It's obvious that most dogs love people, but what about cats? Maybe you have a cat who prefers to spend time alone or hide out under the bed when guests are over. Maybe you've wondered if your cat even loves you at all!

Cats have a stereotype of being stand-offish or aloof. Often, it seems like they prefer being left alone and minding their own business. When comparing cats to dogs, it's easy to see why cats are viewed this way. Dogs tend to be very outgoing and extroverted. They also overtly show affection towards their owners and most other people they come into contact with.

Rest assured that cats are capable of forming bonds with humans. They just have different ways of doing it! Think about the relationships you have with your friends or family members. Some of them may be more shy or more reserved than others. Do you or anyone you know squirm slightly after being hugged? Not everyone is always comfortable with showing or receiving obvious affection, and many cats are this same way. While some might be more friendly, other need some time to warm up to people before they can trust them. Some also simply show love in ways that might not seem clear at first, but once you learn to notice the signs, you'll start recognizing their affection.

PURRING

This is an easy way to know if your cat is happy, but it can also be a sign that they're happy with you specifically! If you're petting your cat and he's purring, that's often a sign your cat is enjoying the interaction and is feeling content and at ease! It's also a sign that your cat is bonding with you.

VOCALIZATION/GREETINGS

Do you have a pretty vocal cat? Sometimes it can be hard to know why your cat seems to be yelling so much. Are they unhappy? Do they just want to be fed… again? While there are times where this may be the case, there are other times when you cat may simply want to chat with you! If you notice your cat running up to you meowing after you've come home from work or a trip, this could be a sign that your feline friend missed you.

GROOMING YOU

What? Grooming you? Yep! One way that cats show affection is actually by attempting to groom you! Not all cats lick people, but some cats do this as a way of showing love to humans like dogs do! This can also take the form of cats nipping at or biting your hair.

SLOW BLINKING

If you've ever noticed a relaxed cat staring at your and blinking slowly, this could be a sign that he trusts you! This act is actually called "cat kisses" and is something your kitty might do to show you that he or she loves you.

EXPOSING THEIR BELLY

This is another sign of trust! The belly is a very vulnerable spot for many cats. However, when a cat exposes their belly to you, they are showing you that they trust you. If your cat is rolling around on its back with its belly up, they most likely feel comfortable around you (and are expecting some good belly rubs)!

KNEADING

an older cat kneading while his owner pets him

Because cats knead on their mothers as kittens, this action is one that's associated with comfort and loving feelings. A cat that's kneading on you, then, is likely showing you that it's feeling relaxed and is expressing his or her fondness for you!

HEAD BUNTING

This action, also known as headbutting, is where a cat bumps its head against a part of your body as it rubs against you. Have you ever noticed your cat doing this? This is a common behavior and is also a sign of affection! It's one of the many ways cats mark their territory to claim something as their own. You can is essentially saying "this person belongs to me!"

OTHER WAYS CATS SHOW AFFECTION

a gray cat giving cat kisses to a small girl

Besides all of the actions stated above, there are plenty of other ways that cats show affection such as following you around or sitting on your lap to name a couple. As you get to know your cat better, you may learn certain characteristics that are unique to him or her. Some of these may be special ways that your pet is communicating their love to you, so be observant as you continue to get to know each other!

Now that you know some of the ways your cat shows affection to you, you may want to learn some ways that you can reciprocate it! Slow blinking back to your cat is a great place to start when you notice them sending "cat kisses" to you. This communicates to your pet that you care about him or her and are someone who can be trusted. Grooming your cat is another great way to show affection towards your cat. You can do this by gently brushing their fur as you pet them. Most cats will appreciate this even more than you realize!

CONCLUSION

It's important to know that cats see their owners as parents, not simply as feeding or petting machines (even though is seems like it sometimes). A sense of security and trust is extremely important to them, so keep that in mind as you continue to build your relationship. Don't get discouraged if your cat seems uninterested in you. Spending quality time with your pet and treating them gently will let them know you love and care for them, which is what's more important. Your cat will return the affection in their own way.

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