Not just staff: how you can tell your cat loves you
People often say cats don’t have owners, but employees. These quirky creatures have a mind of their own, and it is they who decide whether they would like a cuddle - or most definitely not. To non-cat people, it might seem like cats don’t think much of us humans, but cat lovers know better. Cats show you they love you in their own offbeat ways. So, how do you know your cat loves you and misses you when you’re gone?
From loner to social creature
Cats are solitary creatures by nature. Feral cats and farm cats prefer to live alone or in small groups, but many cats enjoy sharing a home with a group of humans. Under our influence, domestic cats have become more social and crave company, both human and animal.
Because of this increased need for interaction, it’s not a great idea to leave them home alone for multiple days. Your kitty needs the daily stimulation of social contact and will languish when left to their own devices. However, cats develop a secure attachment to their environment, so they also don’t particularly appreciate if you remove them from their trusted home. Are you planning to go on holiday? It’s best to ask a friend or family member to take care of your furry friend, or to hire a pet sitter. Agree with the sitter that they will not only feed your cat and clean their litter box but that they also spend a little time with the cat for a cuddle and some playtime.
Does my cat love me?
Cats may not be as exuberant in showing their affection as dogs are, but that doesn’t mean they are not happy to see you when you get home. How they demonstrate this depends on the cat. Some will greet you with a purrrrr or a head rub against your leg. Others will come running, meowing loudly, tail up in the air.
The most obvious sign your kitty loves and trust you is to have them sleeping next to you on the sofa, either quietly or purring softly. Cats purr when they are comfortable or enjoying themselves. A cat that genuinely loves their owner wants to spend time with them. Some cats enjoy being close to you and will climb on your lap when they get the chance, and others will settle in next to you, but both enjoy being with you.
Kisses and fist bumps
Another sign of trust are ‘cats kisses’. Sometimes, when they are quietly looking at you, the cat will blink slowly. At this point, non-cat people usually think the cat is plotting world domination, but let’s translate this feline communication accurately. They are telling you they trust you, and are enjoying your company to boot. Next time they give you one of these ‘kisses’, try giving one back to tell them you love them too.
Scent plays an essential role in the relationship between cat and owner. Cats don’t just recognise their owner by their face, but also by voice and smell. If a cat appreciates you, they may try to mix yours and their scent by washing you. Rubbing their head against any part of you is also a loving way for them to state: “This human is mine!” Some cats may rub their head against your leg, but others will head butt you – a feline version of a fist bump.
Do you want to tell your cat you love them too? Besides ‘cat kisses’, spending quality time with them is the best way to spoil your cat. Help your cat wash by giving them a thorough brushing. (A lovely, long petting session will also work wonders for removing loose hair.) Or go hunting together – grab a toy and have your kitty chase it.
The more time you spend with your feline buddy, the stronger your bond will be - curling up on the sofa together, working on the computer, or simply horsing around. You’ll soon notice you and your cat becoming inseparable because you are not an employee – you’re their favourite cat pal.