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…
8 essential tips for disciplining cats
8 Easy and effective tips for training your cat
Two kittens on wooden shelves

Cats may be one of the most popular pets worldwide, but even they have reputations (mostly with non-cat people). Felines are known for indifference, sass, and even attitude. Cartoons, comics, and movies portray them as impossible to reason with, but if you ask a cat owner, they'll assure you cat discipline exists. Here's the catch: you need to know how to discipline your cat -- safely and properly -- for that training to stick. With these seven simple tips and tricks, though, you'll be on your way to perfect feline behavior.

Rule out medical concerns as a cause for misbehavior
Surprising as it sounds, the source of a lot of cat misbehavior has roots in medical conditions. Cats may stop using the litter box, demonstrate new aggression, or start hiding in unexpected places -- all from changes inside their body. So, before you start wondering how to punish your cat, make an appointment with your veterinarian. You may find a medical cause for the behavior. If not, you'll get peace of mind and can move on to further tips on cat discipline.

Read more
Why do cats throw up? (Plus, the one thing you should always do)
Don't ignore your cat when they do this
an orange and white cat lounging on wood plank

When you signed on to cat parenthood, you likely knew you'd have to deal with waste management, like cleaning litter boxes (or scooping poop if your kitty is an outdoor one). Feeding and providing a cat with plenty of water are also expected basics of having a cat. However, cats are full of surprises, from wake-up calls for pets (aren't felines anti-social?) to a Bah-humbug relationship with holiday trees.

An unwelcome surprise of kitty parenting? Cleaning up vomit. To be frank, it's gross. However, seeing that your cat threw up is likely also concerning to you. When people throw up, they're often sick — can the same be said for cats? If you're wondering, "Why is my cat throwing up?" your first call should be to a vet. Here's why.

Read more
Cats sleep with their eyes open — it’s creepy, but here’s why they do it
Cats do all sorts of weird things, including sleeping with their eyes open. Here is why.
A one-eyed cat sleeps with the other open

Cats do weird things sometimes, and we love them for it! What would we watch on TikTok otherwise? But their strange behavior can also cause us cat owners some concern. If you’ve ever seen your cat sleeping with her eyes open, you know exactly what we mean. Not only does this look frightening, but it also might spur some crucial questions in your mind. Why do cats sleep with their eyes open? Is it a medical problem? Should I be worried? Keep reading to find out.

Can cats sleep with their eyes open?
They can. If you’re reading this article, you have probably already observed your cat sleeping through the day with her eyes open. Not all cats do it, and cats that can don’t usually do it all the time. The first time you notice your cat sleeping with her eyes open, it can be quite jarring. It looks a little spooky, and you may start to worry that something is wrong with her.

Read more