Tell me you haven’t asked yourself at least once “does my cat love me?”, like it’s one of the great mysteries of life. Maybe it is. Good old science has proven
to us that our cats don’t need us, but we’re not talking about need here, we’re talking about want. We’re talking about love.
I once had a cat who moved out on me, which was pretty rude all things considered. She came to me as a feral kitten barely old enough to leave her mother and domesticated into one of the best pets I’ve had, but clearly she had different feelings about me. I loved her and gave her a good life but I guess I just wasn’t ‘the one’.
I only realised she’d moved in with the neighbour down the street because she would sit like a jerk in their front yard and watch me walk past on my way to work every morning. I asked her to come home and she said no. Turns out the neighbour liked having her around so I just let them be together and drowned my sorrows in buckets of ice cream.
Yes…Sometimes Cats Are Jerks
Think about it: if cats were people, they’d be supreme jerks. You know that friend who only contacts you when they want something and ignores you the rest of the time? Human cat.
Here’s the thing – cats are solitary, territorial animals. They don’t form packs like dogs or humans, but they’re not antisocial. It’s just that they can get by fine without your input, thank you very much.
Anyone who has woken up with a cat on their head will tell you, they’re not antisocial animals…they just enjoy their alone time more than they enjoy your company. They do enjoy your company, but only on their own terms.
Cats Speak a Different Language
Ok, I’m still upset because Sparrow yells at me all the time but refuses to speak English. Cats are strange creatures who have very different ways of expressing their feelings – the noise is only part of what they’re saying.
Cats don’t talk to each other, their meowing is reserved for their human friends. Secret cat language is made up of ear twitching, head flicking, tail waving and a whole bunch of other subtle body language. If you can get your head around all this you’ll be able to tell when your feline friend is loving on you…and when he’s not.
How to Tell if Your Cat Loves You
Amongst all of the aloof behaviour, cats like their humans. They just have a strange way of showing it sometimes. Here are a few signs that you have a secret feline admirer:
- You have a welcome home committee – often accompanied by a welcome home song. Mine starts the moment I park my car and stops…almost never.
- You have a cat shaped shadow – forget about alone time and definitely forget about privacy. If you can’t even shower without an audience, consider yourself loved. Just don’t expect a standing ovation.
- You feel like you’re constantly being watched – because you are. Kinda creepy, but cats only make direct eye contact with people they really like. And that long slow blink – that’s cat language for ‘I love you’ so blink back and show your kitty that the feeling is mutual.
- You see your cat’s belly a lot – this is kitty’s most vulnerable, squishy region – the part they like to keep protected from evils. If your cat shows you a lot of belly, he trusts you. A lot.
- You get presents – basically, your cat thinks you’re a big dumb cat who can’t hunt for herself. Presents are usually gross dead animals, but it’s the thought that counts. Your cat wants to feed you because he cares about you. Just another reason to keep the cat indoors, if you ask me. Toys are much nicer presents.
- You’re constantly being kneaded like pizza dough – I have a friend who theorises that this is a cat’s way of tenderising you so that your meat isn’t tough when they kill you and eat you. That’s (probably) not true, kneading is what kittens do to their mothers to get the milk flowing so it’s more likely that your cat just loves you like a mother-figure. Clip your cats claws, unless you want love to hurt.
- Your legs are an obstacle course – that same friend swears that cats weave between our legs hoping to trip us up so that they can tenderise, kill and eat us. Also (probably) not true, your kitty just wants to be close to you.
- You get little love bites – this is a sign of affection, not a taste test. Trust me, if your cat really wanted to hurt you (or kill you and eat you) he is well equipped to do so.
- You’re the victim of violent head-butting – this is not the same as when a human head butts you. Cats do this to get their facial pheromones on you and claim you as their own.
- You haven’t been slashed to pieces – cats are killing machines, if you’re still alive and in one piece, chances are your cat has decided to let you live because he loves you.
- Your cat chooses to live with you – not with the neighbour down the street. Yes, I’m still upset about that.
Want to Make Your Cat Love You More?
Look, you can’t make someone fall for you, but as far as cats go it’s pretty easy. Whether you’re aiming for big, squishy love or just a peaceful existence, there are a few little things you can do to make your cat happy and (hopefully) affectionate:
- Take care of the basics – provide good food, somewhere warm to sleep and a clean litter box every day.
- Give your cat your time – they’re a part of your family and they deserve quality time the same as any other member of your family. Make time to play, make time to just hang out and pay attention when your kitty asks for it.
- Give your cat his space – remember, these are not pack animals, they like their alone time. If your cat wants to hang out by himself in a quiet room, let him. Make sure everyone understands this, especially the kids.
- Don’t be a jerk – no yelling, screaming, hitting, throwing things or violence of any kind. In fact, if you’re that kind of person, please take your pets to the shelter and put them up for adoption immediately. You don’t deserve them.
Cats show their love for us in many strange and wonderful ways – yes, sometimes love hurts but it’s worth the occasional scratch. If you’re the object of a cat’s affection, consider yourself special – such picky creatures only choose the very best of everything and the humans they choose are no exception.
Do you have a special feline someone in your life? Share your love songs and dedications in the comments below…