Does My Cat Love Me?
Here's how to tell if you're your cat's person.
Listen, humans are all about love — and not just from other humans.
People want to love all up on their pets, and they want to know their pets love them back.
As a cat owner, it can sometimes feel like a challenge to tell if your cat loves you — they’re not quite as obvious about it as dogs are, but they do show it.
Just in their own way.
To help you get that confirmation you’re looking for, The Dodo turned to Dr. Vanessa Spano, a veterinarian at Behavior Vets in New York City, to understand how cats show their love.
“Cats also have the capability of trusting and loving you,” Dr. Spano told The Dodo. “Similar to dogs, this may take some time ... depending on their individual fears, stress level and past experiences.”
According to Dr. Spano, the best way to tell whether your cat loves and is comfortable with you is through her body language.
So here are some of the most common signs of a cat who’s head-over-heels in love with you.
Her body is relaxed
Your cat will have a soft, relaxed body if she’s feeling happy to be around you.
“Signs of comfort and positivity in kitties include an erect tail (but not puffed), belly exposure, soft, forward ears, and soft, rounded eyes,” Dr. Spano said.
She rubs her cheeks on you
You know when your cat comes over and rubs you with her cheek and body? That’s basically her version of a hug.
“Cats may also rub their cheeks on you to emit a familiar scent — a pheromone coming from their cheek glands,” Dr. Spano said. In other words, she’s telling the world you’re her person.
She talks to you
When your cat’s happy, she’ll chat with you — sometimes all day.
According to Dr. Spano, high-pitched meows, chirping and purring can all be signs your cat is happy to be around you (although purring can also occur when your cat isn’t feeling her best).
Body language to look out for
While cats can be a bit shy about showing how much they like you, they have no problem telling the world when they’re scared or angry — so sometimes the best proof of their love is that they don’t act upset around you.
“Signs of fear and stress in kitties include a puffed tail, the hair erecting along their backs, dilated pupils, ears pinned back, swatting and hissing,” Dr. Spano said.
While purring can be a sign of happiness, it can also be a sign of stress, so it’s best to look at your cat’s environment to know what she means by it.
“Purring can be a confusing sign,” Dr. Spano said. “Most of the time, cats will purr when they are content, but they will also purr sometimes if they are not feeling well; again, it depends on the context of the situation.”
So in general, look for those relaxed, soft bodies and adorable big eyes to know how happy your cat is to see you — and a lack of hissing or swatting.
As with any animal, the more you pay attention to the situations that cause each of your cat’s behaviors, the more in tune you’ll be with her individual way of showing her moods, needs and emotions — including love.