Do cats feel love?

Cats are cherished pets thus it would not be unusual for a cat parent to believe that the love, the affection given to the pet is reciprocated. But would it be just wishful thinking on the part of the cat owner? It is not uncommon for pet parents to attribute the pet with human-like behaviors. Cats are known to be solitary animals. Unlike dogs that usually manifest affection by giving the human friends sloppy kisses and following the favorite person around, cats are known for their aloof personalities. Animal behaviorists would say that cats can never be owned as they would not consider the people that care for them as their owners. Non-cat lovers would say that a cat that sidles against the legs of humans or a cat that butt its head against the owner is not really showing affection. These actions are the cat’s way of telling humans that they need something like food, water or a toy. Cat lovers would naturally disagree. People that have kept and cared for cats would aver that these pets are capable of showing affection. Cats can and do feel love for their human family.

Cats and dogs are often compared given that these animals are the most popular pets. A dog, as anyone knows is dubbed as man’s best friend because not only would it show its loyalty and affection to the human friend, it would also offer protection. A cat is different. Cats’ independence is the reason why these feline friends are branded as aloof and cold. Unlike dogs, cats would not follow the owner around with the tongue lolling…cats would not fawn and would not grovel. However, these personality traits do not mean that cats cannot feel love.

Cats have a mind of their own. These pets would not need constant reassurance that they are loved by their owners. A cat may not even come when called and may not appreciate the cuddling of the owner. Cats though love deeply and fiercely. Only a true cat lover would understand these mysterious animals. So how do cat show their love…what actions would convey a cat’s affection for their human friends?

Cats would show love through different behaviors. A cat parent would know that the affectionate body contact the pet shows is a manifestation of its love. A cat’s affectionate gestures include sidling against the legs of owners, head butting and rubbing its face against people. On the side of the face are glands cats use to mark people. Cat experts believe that by transferring their own scent, cats can strengthen their bond with their human friends. Cats would sit on the lap of the owner and purr. Cats would knead, twitch the tail and even wink at the human family. Of course these actions can be “feed me” behaviors but cat parents would like to think that these are manifestations of the pet’s affection. It appears that cats instinctively know that something is wrong with the owner’s world. Cats are even known to lick the tears of an upset owner. In their own silent way, cats would offer comfort.

Dogs are not the only pets that form close ties with their owners. Stories have been told about cats grieving for the death of someone close to them. The cat would even refuse to eat and to leave the owners room. Public display of affection may not be a behavior of cats but let us not forget the inclination of these pets to bring dead prey as gifts to their owners. This only goes to show that despite the cold and independent personality, cats do feel affection for their human friends.