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. Because you can't ask your cat whether or not she knows that you love her, you'll have to observe her behavior to see if your cat returns your affection.
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 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. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in both the bodies of humans and some animals that indicates they are feeling love.
Of course, if your furry 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.
Communicate love with 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 a cat's version of 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 show love with marking
Another way cats show you just how much they love you is by marking you. If you get a head bop or your cat rubs you with his cheek, that's because your feline friend has scent glands on his head and cheeks. These scent glands release chemicals that are odorless to humans but that your cat can smell. By putting his scent on you, your cat is claiming you as his own, says Psychology Today.
When a cat claims you, he is showing you just how much he loves you and appreciates your love. It's very much a sign that he considers you part of his family.
Cats show love with 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's returning 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. Your cat is telling you just how safe and warm she feels with you, just like she did with her mama, says the Winchester SPCA.
If your kitten farts a lot when she's kneading on you, it's likely because she's relaxed and feels safe, but if she is having excessive gas, it might be time to visit the vet.