If you own a cat, you’re probably familiar with the numerous ways they show affection. People often stereotype the feline as solitary, independent creatures, but they have so much love to give.
Dogs usually get more attention because of their reputation as humans’ best friends. However, new research shows that cats also deserve some recognition from humans. Because of their evolutionary traits, domestic cats have a more developed independent streak than dogs. The large felines that house cats evolved from preferred to hunt alone instead of in a pack. That’s why cats sometimes tend to wander off on their own. However, because we have domesticated them, they gradually learned to develop bonds with us as their caregivers.
Research shows cats don’t attach to people as a means of security like dogs do. But cats still show appreciation for their owners in unique ways, especially if they’ve been socialized as kittens. Being exposed to humans during their second to the seventh week of life dramatically influences their social behaviors toward people.
You can probably tell quite easily if your kitty feels happy in your presence. Below, we’ll discuss a few behaviors they may display to show their love and affection.
5 Signs Your Cat Feels Happy Around You
1. You cat might rub their head against you.
Cats use their sense of smell to understand the world around them. They also rely on scent to bond with their human or cat family and identify members of their pack. Cats possess scent glands on their cheeks and head and frequently rub against the people closest to them. If your cat rubs or headbutts you, take it as a sign they feel comfortable and happy. It means they consider you a friend and one of their own, a surefire sign of a pet’s loyalty!
2. An attached feline will greet you by exposing its belly or sticking its tail straight up.
To discover if your feline feels happy around you, watch how they move their tail. A kitty holding its tail upright means it feels social and confident. It’s a friendly greeting that means they missed you and want to play or cuddle!
They might also hold their tail in a question mark or hook shape, indicating they want to interact. Finally, your feline may wrap its tail around your leg, the ultimate sign of trust and friendship.
Cats may also roll over and expose their belies to people they feel comfortable around. Don’t take it lightly if you see your feline in this vulnerable position. It means you make them feel relaxed and protected, but it doesn’t necessarily signal they want a belly rub. Cats usually prefer being petted on their face or neck and may lash out if you try to pet their tummy.
You can also listen to the noises you make to see if your cat feels happy. If your cat gently purrs or meows quietly at you, it means they feel content in your company.
3. Your cat blinks slowly at you.
Many felines show love through their eyes, much like humans do. If you’ve ever watched stray cats in your neighborhood, you may notice they stare at you intently. However, when a cat feels comfortable around you, it will slowly blink as a sign of love and security.
Researchers have found that a cat slowly blinking indicates a positive mood and shows they trust you. You can even blink back at your feline to develop a deeper bond with them! Kittens form relationships with one another in this manner, so humans can also benefit from the gesture.
4. A loving feline enjoys cuddling and gently kneading you.
As you might have noticed, felines are highly territorial creatures and don’t like people disrupting their alone time. They also tend to have a favorite person and shy away from strangers or other family members. So, if a cat allows you to enter its personal space, take it as a compliment. Cuddling with you on the couch or laying on your lap also indicates a high level of trust.
If you’ve ever noticed your cat kneading its paws against you, this also shows they feel happy. Kittens perform this behavior while they nurse because it provides comfort and releases endorphins.
So if they knead you with their front paws, it indicates they feel relaxed and content. They may knead you while you pet or cuddle them to return the affection you’re offering. While this behavior might soothe your cat, it may cause significant discomfort if they have sharp claws. You can always place a blanket between you to form a barrier if it becomes too painful.