Does My Cat Love Me? 8 Ways They Tell You

Written By
9 min read
9 min read

Updated - Apr 10th, 2023

“Does my cat love me?” This question has crossed the mind of every cat parent as they gaze into their furry friends’ eyes, seeking signs of affection. Well, the answer is a resounding yes!

Although cats are known for being aloof and independent, these felines love their humans, too! They just have different ways of showing it. From engaging head-butts to cozy snuggles and purring, cats subtly yet unmistakably convey their love.

In fact, if you pay close attention, you might be astonished at how much your furry friend cherishes you. So, settle in as we discuss all the ways cats show their love for us.

8 ways your cat tells you they love you


When your cat purrs contentedly, particularly while petting them, it’s a delightful sign that they adore you! Purring is just one of the many melodic ways cats communicate with us. Coupled with a relaxed body posture, your kitty is saying, “I’m happy and safe with you, human!”

Purring begins early in a kitten’s life as they learn to communicate with their mothers. Through these hums, kittens express their sense of calm. And since purring is a quiet sound, cats reserve this special form of communication for those they love.

However, not every purr is an “I love you” serenade. Sometimes, cats purr when hungry, accompanied by an insistent “feed me” meow. Cats might even purr to soothe themselves when they’re not feeling well.

Science even suggests that the vibrations from cat purrs have healing properties, such as bone regeneration. But for the most part, when your cat purrs at you, it’s their way of saying, “You’re one of my favorite humans!”

Slow blinking or “cat kisses”

Ever noticed your cat getting up close and personal, blinking at you? Well, it’s not some secret kitty Morse code, but a heartwarming non-verbal expression of love. When a cat closes its eyes, it signifies absolute trust.

These slow blinks or “cat kisses,” show they don’t feel frightened or threatened. An unblinking stare, on the other hand, may signal aggression or fear.

So, when your cat sends you some love with their eyes, return the gesture! By blinking slowly back at them, you assure them that you’re not a threat. This eye-to-eye exchange says, “I love you too, kitty,” and is a fantastic way to strengthen your bond.

Exposing their belly

When your cat rolls over and bares their belly, it’s a huge sign of trust. The tummy houses many vital organs, and cats’ instincts tell them to protect this area from predators.

By showing you their belly, your cat is literally trusting you with their life – talk about a grand display of love and trust! But hold on; this exposed belly might be a love declaration, but it’s not an invitation.

As much as you may want to shower your kitty with belly rubs, most cats aren’t fans of tummy touches. While your dog might adore belly rub sessions, your cat is likely to swipe or nip if you try it. So, as hard as it is to resist, it’s best to admire your cat’s belly from a safe distance.

Grooming you

Cats are the epitome of feline finesse, devoting ample time to grooming themselves with their front paws and sharp teeth.

Grooming isn’t just about cleanliness, though. It’s also how cats regulate their body temperature, enhance circulation, and hide scent from predators.

In addition to these health benefits, grooming is a social activity. Cats groom one another to express friendship. While those scratchy little kisses may not feel great, particularly for cat parents with sensitive skin, your cat is essentially saying, “You’re family!”

Grooming is also calming for cats, and they want to share that feeling with you. When they groom you, they’re marking you as their human. They have scent glands around their mouth, and these glands produce pheromones. This is your cat’s signature scent, and they will use it to mark their territory and identify social group members.

Since your cat expresses affection by grooming you, it’s only fair to reciprocate it by brushing them. Besides, grooming your cat is a great bonding experience. Plus, it helps eliminate a ton of hair that would otherwise end up on your furniture and clothes. So, show your cat some love and help them look and feel their best by giving them a good grooming session.

Tip: While it is normal for cats to spend lots of time grooming themselves, cat owners should watch out for excessive grooming (including fur loss). This can indicate anxiety, skin issues, or an injury.

Rubbing up on you

Like grooming, rubbing against you is your cat’s way of claiming you as their own. Alongside scent glands located around the mouth, cats have scent glands in their chin, forehead, cheeks, lower back, tail, and paw pads.

Your cat may show affection by head-butting or rubbing their cheeks against you. It’s the ultimate confirmation that you’ve earned a spot in their furry circle of friends.

They may also do figure-eights around your legs or wrap their tail around you. Each action marks you with their signature scent, distinguishing you as someone close to them.

It shows that you’re a safe, comforting, and familiar presence in their life. It’s clear that your cat loves you to bits!


It might not be the comfiest display of love, but it’s a definite sign of love when your cat kneads you. Kneading, also called “making biscuits,” is when a cat presses their front paws up and down on a surface. This action resembles kneading dough and involves the cat alternating between left and right. Some cats retract their claws while kneading, while others don’t.

