7 Ways Your Cat Shows Affection

In recognition of “International Hug Your Cat Day”, which is celebrated on June Fourth every year, we would like to share some of the ways your cat shows affection.  Unless you speak “Meow”, understanding these unique methods of communication can be helpful in building a strong bond between you and kitty. You may or may not recognize the many ways your feline is showing you love and affection from day-to-day. Enjoy these seven ways your cats who their owners affection.


When a car is running well, we use the cliche, “She’s purring like a kitten”. When your kitty gets her motor running and is purring loud and proud, this is one of the clearest signs that your cat is “running” on all cylinders.   Although there are times they will purr even when they’re uncomfortable, this is rare.   Your cat is purring at you because it is happy to be with you. The more your cat purrs, the more it has affection for you.

Source: Pawsomecats


Kneading is one of the most well-known ways cats reveal affection. Most cats begin to knead as kittens on their mommy during nursing, to initiate milk production.  This rhythmic marching motion is a happy dance and is usually performed on something soft, like your lap or blanket.   This can become a bit intense if they love you a whole bunch, as they will be more apt to ‘dig’ harder and for a longer period of time.  Be sure not to punish kitty for this loving action.  To help make the experience more pleasurable, try keeping their nails trimmed or consider using nail guards or putting a blanket between them and your lap.


If you own a cat, this one is usually the least pleasant of all the ways a cat shows affection.  Bringing their “Catch of the Day” to your door or laying it at your feet is a good sign that your cat loves you.  They will usually show up with a bird, mouse, bug or other animals for your approval and acceptance. Your cat is an excellent hunter and this natural behaviour of offering you a ‘present’ is their way of saying “Thank you” for all you do.  Below, our kitty brought home a gecko for us on this particular day.

Source: Petamongus


“Head Butting”, also known as bunting, is among the most friendly and appealing physical behaviors of a cat.  Cat’s rely heavily on their sense of smell, and head butting leaves their unique pheromones behind to let the world know who you belong to.  The dance they do around and between your legs while marking you as “theirs” can be cute to watch.  Remember that your cat craves a sense of ownership and this activity is a positive sign you are loved.


People typically associate a bite or nip from their cats with negative feelings or emotions.  This is not always the case in the world of felines.  A gentle, non-aggressive nip on your hand can be an indication of playfulness and affection.  There is a big difference between this and a defensive or fearful bite that is meant to warn you or cause harm.  So long as it’s delicate and not accompanied by a defensive posture, hiss or strike with a paw/claw, you can be assured your love bite was a positive sign of affection.  Now grab one of their toys and play a little!


Many pet owners might find it strange that their cats want to follow them around everywhere they go.  Clinging to you like glue shouldn’t surprise you since you are the source of their food, shelter and loving affection.  Being your shadow around the house tells you clearly that your cat thinks you are great and wants to spend more quality time with you.  Some cats will meow loudly when you get home, which clearly indicates they missed you and it’s time to focus on them.  Unless of course, you forgot to top off the food bowl before you left.

Source: Petsamongus


When your cat rolls over and offers you their belly they can be showing you their playful side and willingness to engage. However, this position is also a very defensive one, as it allows them to use all four paws to defend themselves.  Be careful to recognize the difference between the two and the pay attention to their attitude in doing so.  Most research suggests that cat’s don’t just roll over for just anyone, so in a playful mood, this an indication that they feel comfortable around their owners.

Getting to know the signs a cat shows affection and responding appropriately, is the first step to building a healthy, long-lasting relationship with your feline.


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