Let Me Count The Ways

People who don’t own cats often believe that cats are not affectionate animals. They see cats as fiercely independent… well, that part’s not wrong, but cats can be very affectionate and loving.

How do cats show their love? Valentine’s Day is all about love, so Planet Devon wants to share the love by describing how your cat tells you he loves you. Amy Shojai of The Spruce website tells us about 10 ways your cat shows affection and love for you:

10. – Tail Posture – If you’ve ever petted a cat, you’ve probably encountered the “elevator butt” pose which invites you to pay particular attention to the base of the tail. Cats love to have this body area scratched but they also use their upright tails to signal their love. When a cat approaches you with their tail held straight up and the end slightly tipped over it’s a sign of love. A cat that holds their rear end up in your face is also a sign of affection. Kittens greet their mother with tails flagged high in respect and adult cats continue this behavior with their favorite people.

9. – Loving Eyes – A kitty’s eyes are proportionately huge. As such, cat eyes are important assets for survival, yet extremely vulnerable. Cats that place their faces and wide open eyes near a person are expressing great trust and love. A slow “eye blink” from across the room is considered a cat kiss.

8. – Sleeping – Cats typically sleep up to 16 hours a day and since they are the most vulnerable while sleeping, the place your cat chooses to snooze must be a secure and trusted location. There is no greater loving compliment than a cat picking your lap as their favorite sleep spot.

7. – Playing – Kittens play out of pure enjoyment and their most favorite playmate is typically a trusted and loved companion. Some cats may actually control the interaction of petting by moving just out of reach so you are forced to come to them.

6. – Gifting Prey – Cats are adorable but they’re still tiny carnivores who have hunting instincts. Cats may catch everything from toys to mice and they often share their bounty with those they love. Cats who present you with this bounty deserve praise. They wouldn’t bring these special gifts if they didn’t love you.

5. – Meowing – Cats rarely meow at other cats. Typically, only kittens meow to their mothers and they grow out of the habit as adults. Your adult cat uses these vocalizations specifically to interact with people. Just like us, cats don’t “talk” to people they dislike so even when your cat pesters you with lots of meows, remember that they are interacting with you out of love.

4. – Kneading – Making Biscuits! – Kneading behaviors hearken back to kitten hood. Kitten paws knead against the mother cat’s breasts to induce milk to be released. Adult cats continue this behavior when they’re feeling most relaxed, content, and loved, and that’s often when they’re being petted on their owner’s lap. Kneading is a distinct expression of adoration.

3. – Bunting (Also called booping!) – Bunting is when your cat rubs their cheeks on you or an object, head-butts you with their forehead, or rubs their head on you. This is a way for your cat to leave his scent on you, basically marking their territory. Cats do this when they love something or someone and they may practice bunting on other pets or their favorite humans.

2. – Rolling – Children tend to throw themselves on the ground and roll around in an attempt to refuse to move or while throwing a tantrum but when your cat does it, it means they are excited to see you. Cats may walk or run up to you and throw themselves on the ground and begin to roll around. This is a loving greeting and means they want your attention, especially if they show you their belly.

And the easiest to recognize…

1. – Purring – The most obvious and common way cats show their happiness and love is through purring. Cats seem to have a special little motor inside them that gets started when they are relaxed and enjoying something. You’ll often hear this rumbling, vibrating noise while you are petting your cat. Purrs can also mean your cat is upset but this is not as commonly seen or heard as a happy purr.

How does your cat show love? My KevintheDevon is a talker, meowing his way through the house to chat with. me. Timmy gives me boops, often early in the morning to waken me.

Timmy and KevintheDevon

What about your cat? Happy Valentine’s Day from Planet Devon!

Love is Love is an original watercolor by American artist Elizabeth Winterbone. A beautiful high quality print of the piece is available in our Planet Devon Shop.