One of the stranger things about the feud between cat and dog owners is that if a dog licks you it usually a happy occasion, while if a cat licks you it is time to wash your face. Yes, a cat will lick you as one way to show its affection, but far less common that a dog. Cats eat mice and other rodents, leaving their remains on the floor for us to pick up, so why would we let a cat lick us? Be that as it may, you can avoid the licking feline and look for these other five ways that cats show subtly show their affection.
1. Watch their eyes.
If you have one of those black cats with the green eyes, you are always fascinated by them for some odd reason. But not all cats draw your attention that way, so paying attention to their eyes is an easy way to detect signs of affection. If you cat is looking at you with their eyes half closed and blinking, it is communicating that they trust you (to a certain degree) and likes being around you for the moment (which can also change at any moment). So a simple rule to follow is to return the signal and see how long it lasts until they scurry away.
2. Keep your eyes on their tail.
Cats have been known for a long time to communicate their feelings using their tail, so this should not be something entirely new. But knowing the specific tail actions that convey affection is useful. One of the key factors is tail contact. If your cat is making contact with you by wrapping its tail around part of your body, they are communicating affection. Many cats are not comfortable with anyone touching their tail, so if the reverse happens then think of it as an olive branch of peace and love.
3. The cheek rub.
Many people have seen this and it is no accident on the part of the cat. In fact, it is more than just a sign of affection. It extends out to the offer of wanting to be sociable for once. Don’t pass on this opportunity! We are so used to cats being aloof that when they show they want to socialize it is the opportunity for someone else to get out the camera and start shooting. Their cheek rubbing secretes a pheromone the cat uses to identify friendly, sociable types. You will have to think twice before going to wash it off.
4. They talk to you.
Almost everyone loves a purring cat, and that is one of the most obvious and well-known of the cat affection signals. The louder the purr, the happier the kitty. But purring is a general kind of happy. There are actually specific types of meows are targeting specific people for that special attention. Owners of cats will learn over time which purrs mean what, and combined with other signs of affection clearly communicate their state of heart.
5. They want to hang out with you.
Yeah, this seems completely contrary to the general perception of the aloof cat, but that is why it can be even more obvious than the purring. Whether they are sitting next to you on a chair, laying at your feet, or jumping on to your lap, the idea of wanting to be near to you is obvious. Anyone who has ever fed a cat when they are watching you get out their food knows how they will rub against your leg or even give you a heat butt (another sign of affection) while you are putting their food in a bowl on the floor. It is true that where there is cat food the cat will be close by, and you can learn other signs of cat affection during these feeding times.
Learning some of these signs such as the different types of purring may not be immediately noticeable. But the cat will continue to act natural and continue signaling you until you catch on. Try not to stereotype your cat’s behavior by thinking all cats are the same and you will understand them better over time.