How Cats Show Affection

How Cats Show Affection? You will be surprised how many subtle ways your cat can use to show her love.

There is a wrong idea that cats are not affectionate because dogs have more obvious ways of showing love.  Although this is true, cats have more subtle ways to show affection, but that doesn’t mean the bond is less strong.

Check out our post on how cats show their love.

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how cats show affection

How Cats Show Affection through Body Language

One of the ways cats show affection is through their body and tail.

The upright and slightly curved tail means that your cat is happy to see you.

Similarly, if your cat feels confident enough to let you touch her belly, this is the ultimate expression of affection.

how cats show affection

Check rubs and head butting

Kittens learn from their mother social behaviors like head butting and cheek rubbing. Both are ways that cats build bonds and affection with other animals and, by extension, with humans.

Cats have a sophisticated sense of smell, and when they want to show affection, they try to mark them and mix aromas with them. Head-butting and rubbing their cheeks is one way of saying I love you.

how cats show affection

Eye contact

While a long, persistent, unblinking gaze may not seem like a friendly gesture to a human,  eye contact is another way how cats show affection.  Cats only make eye contact with people they like, and they even make eye kisses. This behavior is when a cat will gaze with its eyelids half-closed and blink slowly, repeatedly.

You can return this gesture. If you see your cat giving eye kisses, you may want to give her one kiss in return.


Another way to show love is when the cat runs to the front door when you enter the house. With his meows, he tries to tell you that he is happy to see you.

how cats show affection


Grooming sessions are some of the most intense bonding experiences for cats.

Cats show affection with mutual grooming among animals and in family groups. Sometimes cats use their tongue to lick their owner, and it is a way of mixing aromas and is the ultimate gesture of how cats show affection.

how cats show affection

Pawing and Biting

When your cat kicks, you may think that she is about to be aggressive. Kicking is not always the most pleasant gesture to receive from a cat, but it is important to understand the context. Kittens rub their mothers when feeding to increase the supply of milk, and they also use this gesture towards their owners as a sign of love. 

Similarly, although love bites should not be encouraged, these gentle nibbles are often a sign of affection rather than hostility.

how cats show affection

How Cats Show Affection with Vocalization

Cats can use vocalization to communicate their affection.

The cat purrs as a sign of pleasure and satisfaction during close contact, like petting or grooming.

The cat is letting you know through vocalization how much she is enjoying her bonding time.

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Image credit: Pixabay. Unsplash Pexels


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