How do cats display affection?
Cats are typically headstrong and aloof. This is hardly surprising: they're solitary creatures by nature and, unlike dogs, don't live in packs. That's why they focus more on their surroundings than their owners. And why they'll often attempt to return to their previous home after a house move. You'll usually do your cat no favours by placing him in temporary holiday accommodation. Indeed, your furry friend would much rather stay in the comfort of his own home (with the company of an obliging cat sitter, of course ;-))
Cats are extremely sensitive and intuitive and can easily sense your mood. Understanding how they communicate with you throughout the day can build a strong and powerful bond. Using an intriguing mix of body language and behaviour your cat will let you know just how much he cares in a variety of different ways. Here are five of the most common:
1) Sitting next to you
Ever noticed how your little furball insists on sitting next to the one person who doesn't like cats? That's because cats are sensitive and single out those who are relaxed and expect nothing from them other than simply allow them to be 'cats'. If your furry friend frequently sits down next to you or even falls asleep in your lap, it's a sure sign of trust and being completely at ease with you. Following you about the home "helping" with all your household chores means your cat positively adores you!
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"Where you go, I go too!"
2) Purring and kneading
If your cat regularly purrs when he sits down next to you or whenever you stroke him, then he's definitely enjoying your company. And those rather sharp little claws that you notice during a 'massage' are yet another sign of his affection. He'll have employed this same 'kneading' technique on his mother in order to stimulate milk production when he was still a kitten. In other words, your little furball views you as a sort of substitute mum. There couldn't possibly be a greater token of his affection :-)
Cats blink slowly when they are relaxed. It's a calming signal used to express: "don't be scared, I mean well!" The funny thing is that it also works both ways. So, if you want to put your cat truly at ease, then try slowly blinking at him. Give it a try right now and see just how much he relaxes in response.
Your cat uses headbutting (or 'head bunting' as it's officially known) in order to leave his scent behind. Yet this typical cat behaviour has a variety of different meanings. If your cat uses his mouth for example, then he's usually marking his territory. If he uses his forehead to vigorously greet you, then he's most likely saying, "Hi there! You're my favourite person in the world!"
5) Giving presents
You're probably all too familiar with them: those freshly caught mice and other small prey that he leaves behind as presents. Although you might not like it, the fact that your cat proudly deposits his prey is the ultimate compliment! So, rather than punish or chastise him, simply dispose of his gifts without fuss. He's given them as a sign of affection after all :-)
If you start to observe your cat closely, you'll discover many other signs of devotion. How does your cat confirm your unique bond? We'd love to hear your stories. Share them with us at https://www.facebook.com/PawshakeIE