How does a cat show love?
Do you understand what your cat is trying to tell you? Your little tiger might seem headstrong, but this doesn't mean that he or she doesn't adore you! Here are 5 surprising ways cats display love for us humans.
Felines are, by nature, solitary creatures (unlike dogs, who prefer to live and hunt in a pack). You might see this in your cat's behaviour: for example, your cat is likely to be very focused on their environment, and not so much on what we humans are up tp. For example, there is the classic story of a cat going missing after moving home, only to be found back at their old house. Cats really like to stay in their familiar territory, which is worth considering when you go away on holiday. Rather than moving your cat away from their comfort zone to a cattery, a personal in-home cat sitter is the best match for your cat's needs.
You can build a close bond with your cat (or cats in your care if you are a cat sitter). Cats are super sensitive, observant and intuitive and can pick up on your state of mind. Cats will also attempt to communicate with you if they are around you a lot: using body language, sounds and other behaviours. Keep your eyes peeled for the following behaviours, as this is your cat showing you how much they love you:
1) Sitting comfortably with you
Ever noticed that cats always seem to sit with that one person who isn't a fan of cats? This is because cats like to sit with a relaxed person who won't fuss over them: often the person who doesn't want anything from them, and allows them to just be a cat. And if your cat likes to sit with you, or falls asleep near you, that is a sign that they totally trust you and feel safe in your presence. You might notice your cat a few steps behind you (or under your feet!) whenever you're walking around the house....this is a sign of true cat-love.
"Wherever you go, I'll be by your side!"
2) Purring and kneading
Does your cat purr when you stroke them or when they sit with you? This means your cat is completely comfortable with you. And those little claws that dig in during a kneading "massage" on your lap are also a sign of contentment and love. Your cat would have made this kneading action when they were a kitten to encourage their mother's milk production. So, in a way, you are a kind of a mother to your cat :-)
3) Slow-blinking and squinting
A relaxed cat might blink their eyes gently and seem to squint at you. This is also a calming signal that says "don't be afraid, I'm chilled-out and you should be too". One cute trick to try at home is doing it BACK to your cat. If you want to put a cat at ease (this is definitely worth trying if you are a cat sitter with a new kitty client), then slowly blink your own eyes at your cat. You might get a return slow-blink, or at the very least have a very relaxed cat in your company.
4) Head bunting and rubbing
The action of giving a head bump (officially known as 'head bunting') or a head rub can have different meanings. When your cat does this, they leave their scent on the object or person they have made contact with. When your cat rubs an object using their mouth or cheek, this is a way of marking their territory using the scent glands location in and around their face. But when your cat gives you solid 'bunt' with the forehead, perhaps when you get home from work, they are actually saying: "You are my favourite person!"
5) Leaving you little gifts
Oh dear...there is nothing quite like being left with a dead cockroach or mouse as a present. You may not be a big fan of this behaviour, but if a cat proudly leaves its prey somewhere for you to find, this is a great compliment to you! So clean up, but don't get cranky at your cat's natural instinctive behaviour. After all, it's out of love :-)
Watch your cat closely you will discover many more signs of love and affection. And remember, if you are ever going on a holiday or work trip and need someone to come and give your cat some TLC, skip the cattery and message a friendly Pawshake cat sitter.