Any relationship is a two-way street – we give and take, offer and accept. In the dynamic between people and their pets, the back and forth of love and affection is noticeable. We take care of our animal’s needs in ways they can’t necessarily return (like meals or cleaning up), but they offer us love and companionship in kind.
Cats are sometimes perceived to be an exception to this. You can love a cat as much as possible, and yet, you may feel that they don’t notice or seem to care. The good news is that you can learn to “speak their language”, so that you can know without a doubt that you are loved in return.
Cats and Love
Felines show affection and love differently than people and other animals. To be sure, some of their behaviors are downright puzzling or aggravating, but if you know how to decode some of their messages, you might feel differently.
An obvious marker of contentment is purring. If your cat is purring on or near you, you can rest assured that he or she is feeling the love. However, excessive purring can be tied to pain. Just in case, keep an ear out for something unusual and check on your cat’s physical state for any signs of injury or illness.
One of the softest and most vulnerable parts of a cat is, of course, the belly. When your kitty rolls around exposing their underside, your cat is showing trust. If you’re allowed to give the tummy a little scratch, your cat truly loves (or at least trusts) you.
Pure affection causes a cat to bump their head against someone. If it’s followed by a good cheek rub, a cat is saying “mine,” and this is the ultimate sign of love. Scratching is also an indicator of ownership and marks not only a cat’s favorite places, but also those that are closely associated with favorite people.
Similarly, many people believe sustained eye contact with a cat should be avoided. However, cats love with their eyes. A staring contest may certainly yield a long, slow eye blink that says “I love you.”
To show that you love the cat in your life, let them know that you understand their body language. Pay close attention to the tail, their meow, and praise them for giving you little “gifts,” snuggling with you, and showing trust.
Playing together is a phenomenal way to love a cat. Help your feline tune into those predatory instincts, teach him or her to play fetch or chase, go for a stroll together, and even play hide and seek.
Grooming is another way to express your appreciation for your cat. While they are likely to be quite spiffy already, the powerful bond between you can be deepened by brushing or massage.
Love a Cat, Keep Routine
Felines are creatures of habit who rely on routine for overall feelings of wellbeing. Make sure to keep up a routine of mealtimes, exercise opportunities, and even when you leave and return home. To that end, love a cat by feeding every day at the same time using the same nutritious food. He or she will definitely reward your efforts with head butts, purrs, and deep snuggles.
Please let us know if you have any further questions regarding how you can love a cat. Good luck!