I’ll apologize from the onset for referring to a cat as a “she.” Regardless of gender, I have always used “she” for cats and “he” for dogs. No explanation, okay? What I have to say is about cats and not about me.
I have yet to meet a cat that is not indifferent and independent. Cats appear solitary, but that is only a show. As a member of your cat’s staff, she will decide when you deserve a bit of TLC, and in turn, demand love when she wants it. However, if you are not familiar with the subtle ways cats use to show their humans love, you might miss it.
Cats use head bunting
Be alert for this brief show of affection. It involves pushing her head against you or other members of “her staff,” including other pets. It is a social bonding method, typically not expressed to anyone other than members of the household. However, they might use the same head bunting to “mark” the furniture if they feel threatened.
Most cats spare you a split-second head bunt on your chin, forehead or cheek. Beware, if your cat is demanding, she might be more enthusiastic. The forceful ram could even knock your eyeglasses off your face. Bear with it because it may be a while before you deserve another show of love.
Kneading cats show contentment
Cats flex and relax their front paws to knead against soft objects like your fluffy slippers or their humans, favoring thighs, tummies or other soft body parts… It comes from their days as kittens when the kneading stimulated the milk flow when they were feeding on their mothers. Not all cats do it, but those who do are clearly taken back to their baby days, and the contentment is obvious. In 2020, Alexis Flora Hope said, “Kittens are angels with whiskers,” how true!
Purring sounds of cats can be powerful
Purring is undoubtedly the most well-known display of a cat’s utter contentment. The rhythmic inhaling and exhaling produce the throaty purring sound that often goes along with the kneading. Your cat might use the purring in your presence as an invitation for you to spoil her while she sits back and enjoys the attention.
Tail twitching may be confusing
Have you noticed your cat approaching with the tip of her puffed-up tail twitching? Don’t confuse that with the same sight when she feels threatened by a strange dog. When that happens, she will hiss to show that the dog is unwelcome in her territory. However, approaching you with a back and forth twitching tail will not include the hissing. It is one of her ways to tell you that she is happy to have you as a part of her family.
Cats seek attention on demand
Your cat will not hesitate to show you when she feels neglected. If she wants attention, you must stop what you’re doing and provide the love she deserves. She may cram herself into your arm’s nook while you’re taking a nap. She might even make herself comfortable on your computer’s keyboard if you’re working. You can forget about shoving her away. Remember, she’s the boss, and you are in her service.
Never reject a gift from your cat
You may not realize the amount of honor bestowed on you when your cat presents you with a dead bird or mouse. The fact that she wants to share her prey with you puts you right at the top of her list of favorite humans. She will do this occasionally, just to reaffirm your friendship.
If you thought all you need is love — you’re wrong — you also need a cat.