Last Updated on October 27, 2020 by Julia Wilson
Exposing their belly/allowing belly rubs
The belly is a particularly vulnerable part of the cat’s body, all the major organs are located in the abdomen so it is important to keep it safe. A relaxed kitty who lies belly up is showing their trust in you. A word of warning, don’t rub a cat’s belly unless he’s invited you to do so, you might live to regret it.
Bringing you gifts
They bring you gifts in the form of dead birds, mice and some cats will even steal odd things like socks or soft toys from the neighbours. Our natural response (well mine anyway) would be to shriek and run in the opposite direction when faced with a dead mouse. Cats bring us dead kitty treats for two reasons. Because they think we’re a bit hopeless at hunting ourselves and they want to give us a present. Maybe a little bit of it is showing off to us too?
Image credit, Cygnoir, Flickr
This is known as bunting. Cats have scent glands on their lips and cheeks which secrete a feel good pheromone on the object (or person) they rub against. This behaviour is reserved for social and bonding purposes. When kitty head-butts and rubs his face on you, he is showing his love as well as adding his scent to you.
Image credit, Ernesto De Quesada, Flickr
A throwback from kittenhood when they would knead their mother’s belly when they nursed, cats knead when they are relaxed and content. Being the recipient of your cat’s kneading can be somewhat painful on bare skin, so keep his claws trimmed or place a blanket between you and his paws. I think we all like to revert to pleasurable memories of childhood and feeling warm and loved, that must go for cats too.
Helping you work
We sit down at our computer, a cup of coffee by our side ready to put in a few hours work and along comes our feline companion who plonks himself on the keyboard. Our cats would rather we devote our full attention to them and not stare at the computer screen. This behaviour isn’t confined to work, read the paper, a book, talk on the phone, your cat will try to divert your attention back to him.
Image credit, Robin Zebrowski, Flickr
A cat who drools when he is being petted is showing you how much he loves your attention. I suspect this is another throwback to when your cat was a kitten and nursing from his mother. The smell, warmth and food from the mother are all extremely pleasurable experiences for any kitten. When he is feeling happy and content, this kitten-like behaviour is triggered once again.
Image credit, Megan B, Flickr
Mutual grooming is reserved for friends and family in the cat world. If your cat grooms you, he is showing you’re in his inner circle. We had a cat who would lick the perfume off my sister and then lick herself with it. Maybe this kind of behaviour is also so that all members of the family smell the same? It is possible.
Staring for a cat can be considered threatening behaviour unless he loves you that is. If your cat stares and blinks slowly, it is a sign he loves you. If you want to win over the trust of a cat, try doing the same to him, if he blinks back, you’ve won him over.
Following you everywhere
Some cats will only do this if they are hungry, which is not a sign of love but hunger. Other cats want to be with their human companion all the time and will follow you from room to room, weave in and around your legs and be your constant shadow.
Purring is another sign of contentment. Kittens would purr when nursing from their mother, this lets her know they are happy and content. Purring continues well into adulthood. Some cats will purr when they are in pain also, it is believed they do this to calm or self-soothe.
This is not a painful bite, but rather a gentle and loving nip to show he loves you.
Greeting you at the door
There is nothing sweeter than coming home from work and being met at the door by your favourite feline companions. Not all cats will do this, many may look up, open an eye and then return to their slumber. A cat waiting for you at the door is either very hungry or very happy his human companion is home.
Sitting on our clothes
This is one most cat lovers relate to. There’s cat beds, sofas, human beds, and the one spot they decide to sleep on is where on our clothes. They do this because our clothes smell like us, it’s comforting to them.
Sticking his butt in your face
Hard to imagine how having a bum stuck in your face is a compliment but it is. Cats often greet each other by sniffing the anal region, your cat is presenting himself to so you can check him out. Cats only present their butts to friends and family. Give him a little scratch around the base of his tail.
Rolling at your feet
This was the preferred method our Burmese would use to show his love for us and get some attention. He would roll around and on our feet, belly up. Who can say no to a kitty at your feet?
We should all be aware of our cat’s habits. This article is a good demonstration of this. For example, you have a very friendly and loving cat who suddenly changes behaviour, such as no longer waiting at the door for you, or goes from sleeping on your lap the second you sit down to wanting to sleep on his own, it can be an indicator that he’s not feeling himself and a close eye should be kept on him to ensure he’s not unwell.