You may perceive it as a love-hate relationship…with an emphasis on the latter.
But believe it or not, the domestic cat with whom you share a residence does more than simply tolerate your co-existence. In all likelihood, your feline enjoys your company and genuinely adores you.
Some of us are cat crazy. For the rest, however, it takes time to warm up to the notion of caring for a pet that can come across as independent and aloof whenever it’s not feeding time. People tend to misunderstand cats, in part because they can seem unpredictable. One moment your cat is purring with delight as you scratch his cheek, but the next he’s nipping at you.
Whereas dogs enjoy a reputation for being loyal and loving, cats must endure a running joke that they’re secretly plotting to kill their owners. They’re often unfairly pegged as solitary and selfish, only desiring human attention on their own terms.
In reality, though, most felines demonstrate a remarkable propensity to bond with people. Yet evidence of feline affection can be subtle and hard to read, thereby contributing to their bad rap as unloving.
On behalf of the nearly 100 million domestic cats living within the United States, it’s time to set the record straight. Here are seven signs your cat actually adores you:
1. Your Cat Acts Like Your Shadow
Not every cat rushes to meet you at the door when you arrive home from work, but many felines afford their owners constant companionship by following them around the house. Your little copycat keeps an eye on you when you’re home, perhaps even ensuring you never use the bathroom alone. Have a room where you enjoy sitting to read or watch TV? Chances are your cat casually saunters into that room to join you. Few creatures can rival a feline’s ability to offer quiet company.
2. Your Cat Purrs in Your Presence
When your cat climbs into your lap and begins to purr, all seems right in the world. You may lack the ability to replicate the gentle vibrating rumble your feline exudes, but you share his happiness. While a cat’s purr can signify various emotions, it’s most often associated with feelings of pleasure and contentment. Consequently, you should take it as a compliment when your feline graces you with his purring.
3. Your Cat Stares at You Adoringly
Speaking of contentment, your cat’s body language tells a similar story, particularly when you consider your feline’s eyes. Although you may never win a staring contest against your cat, you can take solace in knowing the significance of your cat’s gaze. When your cat stares at you adoringly then slowly squints or closes his eyes, it’s a telltale sign that you’re the subject of his admiration.
4. Your Cat Rubs His Head Upon You
In one of their most affectionate displays involving physical contact, cats will rub their heads upon their human companions. This friendly, aroma-sharing gesture enables a feline to reinforce a positive relationship and mark you with his scent, as he releases pheromones signaling comfort and familiarity. If you’re feeling lucky, you can attempt to reciprocate head-rubbing and see how your cat reacts.
5. Your Cat Partakes in Play with You
It’s arguably the most underrated aspect of cat ownership. Ever curious, felines engage in play from the time they’re one-month-old kittens through adulthood. In addition to watching your cat’s playfulness with amusement, you may be “invited” to partake in the fun. A trusting feline will allow you to participate in interactive play sessions, during which you can help your cat gain confidence, develop social skills, and hone his hunting ability. So break out the laser pointer and enjoy playtime with your feline friend.
6. Your Cat Exposes His Belly to You
One of the ultimate demonstrations of trust, a cat will sometimes show you his belly. This development typically signifies your human-feline relationship has progressed significantly and that a comfort level has developed. Since cats tend to feel vulnerable to predators when their stomachs are exposed, they rarely assume a belly-up position willingly. Take this occurrence as a sincere compliment coming from your cat – and possibly even an indication that he’s seeking a belly rub.
7. Your Cat Brings You “Presents”
If you have an outdoor cat, you’ve likely experienced it: Your feline brings you a trophy in the form of a dead animal he hunted. Why does your cat insist on presenting hunting prizes to you? From his perspective, you represent a family member who seems incapable of catching your own prey, therefore your cat will provide some for you. You’re the “lucky” recipient of your cat’s hunting prowess. As you clean up the animal carcass from your doorstep, just remember that it’s the thought that counts.
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