectionate, too.  There’s often no doubt that a dog loves his human with wagging tail and sloppy kisses. Cats tend to show their love in a more subtle manner. Let’s learn more about cats’ love language and how to show your cat you love her, too!

  • Vocalization—Adult cats typically do not communicate with each other by meowing.  Domestic cats have developed a variety of different meows to talk to their owners.  Cats have different vocal cues which can indicate hunger, fear, contentment, and other moods.  Purring is also most commonly associated with contentment in cats.  While cats sometimes purr when ill or stressed, in most cases, a purring cat is a happy cat!

How to respond—talk to your cat! Cats respond well to hearing their names and like high pitched “baby talk.”

  • Physical contact/proximity to their owners—If your cat likes to be close to you, it’s a good indicator that he or she loves you and feels comfortable with you.  Cats typically spend more time in the company of people and other animals that they consider “buddies” than with those they have no bond with.  Cats may also display various types of physical contact such a head-butting, rubbing against you, kneading, grooming behaviors and by soliciting petting or play from their owners. 

How to respond—respond to pleas for attention with gentle petting and touch and set aside time each day to engage in play with your cat.  Create a cat-friendly environment with areas for your cat to have some quiet as well as places to climb, explore and play.  Spend time combing and grooming your cat, but don’t overdo physical contact.  Some cats do not enjoy nose kisses or belly rubs as much as we enjoy giving them! Try to respect their likes and boundaries. 

  • The slow blink—this is a strong indicator that a cat is communicating trust and affection, but it is a very subtle signal and may be overlooked.  This is perhaps the ultimate expression of love and seems almost like a secret language that cats have developed to show us how much they care for us. 

How to respond—get down on their level, mimic their body language, return those slow blinks and use that baby language to engage your cat and show him you love him, too!

               While cats may not display their love as boisterously as dos, once you know what to look for, it’s easy to see the subtle signs of affection cats show to us.  When a contented cat looks at you with those loving slow blinks and a resounding purr, you know it’s love!

               This blog brough to you by the Patton Veterinary Hospital serving Red Lion, York and the surrounding communities.

Sources:  Radford, Sheri. “The Love Language of Cats.”  Modern Cat, Spring-Summer 2024pp. 52-55.