KITTENS

How to Show Your Cat You Love Them: 11 Ways to Convey That the Feeling is Mutual

A woman and her kitten lying in bed
Martha Harvey
Written by Martha Harvey

You love your cat alright, but does he know it? It does not matter how much your heart swells with affection towards kitty if he has no clue about it. As a cat a parent, you need to know how to show your cat you love them. Without this knowledge, you will not enjoy the sweet furry friendship that only your cat can offer.

Cats love it when their owners reciprocate their love, but to make them understand, you’d have to convey your feelings in their language. Cats do not shout their affection. They want you to unravel it in the quiet, subtle cues and gestures they send forth to others of their kind. Wondering how to go about it? This article covers everything you need to know about a cat’s love language.

Orange and white cat head butting a man

In this article, we help you take a peek into the feline world and understand how cats perceive affection. It’s the simple things like letting her nap on your lap, indulging her in her favorite treat, brushing her coat, and playing with her that make your cat tick. We have compiled a comprehensive list to show you how to love your kitty right back. Only with this understanding will you be able to reciprocate your cat’s tender love.

Tips on How to Show Your Cat You Love Them

People keep pets for many reasons, and a key one among them is companionship. Cats offer amazing companionship. They are gentle, loyal, and loving. Their sweet company acts as therapy for cat owners after a hard day’s job. Cat owners will go to any lengths to keep their kitty happy. Are you at a loss on what exactly you should do for your cat to know how much you love them? Here are loving tips that will help your kitty sense your love:

Loving Tip #1: Ask for Permission

First things first, cats prefer to dictate when they want to cuddle or snuggle up to you. Allow kitty to send you the signals and respond appropriately. When not sure, offer him your hand, and if he begins to rub himself against it, he is ready to receive some love.

Orange and white cat and her owner

Though cats prefer to give you the cue when they are ready for some TLC, it is still okay to initiate a loving session with kitty. But you should do it cautiously. Don’t just dive into it without luring him first.

Extend your index finger to him near his nose. If he comes close and starts mingling his scents with yours, consider him interested. Initiating affection with your kitty will help to reassure him that you are equally fond of him. If you have kittens, start showing them affection early. This will ensure they grow in a loving environment and your bond with them will be unbreakable.

Loving Tip #2: Learn Kitty’s Language

By now, you should know that cats speak with their body gestures. Every brush against your leg and every twitch of their tail has a very special meaning.

cat-rolls-over-and-shows-belly

It’s your cat’s way of communicating, and you can converse with him by mimicking their body language.

  • For example, looking deep into their eyes and then slowly blinking is a clear show of affection. You’ve probably seen your cat do it while looking at you many times before. These are commonly referred to as “cat kisses.” These soft eye blinks are truly heartwarming. By reciprocating your cat’s kisses, he will receive this new found attention with pleasure and feel appreciated.

  • Another way cats show affection is by butting or rubbing their heads against our faces. They do this to claim ownership of the people they love. You can reaffirm this love by responding to his loving head rub. Whenever you catch him seeking a head bonk, willingly offer your head and allow him to feel loved too.

  • You can also try to mimic your cat’s purrs, meows, chirrs, and chattering. It may feel a bit odd as you start off. With time, however, both you and kitty will find your groove and create a special bond that is unbreakable.

  • Cats also love to be showered with praises and affirmation. Always let your cat know how wonderful she is. While praising her, keep mentioning her name so that you catch her attention.

While offering “cat kisses” or responding to any other affectionate gesture your cat sends you, do not tower over him. It can intimidate him. Instead, get down to his level for him to feel comfortable with you.

Loving Tip #3: Stimulate Kitty’s Senses by Training

Cats, in general, are curious and explorative, and they love to take on challenges. That’s why indoor cats sometimes get awfully bored. You can show your cat how much you love him by helping kill his boredom.

cat learns clicker training

Stimulate his senses by teaching him new tricks and skills. These could range from giving a paw, saying goodbye, sitting, rolling over, and ringing the bell among others. Teach your cat one trick at a time and be patient with him.

Once kitty masters a trick, you can move on to the next. Your cat will be totally fascinated to have you train him. It will keep him captivated and happy.  Besides, as you train kitty, you are spending more time with him. This will help strengthen your bond, and your cat will undoubtedly feel loved.

Loving Tip #4: Massage Your Cat from Nose to Tail

Have you noticed your cat snuggling up to you and rubbing themselves against you from nose to tail? This is one of their favorite ways of showing you they love you. As they do this, they are depositing their scents onto you and marking you as a part of their territory.

A cat getting a massage

Don’t just watch as kitty rubs himself against you. You can reciprocate the love by stroking him from nose to tail. Stroke him lovingly and talk to him while at it. You can even engage him in a massage session. He will no doubt understand that the love is mutual.

Besides, massaging your cat is a bonus for you as it offers you the opportunity to inspect his coat. You will be able to spot any injuries, parasites, and other skin conditions early.

Loving Tip #5: Offer Him Treats and Catnip

Cats love to snack on special treats. Even the most unresponsive kitty will light up when offered a chance to indulge his palates. Many cat owners swear by treats in coaxing their cats to accept a treatment—like taking a bath or having their nails trimmed.

Offering your cat a treat is a sure way of letting him know that you cherish him. You should, however, offer the treats cautiously to avoid the risk of your cat becoming overweight.

A cat getting a treat from her owner

According to experts, a cat’s treats should comprise no more than 10% of his total calorie intake. Whenever you offer a treat that is exceptionally high in calories, reduce kitty’s meal portion to balance it out. Treats, however, should never take the place of high-quality cat food. A healthy treat once per day is enough to keep your cat appeased.

You can also offer your kitty catnip once in a while. This is an herb from the mint family that is adored by cats. Catnip is safe for cats. It stimulates cats and gives them a brief moment of pure bliss and hyperactivity.

