Do cats love their owners?

From being solitary animals, cats have grown accustomed to a life of being someone’s pet. From being independent animals that require no human help to survive, cats have grown used to being kept animals that would depend on the dole outs of the owners to have a comfortable existence. Once upon a time, cats are distrustful of humans and would be finicky about whom they will award their affection and trust. Cats though have not only grown accustomed to the presence of humans. Cats have even grown to love their owners.

People that have owned cats would tell anyone that the independent, aloof, solitary and antisocial personality attributed to cats is not true. Although cats are not big on public display of affection, these furry friends have grown to love the owner of the hands that feed them and provide them with more than their basic needs. Cats are wonderful pets to have around. They wouldn’t be one of the most popular pets if they aren’t so. Cats were domesticated. From being denizens of the wild, cats have adapted to being indoor pets. From having the independence to do whatever they want, domesticated cats now have to conform to the rules laid down by the owner. Cats were trained to use the litter box, to refrain from scratching and most importantly to allow the cuddling, petting and kissing of humans. Cats have a long history of doing their own thing. These restrictions would make a faint-hearted animal revert to the wild existence. Cats that have bonded with the human family, cats that have developed affection for the owners would stick with the rather unusual (at least to the cat’s view) set-up. Cats are often viewed as opportunistic pets. How many times have we heard non-cat lovers’ assertion that these skilled manipulators would integrate themselves into people’s lives to ensure an ever supply of their basic needs? However, it must be noted that cats that are starved and abused by their owners would never think of straying. These pets would stay because of the affection they have formed even with the abusive owners.

But how do we know that cats really love their owners? Are these animals really capable of loving humans? Since we cannot ask the pets, it would be a good thing to consider how we react to this thing called love. Isn’t it true that when we love someone, we always want that someone to be around? We want to get the attention of the loved person in the same manner that we would also shower her/him with attention. Cats show these love manifestations to their owners. Cats would expressly demand the owner’s attention. The vocalization of the pet does not always mean a demand for food or a demand to be let out. Cats would vocalize just to gain a cuddle or a belly rub from the owner. Cats would get close to the owner every opportunity they can get. Cats would forsake the comfortable position of lying on its well-padded bed just to curl awkwardly in the owner’s lap. These pets would get up from a comfortable position just to rub its body against the owner’s legs. It is the cat’s way of telling the owner that he/she is loved by the pet. By rubbing the body against the owner, the cat is transferring its distinct smell to the owner. The owner is marked and considered as “owned” by the cat. Cats are willing to make sacrifices in behalf of the owners. One good sign of the cat’s love is giving presents to the owners. Gifting the owner with dead prey is a huge sacrifice for cats given that mice, birds and other small animals are considered as their favourite foods. No other pet would show their love for their owners this way.

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