One of the classic “Dogs make better pets than cats” arguments is that cats show their owners no affection; dogs, on the other hand, are quite demonstrative with their love. It isn’t hard to picture an adoring dog with its human: tongue lolling, gaze following its master’s every move, eagerly obeying every command, exuberantly jumping up to lick a hand or face…You don’t usually see this level of enthusiasm from felines. Does that mean your cat doesn’t love you? Of course not. Although understated, your kitty’s subtle affection is just as valid as a dog’s exuberant warmth. Here are a few of the ways cats show their love for the special humans in their lives:
- Staring: Holding your gaze and blinking slowly is a cat’s way of letting you know that she trusts you and feels at peace in your company. A fearful or unhappy feline is more interested in running off and hiding than initiating and holding eye contact. The next time you catch your furry friend staring at you dreamily, you can recognize it as a form of engagement and trust!
- Meowing: Did you know that cats only meow to humans? They don’t communicate this way to other cats. Feel free to meow back and have a conversation with your kitty! Meowing and purring speak volumes of your cat’s affection for you.
- Following: You walk into the living room to take a seat on the couch when you notice that you have a shadow following close behind. The same little shadow follows you into the kitchen as you get a glass of water, then comes along as you hike up the stairs toward your bedroom. If your cat seems to be stalking you, chances are he enjoys your presence and just doesn’t want you out of his sight.
- Grooming and kneading: Sometimes the sandpaper-like tongue of your cat can be a bit abrasive on your hand, and kneading can be a bit painful when the claws come out; nevertheless, those behaviors are gestures of love! Let it happen.
- Sitting in your lap: It may not always be at the most convenient of times (when you’re sitting on the couch trying to eat and watch television, for example), but when your cat plops down in your lap, she’s trying to get close to you and feels comfortable enough to do so. Take a moment to cuddle your furry friend!
Not all cats show their affection the same way, but it’s their unique personalities that endear them to us in the first place. How does your kitty demonstrate his or her love? Leave us a comment or a photo on the Cat Clinic at Cherry Hill Facebook page! And to show your love for your feline family member, be sure to visit your trusted cat veterinarian for regular checkups throughout the year.