9 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Feline So Your Cat Knows You Care

Your cat probably knows how much you love them, but if you're worried, implement these 9 tips today.

Published May 2, 2023
Woman pet owner cuddling with cat

There are tons of ways to show a dog you care about them, like taking them for a car ride or romp around the park, but what about your cat? Don't worry; there are just as many ways to tell your cat you love them. Because cats interpret affection differently, you'll have to express your adoration in different ways. The good news is that you're probably already doing these things every day, and the better news is that there are even more ways to show your cat you love them. Give them a try today because we're sure they feel the same way, too.

4 Ways Cats Can Tell They're Loved

Cats show love for each other through grooming, cuddling, head bunting, and verbal communication. You probably engage in these behaviors with your cat without even knowing it! But they definitely take notice, and these four simple actions absolutely translate to love.

1. You Talk to Them

Whether it's a simple "Good morning, kitty!" or an intense gab session, you probably show your feline friend attention through verbal communication at least a few times each day. This simple behavior shows your cat you care for them. And if they respond with a meow, purr, or an upright and curved tail, they love you too! Cats meow for our benefit, after all, and don't communicate with each other this way.

Fast Fact

Research shows that cats can tell their owner's voice apart from that of strangers. So it's not just the talking that they like; it's you talking to them.

2. You Feed Them

Young woman playing with her cat

A lot of cats live for food, so the fact that you fill their bowl every day means you love them. In fact, some cats are social eaters or affection eaters, which means they only like to eat when someone they care about is around. The real secret is, cats love the consistency when you feed them regularly, too, so show them you care with a predictable routine.

3. You Sleep with Them

In the wild, cats will only sleep with another animal if they deeply trust them. The fact that you sleep with your cat means you love them, and they know it. Where your cat sleeps on or around you can say a lot about how they feel about you, too. For example, if they sleep on your feet, they want to protect you. How sweet.

4. You Groom Them

Your cat might not love getting brushed, but they see you grooming them as a sign that you love them. This is because cats groom each other in the wild as a way to express trust and show affection. It means the same thing to your cat when you give them grooming attention.

5 Ways to Show Your Cat You Love Them

If you're still worried your cat doesn't know you love them, don't panic. Begin incorporating these five activities into your routine to let your cat know you adore them.

1. Engage in Playtime

Initiating a game with your cat is a great way to bond with them. Grab a laser pointer, wand toy, or some crinkle balls and start playing. This is something kittens do with their littermates, so it will send the message that you see yourself as one of them.

Quick Tip

Playing is a great way to help your indoor cat get exercise to keep them at a healthy weight.

2. Give Them Gentle Pets

Teen Girl Holding Ragdoll Cat

Learn where your cat enjoys being petted and offer them gentle strokes and scratches. Gentle petting releases feel-good neurochemicals in your cat's brain, which is why they love this activity so much. Just be sure to respect your cat's space and learn their subtle cues for when they've had enough so you don't end up with any "love bites."

3. Offer Them a "Slow Blink"

When a cat blinks while looking at you, they're saying, "I love you." You can return this gesture to let your cat know you love them, too. Just gaze softly into their eyes and slowly blink your eyes closed, then open. It might sound silly, but it works, and research backs the idea up!

4. Spoil Them with a Treat

Is your cat food-motivated? Offer them a tasty treat to show them you care. Fish flakes and squeezable cat puree are big hits with even the pickiest of cats, although don't overdo it. An occasional treat is enough to express your love and won't give your kitty an upset stomach.

5. Take Them to the Vet

This probably doesn't sound like an act of love because your cat might not enjoy the trip to the office or the exam itself, but it really is important. Scheduling regular check-ups can ensure that any illnesses are caught early before they have a chance to progress into life-threatening conditions. This way, your cat can remain as healthy and comfortable as possible and enjoy many more years by your side.

Do Cats Really Understand We Love Them?

Yes, cats absolutely understand that you love them. Even though they might not always show it (cats practically invented the resting grumpy face), your cat can sense the deep adoration you have for them. And there's also a great chance the feeling is mutual.

Fast Fact

Studies suggest that the bond between cats and humans is just as strong and possibly even stronger than the bond people make with their dogs.

How Do Cats Interpret Affection?

As a cat lover, you know it's a myth that cats are not affectionate. However, cats aren't truly domesticated (they've only lived with humans for only about 10,000 years, compared to 30,000+ years of canine domestication), so they may not accept affection from people as readily as other species do.

That's not to say that some cats don't love being held and nuzzled, but every cat has their own comfort level with physical affection. You simply need to learn what your cat likes and when they've had enough petting.

Don't Worry, Your Cat Knows You Love Them

Even though you can't show your cat love in the same ways they do (because licking your cat just doesn't sound appealing …), there are still plenty of other things you can do. Keep their brain and body busy through enrichment and play, and don't forget to take them to the vet for their regular check-ups. Your cat will thank you with plenty of purrs, head bunts, and catnaps.

Trending on LoveToKnow
9 Ways to Say “I Love You” in Feline So Your Cat Knows You Care