You lavish your feline friend with attention, and provide cozy beds, cat condos, and her favorite foods, but sometimes it can be hard to tell if your cat really loves you as much as you love her. Just as with people, it’s generally a good rule that if your cat is showing you affection, it’s because she senses the affection and love coming from you. Fortunately, there are many signs you can look for that let you know whether your kitty loves you back
Cats show love when kneading
If you’ve ever had your cat or kitten on your lap and she starts kneading, it’s likely because she knows how much you love her and she wants to return that love. Cats knead as kittens on their mother when they are nursing from her, so this behavior mimics that of a kitten and mother.
Cats who hang around
Despite their reputation for being aloof, many cats enjoy the company of humans, so if your feline friend regularly hangs around you, it probably means he thinks you’re the cat’s meow and senses your affection for him. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, when your cat interacts with you, his body produces oxytocin, a hormone produced in both the bodies of humans and some animals that indicates they are feeling the love.
Of course, if your feline is regularly snuggled in your lap, the answer as to whether he loves you and knows how much you love him is pretty obvious. He may even relax so much around you that he gives you a few kitty farts. And, if he lets you pet him, that shows that he trusts and loves you, too.
Showing you slow blinks
When your cat is very relaxed, you may notice that she is staring at you lazily and then very slowly blinks her eyes. As strange as it sounds, cats say “I love you” by slowly blinking at you. These slow blinks are cats’ version if a kiss according to cat behavior expert Pam Johnson-Bennett.
If you slowly blink back at your cat, you can let him know that you love him, too. This is a great way to communicate your love to your cat.
Cats protects us when we are in danger
Our cats are always looking out for us. Cats have both been seen defending their owners from threats, big and small. They’ve been known to risk their lives for their owners. One kitty we know of fought off a poisonous snake and took the bite that was meant for her owner. Another helped save her entire family — and the family dog!
Cats form strong attachments with humans
People think of dogs as loyal and cats as aloof. Cats have boundaries that are less forgiving than dogs. Nonetheless, cats can be fiercely loyal and form strong bonds with their humans. Some so strong that cats have traveled hundreds or thousands of miles through places they’ve never been to find their owners.
Cats can give unconditional love
Maybe most of all, we know cats feel love from the unconditional love they give to us. Unless a cat has had a traumatic history with humans, she will seek out her owner for affection in the form of play, stroking, or perhaps a chat. And you know a serene and loving cat by her purr. While we may never know what’s truly in the mind of an animal, we know how our cats act towards us, how they behave when we need them, and when they’re happy and content. We’re pretty sure the case is closed: cats really do feel love.