Skip to main content

5 telltale signs your cat loves you (for real)

You love your cat and view him as a member of your family, but does he feel the same way? Knowing how to tell if your cat loves you can be tricky, since cats don’t communicate love and affection in the same way that humans do. Your cat might appear standoffish and unaffectionate, but chances are he may be showing his love in his own special ways. Learning to recognize those signs can help you to better communicate with and appreciate your cat. If you want to better understand how your cat feels about you, a good place to start would be to recognize the following signs that your cat loves you.

A content cat closing its eyes while a person pats its head
Gracheva Anastasiya / Shutterstock


If your cat grooms you, chances are he’s accepted you enough to literally try to care for you. Grooming can be a sign of affection, so whether your cat licks your skin or tries to groom your hair, take it as a compliment.

Bringing you presents

That mouse you find on your doorstep—or worse, in your house—might not seem like the most thoughtful gift, but it could be your cat’s way of showing that he appreciates and loves you. A cat who brings you the prey he’s caught may be doing so because he cares for you or is trying to teach you to hunt.


Cats purr for a variety of reasons, but often, purring is a sign of contentment and is your cat’s way of saying, “Don’t stop what you’re doing.” Your cat might purr when you pat him or when he’s sitting in your lap while you read or watch TV. While purring can also indicate stress, watching your cat’s body language can help you understand if he’s purring out of happiness. Look for signs like relaxed eyes and ears, a quiet or somewhat inactive tail, and actions like leaning into you for a pet to verify that your cat’s purr is a happy purr.

Rubbing against you

According to VetStreet, cats have scent glands on their heads, including under the chin, around the mouth, and on the sides of the face. When your cat rubs his head against you or walks back and forth against and between your legs, he’s leaving his scent behind. Since cats use scent to mark the objects and areas that are “theirs,” your cat is marking you as his territory when he rubs against you. If your cat purrs when he rubs against you, it may indicate that he’s happy and enjoying marking you as his own, too.

Grey and white cat sitting behind a wooden heart ornament
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Spending time with you

If your cat seeks you out and makes an effort to spend time with you, chances are he’s showing you he really likes you. Cats tend to be solitary by nature, and many cats are perfectly happy to keep to themselves. A cat who follows you from room to room, settles down in a chair near where you’re sitting, or even climbs into your lap and curls up for a nap is showing that he enjoys having you around and is willing to make a little extra effort to be close to you.

How to bond more with your cat

You can also work to bond with your cat so he feels more affectionate toward you. Feeding your cat, petting him, and playing with him are all good ways to show him that you love him.

While spending time with your cat is important, it’s also essential that you learn to respect your cat’s personal boundaries. Your cat may not always feel like being petted, which is fine. Watching his body language, giving him attention when he wants it, and leaving him alone when he wants to be on his own are all good ways to demonstrate your love and respect for your cat.

Understanding what your cat is feeling and trying to communicate often means that you’ll need to watch your cat closely. The more you understand about your cat’s body language, the better you’ll be able to understand how he’s feeling. While it might be tempting to spend as much time as possible with your new cat to bond closely with him, that could be stressful and upsetting for your cat. Instead, watch your cat for signs that he wants to spend time with you, and also give him his alone time when he wants it. The more you respect your cat, the more comfortable he’ll feel around you—and with a little time, the more he’ll appreciate you, too.

Editors' Recommendations

Paige Cerulli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Paige's work has appeared in American Veterinarian, Business Insider, Healthline, and more. When she's not writing, Paige…
How to tell if your cat is a Maine Coon mix (and why you should care)
Should you consider a Maine Coon mix? Here's what you need to know
Closeup of a Maine Coon's face

There are plenty of big and fluffy cats out there, but one of the best-known breeds fitting this description is the Maine Coon. These cats are not only impressive in size, but they also tend to have fantastic personalities that make them beloved family pets. While purebred Maine Coons are a little more uncommon in rescues and shelters, it's possible to adopt a Maine Coon mix that still has some of the breed's distinctive characteristics.

While telling exactly which breeds your cat is can be a little tricky, it's worth doing some investigative work to better understand your feline's background and what that might mean for the care he needs during his life.
Where do Maine Coon cats come from?
You may have heard that the Maine Coon Cate originated from a fantastical cross between a feline and a raccoon. Of course, this didn't really happen, but it could be where they get the name. (Another option, from a ship's captain who brought the first of these kitties ashore.)

Read more
There’s a totally normal reason cats throw up after eating grass – here’s why
Learn about this cat behavior and if there's cause for concern
Calico cat lying on its back in a grassy yard

If your cat throws up after eating grass, there's probably no reason to be concerned. Eating grass is a natural behavior for most cats, and throwing up after eating that grass also is pretty common. There are physical reasons for why your cat throws up grass, and aside from dealing with the inconvenience of having to clean up cat vomit in the house, this behavior usually isn't a problem.

But excessive vomiting and unusual grass consumption can be a cause for concern. If your cat likes to munch grass, then it's best to familiarize yourself with what's normal and what might be a reason to worry.

Read more
When do kittens start eating food? Know the facts for your fur baby’s health
Consider this your guide to weaning kittens from milk or formula to solids
a white kitten with blue eyes in a cat tree

By the time you usually bring home a brand-new kitten at eight to nine weeks old, they’ve already gone through a significant transition: being weaned from milk to solid foods. However, you may find yourself in the trenches of new kitten parenthood at an even earlier stage. If you are fostering a kitten or have found a newborn, you have likely been bottle-feeding them milk or watching their mother nurse.
In these cases, you may wonder, “When do kittens start eating food?” Weaning is usually a natural process, particularly if the Mom is involved. If you’re bottle-feeding, the process may be a bit trickier, and you may have to help lead it. Regardless of your situation, understanding what to expect can help you know when to have kibble and water on hand as a kitten gets ready to wean. Consider this your guide.

When do kittens start eating food and drinking water?
The weaning process involves going from the mother’s milk to kibble and water, which is what a kitten will eat and drink in some form for the rest of their life. If the mother cat is around, she’ll know when the time is right to start weaning, and it’s best not to interfere.
Generally, kittens will start to be ready to take small tastes of solid foods and water at around three to four weeks. The food and water are complimentary at this young age, so don’t worry too much if they play with it more than they eat it. They’re still getting most of their nutrition from Mom or a formula in a bottle.

Read more