How animals behave and interact with each other and humans differs from one species to the next, and there are also differences between individual animals. Dogs are known for being very affectionate animals and most enjoy their owner returning this affection. ON the other hand, cats have earned a reputation for being aloof and being very selective about when they want affection and from whom. However, this does not mean that cats are not affectionate animals, it just means that you need to look out for the signs that they are giving affection or that they want some affection from you. Here is an overview of the signs to look for that show your cat is being affectionate.
Why Do Cats Not Always Show Affection?
In the wild, dogs tend to live in packs while cats usually have a much more solitary existence and like time on their own. As cats have become domesticated, they have had to evolve to their new role in life. This includes showing affection towards humans. Some breeds have adapted better than others, and personality differences between cats is another factor that impacts on whether a cat is naturally affectionate or not. Some cats do not feel the need to have lots of affection from their owners, and they prefer to let you know when they are in the mood for an affectionate moment.
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Being Affectionate?
Each cat is an individual and will have different personality traits and behaviors. However, it is possible to learn the signs of cat affection simply by observing their behavior, says Vet Street. It can take some time to recognize the different signs in their actions, body language, and vocalizations, but you will soon get to know your cat better and gain a greater understanding of what their behavior means.
Body Language That Shows Affection
Purina says that your cat’s body language is the biggest indicator of whether your cat is being affectionate or not. A cat will often close its eyes in a relaxed manner when they cuddle up next to you, which is a sign they are comfortable in your presence and they are ready for affection. Their tail is another gauge for your emotions. While a rapidly swishing tail is a sign of fear or anger, an erect tail with a slight curve at the top is a sign that your cat is happy and feeling affectionate. If they wrap their tail around one of your body parts, then this is another sign that they want to connect with you.
A common sign to look for is light headbutting. If a cat starts to nudge you with the top of their head, they are trying to get your attention and to encourage you to stroke them. Similarly, they might rub against you with their cheek. Not only are they giving themselves the physical contact with you, but they are also trying to persuade you to join in with the rubbing.
Padding is a further way that cats can display affection. They may stand on your lap and move from one foot to another in a motion that is called padding. This is something that young cats do to their mother’s to stimulate the milk supply. As adults, it is done as a sign of love. Some people enjoy the sensation of their cat padding on them, while others find it uncomfortable, especially if they involve their claws in the padding. However, they mean no harm when they are doing this.
Vocalization Showing Affection
Cats also use vocalization as a form of communication, and it is one of the most common ways they use to let you know that they are showing you affection or that they want you to give them affection.
One of the most typical forms of vocalization used when a cat is being affectionate is purring. The purring is often accompanied by them rubbing themselves against you in some way. As you stroke them, the purring may become deeper and louder. This is your cat’s way of letting you know that they are enjoying the contact and that they do not want you to stop. When they are first greeting you or trying to catch your attention to share some affection, they may also meow.
Actions Showing Affection
According to Catster, your cat’s actions are also an indicator of their affection. For example, if you return home and the cat runs up to greet you, then this is one way that they are demonstrating affection. Similarly, if they follow you around the house when you are at home, it means they feel relaxed in your company and want to spend time with you. Even if they do not make physical contact with you, the fact that they want to feel close to you is a form of feline affection.
Are All Cats Affectionate Sometimes?
Just like humans, some cats are more affectionate than others. If you have multiple cats living in your home, then you will probably have noticed that you can have one cat that wants constant affection whenever they are near you, while for another cat displays of affection are rare. This is down to the individual personalities of your cats. However, all cats do have the capacity for affection, and it is possible that they just show it in different ways.
Another action that can demonstrate affectionate behavior is grooming. Cats groom their young not only to clean them but also to show their affection. The cat may also try to groom you by licking you, just like they would a litter of kittens.
Cats and Affection – The Final Verdict
While cats as a species are often not as affectionate as dogs, they do form affectionate bonds with their owners. How much affection a cat wants to give or receive depends on their personal preferences, so all cats vary. They demonstrate their affection to you using a combination of actions, body language, and vocalization.