“There’s a dead mole at our back door!”
“Who just bit my ear?”
“I just tripped over kitty again!”
Hang around them long enough, and you may hear one of these exclamations from a cat mom or dad. But those statements have one thing in common—and it’s more valuable than what anyone has in their bank account. What is it?
It’s all about love.
Unconditional, eternal, guileless love.
There are various ways dear kitty may communicate her love for you—to you. Her methods may range from the disgusting (think dead moles, rats, mice, or birds left on your doorstep)—to the sweetest purrs, chirps, or mews you’ll ever know.
Understanding that there are many ways cats show their love is essential in understanding how your cat shows her love. Some affection is obvious, you’ve definitely seen these ways in practice. Other behaviors may not initially be interpreted as love (think back to the dead animals left on your doorstep).
Love Bites and Flashing
Love isn’t usually declared through biting (i.e. an angry two-year-old, or a rabid animal). But, when your cat nips, or gives you “love bites,” she’s expressing her love. Some of the places I’ve noticed cats like to give love bites are on an ear, nose chin, or hand. Kitty may also go for your hair and/or scalp. It’s sometimes necessary to gently redirect kitty to give little kisses instead.
Flashing her belly is one way kitty loves to convey her love to you. She’s demonstrating that she’s willing to be vulnerable around you; she’s comfortable and trusting of you. Kitty will often roll around while showing you that furry belly she’s so proud of!
Kneading You and Just Chillin’
Kneading, also called making biscuits, is one of those actions that is pretty obvious. Kitty loves you; so she’s massaging you like a first-rate masseuse. Although there are many theories, the most popular belief is that cats knead because they kneaded while nursing as kittens. Kittens innately know to knead for the production of milk from their mothers. So, for most cats, that motion stays with them throughout their lives and is very comforting to them.
Cats love to follow you around. Especially when you’re headed towards the kitchen (Gee, I wonder why…). It’s quite easy to trip over kitty as she walks ahead of you, in your path. And then other times she darts around you and all of the other objects in her way! Alternatively, she may just linger around wherever you are. The key point here is that she loves you and wants to be wherever you are—or wherever you’re going.
Blinks of the Eyes and Curves of the Tail
Blinking slowly indicates that cats are relaxed and satisfied with their surroundings. It’s another way kitty demonstrates that she’s willing to be vulnerable in your presence. Exhibiting this behavior is another way to show you her comfort, which also proves her love for you. Sometimes she’ll wink, or just stare lovingly into your eyes.
A cat’s tail can reveal a lot about what she’s feeling in the moment. When kitty is happy and really wants to express her love, she’ll sometimes quiver and curve the tip of her tail.
Kitty is born blind, her mother guides her by purring. This is a time of great comfort that stays with them throughout their lives. It’s more evidence that kitty feels content, and is comfortable with you.
Like humans, sleeping is the most vulnerable time for a cat. Just sleeping in the same room with you is a good sign. Does she sleep on your lap? That’s even more of a sign that she trusts and loves you.
Rubbing and Gift Givin’
Kitty bumping you with her head and rubbing up against you? Usually against your leg or your cheek? She’s marking her territory. And yes, it means she loves and will try to protect that territory. You are hers for life!
Okay, everybody’s favorite token of affection. I know, I know, you’ve been waiting for this one. Yes, when kitty leaves a dead animal near your door, or brings the animal inside, it’s a demonstration of love. Sometimes kitty will just stand in front of you—dead animal hanging out of her mouth. She may intensely stare at you…as if she’s saying, “Look what I got ma, look what I got!” So proud of herself! She really is saying “thank you” and “I appreciate you” (A whole dead animals worth!). As revolting as it may be, it’s really quite sweet.
Okay—Now…Express YOUR Love
So, kitty isn’t really shy about presenting her love to you. Treat kitty exactly as who she is—she’s your baby. Kitty is sweet and truly innocent; and you’ve made a lifetime commitment to her. Feed kitty, give her water, pet her, brush her, hold her, give her toys and beds of her own, gently play with her. Show her how much you really love her.
Take good care of her and she’ll take good care of you!