Cats might have earned a bad rap for being unfriendly, too independent, and even rude to their owners and other people, but it’s a reputation that they don’t deserve. In fact, studies have shown that our cats not only love us, but would choose us over food. It’s just the way that they express love (and themselves!) that we don’t always understand — especially when you compare their behavior to dogs, who are always eager and excited to spend time with you.
If you’re having a difficult time figuring out if you and your cat have a strong bond, don’t worry. We’ve put together a list of some common kitty behaviors that are often indicative of love.
Your cat likes being near you
Cats are typically labeled as solitary animals, but the truth is a little more complicated than that. Sure, a cat might not want to spend every waking moment on your lap, but if you notice that your cat is always near you or follows you wherever you go, there’s a high chance that they just love being around you. Cats are more likely to follow you around and sit near you when they trust you.
And if they do happen to love your lap more than that nearby box or cushion, that’s just another sign that they trust you!
Your cat always greets you when you come home
There’s nothing quite like coming home to a happy cat waiting for you at the door. Though this might not seem like a grand gesture in human terms, your cat greeting you at the door is their way of telling you that they’re happy that you’re home and want attention, food, or something else.
Your cat loves making biscuits on you
Kneading—which is colloquially known as “making biscuits”—is one of the most recognizable cat behaviors out there. For cats, kneading on or around you is a major way for them to communicate that they feel comfortable with you, especially because the soothing, repetitive motion reminds them of kneading their mother’s stomach for milk when they were a kitten. On top of that, kneading is an easy way for your cat to mark you as theirs. Plus, it’s super cute.
Your cat "headbutts" you
Headbutting, which is also known as bunting, is a social behavior that a cat learns in kittenhood from its siblings or mother and is another common way that our cats express their love for us. When our cats headbutt us, they want to leave their scent on you and make sure that any other cat who might come across you knows that you’ve already been claimed.
Your cat flops over and shows you their belly
When your cat takes the time to show them a vulnerable part of themself, they’re signaling that they trust you completely. Cats are notoriously famous for hating having their belly touched, but when your cat rolls, makes cute noises, and shows their stomach to you, they want you to know that they trust you! Just don’t take this behavior as an invitation to touch their belly—most cats won’t enjoy the sensation and may bite or scratch you.
Your cat slow blinks at you
Another recognizable cat behavior is the infamous slow blink. Most (if not all) cats have a little bit of a staring problem, but when they break it up with a slow blink, it’s one of the ultimate signs of their affection. Don’t forget to try to slow blink back at your cat!