Cats will knead on many types of soft surfaces, including their humans (especially when you are petting them). Besides being another way to mark you using the scent glands on their paw pads, your cat kneading you is a sign they feel comfortable around you.

Kneading is an instinctive cat behavior. Newborn kittens knead their mother to help stimulate milk production while nursing. As a result, the act of kneading is associated with comfort.

While it’s true that kneading is a sign of love, what’s comforting for your cat might not be comfortable for you. The happier your cat is, the harder they’ll knead, and those sharp claws can be a bit unpleasant.

If your cat is an enthusiastic kneader, keep a blanket handy. That way, you can put some cushioning between your kitty’s claws and your skin, making the experience more enjoyable for both of you.

Bringing you “gifts”

Your cat may have an odd way of showing love: by bringing you presents! Of course, it’s cute when they present you with an indoor toy. But things take a turn when your indoor-outdoor kitty delivers a lifeless critter to your doorstep.

Your feline friends have held on to this trait from their wild ancestor, inherited from the African Wildcat. Sometimes, these little furballs display their hunting prowess. However, they are not always in it for the meal. As natural hunters, cats are intrigued by anything that moves, eager to catch it and strut with their prize. And, of course, their favorite place to drop their trophy is right at home.

Spayed female cats, in particular, are known for this behavior. Since they don’t have any kittens to pamper with food, they choose the next best thing – you! While you might not jump for joy at the sight of a lifeless rodent, your cat sees it as the ultimate token of affection. So, next time your cat offers a less-than-appealing gift, remember: it’s their quirky way of saying, “I love you!”

Love bites

While biting is not the way humans show affection, your feline friend has a different take. For them, love bites or tender little chomps on your fingers are their love language. Since cats lack opposable thumbs, they rely on their mouths to hold onto things. So when your kitty nibbles on you, they simply say, “Please, human, stay close!”

Ways to show your cat you love them back

Our feline friends have their love language, and as devoted pet parents, we should learn how to reciprocate. Here are purr-fect ways to express your love.

Keep their litter box clean

One of the simplest ways to express your love for your cat is by maintaining a clean and fresh litter box. Cats are fastidious creatures, so a well-kept litter box will make your kitty feel loved and respected.

Head bumps

Cats adore head bumps and head bunting. These are their ways of bonding with you and marking you as part of their family. Engage in this loving ritual by gently bumping your forehead against your cat’s head or offering your hand for them to nuzzle.

Cheek rubs

Cats have scent glands on their cheeks; So when they rub their faces on objects or people, they’re marking them with their scent. Offer your hand or fingers for your cat to rub against, and indulge them in a cheek rub session to show care.

Eye contact

Cats use eye contact to communicate trust and affection. Slowly blinking at your cat while making eye contact is a way to say “I love you” in their language. If your cat returns the slow blink, you know the love is mutual!

Your cat’s tail also communicates a lot about how they feel. When your cat’s tail is held high and slightly curved, it’s a sign they’re content and happy. Respond to this gesture by gently stroking their tail or softly speaking to them, letting them know you appreciate their love.


‌How do I know if my cat loves me?

To know if your cat loves you, observe their body language. Look for signs such as purring, head bunting, slow blinking, or a high-held tail with a curve at the tip. These behaviors indicate your cat feels affection and trust toward you.

Does my cat love me or just tolerate me?

Observe their behavior to know if your cat loves or just tolerates you. If your cat licks you, seeks your attention, or gives you head bumps, then they probably do. A cat that merely tolerates you will be more distant and less engaged in bonding activities.

Should I let my cat give me love bites?

Yes, you can let your cat give you love bites, as long as they’re gentle and don’t hurt you. These nibbles are part of the cat language, indicating affection and trust. However, always be cautious. If the bites get too rough, redirect your cat’s attention to cuddles or a toy instead.

What do cats see when they look at humans?

When cats look at humans, they see a larger, non-threatening creature that provides them with food, shelter, and care. They also see humans as a part of their family and social group.

Final thoughts: does my cat love me?

Many people (especially dog people) often think cats are standoffish. But cat lovers know that they just have their own special ways of showing their affection. For cat owners, a gentle nuzzle and a soft purr replace enthusiastic jumping and loud barking. While both animals will love you equally, cats tend to be subtler about it, and cat people wouldn’t have it any other way.


Ali Morretta

Ali Morretta

Writer, Adoring Corgi Mom
Ali is a writer, editor & proud Corgi mom with diverse experience across educational publishing & entertainment blogging.
Back to Top Back to Top