Real talk: Does this cat love me, or does it love what I can do for it? It's a question many a cat parent has pondered.
Cat behavior experts confirmed that cats can, indeed, feel affection for humans. “Cats can have a lot of the same emotions that we do, including liking to be around us and enjoying our presence,” she says. “I believe they are capable of enjoying relationships with us and even loving us. ”
Cats derive pleasure, safety, and comfort from their relationships with humans. However, all cats express their happiness with their human companions differently. Long story short? Cats have distinct personalities, just like people.
“Some cats are more affectionate than others, or they're more obvious with their affection,” experts explain. "For some cats, the way they show they love you is to want to be in the same room with you. For other cats, the way they show they love you is sitting on your chest and purring in your face.”
No matter what kind of feline you have, you can see once and for all, that your cat does indeed love you.
Cats can love their humans—but not all cats can love the way we want them to. In order to make a great pet, it helps if a cat has become accustomed to human behavior from a young age.
When the sensitive period is over, a kitten can still learn to love a human—but it’s a slower process. Even though cats are a domesticated species, they’re able to live independent of human care. A feral cat, for example, would never be wholly at ease with people; and likely, vice versa. “It’d be like trying to tame a squirrel or raccoon. You wouldn’t end up cuddling a raccoon,”
As for homing stray cats? That's a go, in certain situations. “Some cats that live outside do get a lot of exposure to people—they just may have never lived in a home. They learned, through association, that people are good. They bring me food, maybe I should trust them. But it'll be an adjustment to living indoors,"
- They treat you like you’re a cat. When cats don't feel threatened by other cats, they will show affection by rubbing on them, sleeping near them, and being in their presence. If your cat replicates those behaviors with you, means it has officially imprinted on you.
- They rub against you. experts say this is the "telltale sign" your cat has accepted you into its social group.
- They follow you into a room. If a cat is following you around, that means it wants to be around you
- They come into your bedroom while you're sleeping. Some cats are threatened by a humans' size. As a result, they may feel safer around humans when they're lying on a bed, compared to walking around.
- They blink their eyes slowly. Happy cats tend to blink their eyes slowly and softly. Humans can mimic this gesture, and communicate with their cats. "Softening your gaze is definitely a good way to take the tension out of the space,"
- They knead their paws like a kitten. Ever seen your cat pushing in and out with its front paws? That's a gesture kittens make when they want their mother to release milk. "When they do that to you, it's like you're mommy," and it's another sign your cat is comfortable with you.
- They make the right kind of meow. According to experts, "meowing" is a way for cats to communicate with people. "It's a very effective way of pushing buttons and pulling at our heartstrings and getting us to do whatever they want, whether it's giving them treats or attention,"
- They show their belly—in some cases. Some cats expose their bellies as a sign of relaxation and trust. Other cats, according to experts, show their bellies because they want to play.
They show their tail, too. Once again, the meaning of this gesture depends on the cat. "Some cats only have an active tail when they're irritated," . However, it can also be a sign of affection.
In order to see these behaviors, your cat needs a comfortable environment.
According to the experts, the key to a cat's happiness is setting up an environment in which cats can express behaviors that are natural to them. Be the doer of everything the cat loves: Providing treats, and playing hard to get.
"Then, cats can really build trust and a bond,"