Decoding How Cats Show AffectionPublished August 26, 2011
Getty Images: Cat Affection
Cat affection can be displayed in very subtle ways. Totally different from dogs, who express love through tail-wagging and wet sloppy kisses, felines show their adoration and trust using body language that might can easy to miss.
Here are some common signs of cat affection:
- Eye blinks: When a cat meets a stranger for the first time, they give them an unblinking stare. They are wary. Cats that feel trust and affection for a human often blink at them. Now you may wonder why that is a positive sign. While it is not exactly the "wink" that humans use to express affection, (although it makes a lot of sense that may be the origin of that very commonly-used method of "flirting" between people), it is a gesture of trust and acceptance. So if your cat presents you with half-closed eyes, and blinks at you, you have received a kitty "kiss".
- Grooming: When your cat allows you to groom him, this is another sure sign that he trusts you and feels cat affection for you. Not only are cats cleaning each other when they indulge in one of their favorite pastimes, they also usegrooming as a stress-reliever and a way to build mutual bonds. If your cat offers to groom you, you have actually been accepted as part of his feline "family."
- Head Rubbing: When a cat rubs her face on a human, she is using scent glands on her cheeks to mark her territory. this can both mean affection, and that she is claiming the human in question as her "property." Cats also rub their faces on a wide variety of objects around the house, so it is fun to see which possessions are favorites. Head "butting" is yet another common display of loving.
- Belly Display: This sign of cat affection is one of the most profound acts of trust a cat can bestow on a human. This vulnerable act is one that needs to be truly appreciated and respected. However, it is not necessarily an invitation for a belly rub, so please approach a cat in this position very cautiously.
- Kneading: A cat kneading against your body is an act of sheer contentment, trust and true adoration. Often this is accompanied by drooling, which is the ultimate display of pleasure. This behavior originates when cats are newly born kittens, and helps stimulate milk flow from their mother. Highly regressive and instinctual, when your cat kneads you it is a supreme expression of delight and love.
Have I neglected any other signs of cat affection? Leave a comment and add to the list.