Not all cats respond to catnip, but if yours does, you can indulge him in this brief ecstasy once in a while. Experts recommend that catnip should not be offered more than once each day.

Loving Tip #6: Make Time for Play

Indoor cats require playtimes to mimic the kind of life they would otherwise have lived in the wild. If cat owners do not provide stimulating play activities, kitties languish in boredom. They often use their pent up energy to destroy things around the house.

Cats that are denied playtime may also sink into depression. To keep your cat happy and full of life, offer ample time for play. Set aside at least half an hour each day to play with your cat.

cat and owner playing

Playing with your cat not only engages him in some much-needed exercise but also offers you an opportunity to bond with him. This way your cat will not have to guess whether you enjoy her company or not. She knows you do!

Playtime for cats should be spread throughout the day. You should also never allow your cat to play with toys unsupervised. Invest in a variety of toys and change them regularly as cats easily get bored. Here are some game ideas for a meaningful playtime with your cat:

  • Hunting Games. Engage kitty in games that stimulate his hunting prowess. Let him chase remote-controlled mice, feather birds tied to strings, ping-pong balls, or laser beam light.

  • Fetching Games. Just like dogs, cats also enjoy fetching. Toss a catnip-stuffed toy across the room and watch as kitty runs to fetch it.

  • Explorative Games. Provide toys that will encourage kitty to explore. Such include empty carton boxes, stuffed animals, and shopping bags (not plastic ones). You can also hide his treats around the house and encourage him to find them.

  • Hide and Seek. Yes, cats too can play hide and seek. Kitty will be thrilled to look for you as you hide. Seeking things out is a natural thing for him to do after all.

Loving Tip #7: Allow Your Cat to Nap Next to You

Cats make the best snuggle buddies. As a way of showing affection, they will want to take a nap on your lap or next to your feet. You can let kitty know that he is equally loved by allowing him to snuggle with you as he catches some Zs.

Cats spend a lot of time sleeping. The average cat sleeps for around 16 hours each day. They prefer to snooze away in places they feel secure and next to you will be their best bet.

a-cat-sleeping

Though it’s impractical to have them spend all their sleeping hours next to you, allow them this thrill whenever you can. Also, if your cat loves to curl up with you under your covers, give in once in a while. Kitty will feel loved.

Loving Tip #8: Groom Your Cat

Cats spend hours on end grooming themselves. They also groom other cats and humans as a part of showing affection and claiming them as their own. It is not unusual to see a cat licking their owner.

If you can stand his licks, then go ahead and allow kitty to groom you. But because you cannot lick your kitty back, you can mimic the feeling by grooming him using a warm damp cloth.

A woman grooming her cat

This will be a way of showing him affection and returning the favor. Brushing his coat while petting him will also make him feel loved as well as provide a good massage.

Loving Tip #9: Indulge His Wild Side

Cats love the outdoors. They are naturally wired to be out there hunting and perching in lofty places. Do not forget to appease your cat by giving him plenty of opportunities to experience the outdoors.

Two kittens playing outside

Even if you keep your cat strictly indoors, you can still allow him opportunities to hone his instincts. Ensure you provide scratching posts, cat trees, and perching places. Have a window overlooking a natural setting (like a bird feeder or a water fountain) where your kitty can have a refreshing view.

Allowing your cat to frequently catch a glimpse of nature will keep him happy and content. He will not doubt that you care about him.

Loving Tip #10: Accept His Gifts

A cat that loves you will want to share his spoil with you after a successful hunting spree. Once in a while, your cat may present a dead bird, frog, snake, or worm at your feet. As unnerving as it may be, this is one way kitty uses to show you affection.

A cat and his gift for his owner

When presented with such gifts, do not scold him or refuse the gift. Show him you appreciate his gesture. Your cat will swell with pride to see you pleased with his gift. Don’t break his heart by rejecting the gift.

Loving Tip #11: Give Kitty a High-Quality Life

It would defeat the main purpose of showing your cat how much you love them if you indulged your cat in all the above gestures but neglected his daily care. Along with showing kitty how much he means to you, nurturing him is mandatory. This will keep him healthy and happy. He will, therefore, be able to receive your affection with a better mindset. Here is a brief summary of what a high-quality feline life looks like:

A cat that is well taken care of will thrive and is thus better able to soak in all the loving gestures you send his way.

Wrap Up

In any relationship, it is important for both parties to sense that they are in it together. The feeling needs to be mutual. Your cat too needs to sense that she is loved and appreciated. Your cat plays her part of sending you loving gestures but do you reciprocate her love? Does kitty know how much you mean to her? You need to be sure that the things you do to show her love make sense to her.

The secret in showing your feline that you love her is by responding to her love cues. She is delighted when you respond to her “cat kisses.” If you catch your kitty blinking at you with half-closed eyes, she’s actually confessing her affection towards you. Just get down to her level and blink back at her. Do the same and reciprocate all her other loving gestures, such as the head-butting and tail-brushing.

Handsome man kissing and holding a cat

Playing with her or teaching her stimulating skills is another way that spells love to her. Do not forget to offer her some favorite treats and you will get her totally hooked to you. The foundation of feline love, however, lies in the overall care that you give your cat. No loving gesture can replace the importance of nurturing your kitty.

We trust that this article has helped you figure out how to love your kitty. Apply the tips we have discussed and watch as your relationship with your cat develops. It makes a whole lot of difference when kitty is aware of your love.

Do you have any additional ways you use to show your cat that you love them? Have we missed out on any? Please share any information or opinions with us in the comments.

About the author
Martha Harvey
Martha Harvey

Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Martha loves all of her patients, but her favorite one is the Russian Blue cat Stitch, who lives with her.

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