Many studies suggest that your furry friend actually sees you as a member of her feline family – that is, as an over-large cat (who’s not particularly good at hunting). If she licks or grooms you, you can usually take it as a good sign that you’re a beloved part of her clan.
Kittens show affection for one another through playful biting behaviour, and your cat might do the same to you. However, if those sharp little teeth start to hurt, don’t react badly, as this could confuse her. Instead, try directing her attention away with a toy or game – or read our expert advice ondiscouraging biting behaviour.
3. Eye contact
If you’re wondering how to tell if your cat loves you, watch for signs that she’s completely comfortable around you. Cats interpret eye contact with a stranger – whether feline or human – as threatening. If she’s happy to look you in the eye, and especially if she slowly blinks while doing so, she has lovingly accepted you as one of her own.
Cats mark their territory using the scent glands on their cheeks and head. So by head-butting you, or rubbing her chin against you, your feline friend is affectionately marking you out as hers.
5. Generous ‘gifts’
If your cat presents you with prey she’s caught, she could be taking on the role of a teacher – just as she might show her kittens how to hunt. Since she’s never actually seen you catch your food, she may simply assume you’re a member of the family who needs to be taught!
6. Tall tails
A cat’s tail can be a good indicator of how she’s feeling, and can help you get an understanding of her body language. If your pet approaches with her tail held high and the tip twitching from side-to-side, interpret it as international cat language for, ‘I’m friendly and I like you’.
Adult cats rarely meow at other cats. Instead they often use their vocalisations specifically to interact with people. And, just like us, a cat is unlikely to ‘talk’ to those she doesn’t like. If your cat does a lot of meowing (even when she’s well fed and warm), it may be that she’s interacting with you out of love.
There are many theories as to why cats knead your knee, but experts believe it’s a behaviour kittens learn in order to stimulate their mother’s milk flow. By practising this habit on you, your cat is once again showing that she accepts you as part of the family. If your pet is a keen kneader, try putting a thick blanket between you and her busy paws.
9. Sleeping on you
One of the most convincing signs your cat loves you is her being happy to snooze on your lap. As a natural hunter, your cat doesn’t like to feel vulnerable – and is especially wary of feeling this way while asleep. By sleeping on you, she’s exposing herself at her most defenceless, and showing her trust for you.
10. Presenting her behind
Cats identify each other by scent, and so sniffing one another’s behinds is the equivalent of a very personal handshake. While presenting her tail to your face can seem a bit like a back-handed compliment, it’s actually a signal that you’re one of her most trusted people.
Why not show your cats some love? Post your pictures on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the tag #PethoodStories and we might share on our channel (@petplan_uk).