It must be love! The ways cats show their affection.

Cats Pet Care Posted Aug 30, 2018
Our feline friends are communicating with us all the time, but do you know what it all means?

Slow blinking

This means “I love and trust you”.  Think of it as your cat’s way of blowing you a kiss! While a wide-eyed stare is threatening, gently blinking means trust and affection. 



Whether a soft, barely-audible vibration or a loud rumbling, a purring cat receiving affection is a sign of happiness and contentment. Sometimes a cat will purr when they are scared, sick or hurt as a form of self-soothing. Look at your cat’s body language to check if this is a happy or sad purr. 

Rubbing against you

Twirling around your legs and rubbing their faces, cheeks and gums on you is a cat’s way of sharing their scent, marking you as part of their family. Cats use scent to identify each other, recognise family members and mark their ‘safe zones’ within an environment. 


Cats are notorious self-groomers and sometimes like to help out their human friends by licking and nibbling at their skin and hair. A grooming session with the distinctive rasping, sandpaper like tongue of a cat is a positive sign your cat is bonding with you, enjoy!

Vocalising (meowing) for attention

“Hey look at me! Love me! Feed me!” These are just some of the reasons your cat will meow at you. Take it as a compliment that they are saying ‘hello’ and asking for your love and attention.

Head bunting

From little house moggies, to a pride of lions on The Serengeti, the feline head-bump is a universal cat greeting to loved ones and a bonding ritual. It’s their way to share the scent of the family and give a warm welcome, like a big hug between human loved ones. 

If you are looking to help RSPCA rescue cats find a home, see a full list of felines available for adoption

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Animation was kindly produced by Emily Ireland, RSPCA Creative Volunteer. 

Rebecca Sykes
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