6 Ways to Tell Your Cat Is a Part of the Family


PetMD Editorial

Published Feb. 24, 2014

They’re known for their indifference, their independence and their solidarity. But despite however solitary you think your cat might be, you had better believe she has her ways of showing you that she loves and needs you.

It just might be hard to tell sometimes.

Keep on the lookout for these telltale signs that your cat loves you so you’ll always know—she considers herself a part of your family.

The Forehead Touch

Even if it lasts for only a split second, head bunting, or a slight forehead-to-chin nuzzle from your kitty, means your cat trusts you and enjoys your company.

The Kneader

You’ve undoubtedly seen this behavior in your cat before, and probably wondered just what the heck it means. Kneading, or the milk tread, happens when your cat flexes and relaxes his front paws against some soft object. The original intent of this gesture comes from when cats are kittens and they use the behavior to stimulate the release of milk from the mother’s teat during nursing. As they grow, however, many cats keep up the behavior when they’re on something soft or when they feel content.

The Tail Twitch

Believe it or not, not all cat tail twitches were created equal. And while it’s true that cats often puff out their tails when they’re annoyed or scared, if your cat comes up to you with her tail hoisted lazily in the air, with the tip twitching back and forth, she’s actually showing you a sign of affection. While your cat may invite you to interact, she may also turn that play behavior into wildness or aggression, so be careful. 


The Power of Purr

Perhaps one of the most common and well-known signs of love from your cat are the steady, rhythmic sounds she emits when she inhales or exhales, otherwise known as purring. Purring is the ultimate sign of contentment, and in your presence, a throaty purr from your feline friend means she’s more than happy to sit back, relax, and be spoiled by you.


The Attention Getter

When your cat is sick of your attention being diverted elsewhere, she’ll let you know it. Whether it’s cramming herself into the nook of your arm while you sleep, or taking a casual stroll over your laptop while you work, such interruptions from your cat mean she is ready to interact with you, and she's ready for some extra affection.

The Gift Giver

Yes, it’s totally gross when your cat bestows upon you a present in the form of a dead mouse, bird or any other animal. However, look at it this way: When your cat brings you her dead prized possession, she’s sharing her prey with you … which is actually a true sign of kitty friendship.

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