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Does Your Cat Love You? Really?

I am allowed to live in a house with four cats which we adopted either from a shelter or saved from a box at a roadside fruit stand or from a rescue group. Just as people and dogs have unique personalities, so too do my cats: 

  • Jessie, the Tortie talks all the time, has an intense stare and drools when you pet her
  • Parker is the alpha male. He's taught the kittens manners and he loves to stare at himself in any reflective surface he finds
  • Clyde is my daughter’s cat and has the biggest, friendliest personality I have ever witnessed. Oddly enough he never meows
  • Lucy is “my” kitty and she does not like to be held but  is the best lap sitter and meows only when her food dish is empty.

6a0120a678c547970b019b0113b276970d-200wiWhat does all of this have to do with anything? I recently read an article on PetMD about how cats can be either introverts or extroverts. If I had to break it down, Lucy is really the only introvert in the family and after reading the article I see why she gets so hissy and angry when extrovert Clyde tries to engage her in kitty antics. I think Jessie has semi-introvert tendencies as she likes to sleep on a chair under the table for the majority of the day. Once we are sitting on the couch, relaxing at night though, she comes out, talks up a storm and craves love and attention.

There are times, when I have snuggled all of the kitties (and they have all liked it) and I try to snuggle Lucy and she makes noises that rival any feral wild cat and I have to wonder… does my cat like me? Here’s what I have gleaned in my research to tell whether Lucy likes me for more than my opposable thumbs and my ability to keep her food dish full and her litter box clean:

  1.  Does your kitty rub on you? That is a sign that she likes you and is “marking” you as her property. Cats have glands that secrete oils that they use to mark items to make them familiar. If your cat rubs against your legs or rubs her head on you, she is showing her affection and her claiming you as her very own.
  2. Does your kitty like to sit on your lap or lay next to you? A cat that is comfortable enough to make himself at home on your lap or leaning next to you he may be “using” you for warmth but he could choose other warm places to lie but he picked you. Consider too, when you’re trying to write a blog post or sitting on the couch reading and your cat is either on the keyboard or curled up behind you, he just wants to be near because he is craving your attention (even if it makes typing rather difficult!)
  3. If your cat purrs it usually means a sign of friendliness however pet experts have noted that a cat that is injured or ill will also purr. I personally take it as a sign that my kitty is happy with my petting of her.
  4. Does your cat engage you in a staring contest… and then blink? This is a sign that she a) wants to engage and b) trusts you enough to blink in your presence. Most animals don’t enjoy eye contact and in some species it is a sign of aggression. If your cat decides she likes you enough to stare, then you should take that as a sign of love.
  5. Do you wake up to find “presents” at your bedside? Thankfully, my cats are all indoor cats and I have never had to wake up and dodge a dead mouse or bird. When I was growing up, though we had a lot of “barn cats” and many of them would leave gifts for us on the porch steps. This is a sign that your kitty is trying to provide for you. Suppress that scream and thank her!

What signs does your cat give you that he or she loves you?

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