a surprise to cat owners In the great debate of cats versus dogs, one of the greatest weapons in the dog-lovers’ arsenal is the theory that dogs are friendlier and bond more quickly with their people. How could cats compare, the dog people say, when dogs clearly love us and cats clearly don’t. A sound argument, but not entirely true. Cats do bond with their owners, they just have more subtle ways of showing it. Here’s how to tell if your cat has bonded with you.
Also known as a cat kiss or an eye kiss, it is a relaxed and happy cat that has settled in humans using this common sign to show affection to its owner. Looking at you, the cat slowly closes its eyes, keeping it closed for a moment before opening it again.
Are cats able to bond with humans?
First, we should start with the basics: Can cats bond with humans? The answer is yes (it is not a surprise to cat owners, is it?), But the relationship between cats and humans is much more complex than the relationship between humans and dogs (certainly, not a surprise to cat owners).
In 2011, the Smithsonian magazine reported the results of a group of scientists who spent time studying cats and human husbands in Vienna, Austria. The study dug into the characters of both humans and cats and found that the relationship between them is as complex as the connections between human husbands. If the person concerned was more open, for example, the cat was more likely to exhibit complex patterns of behaviors. This indicates that cats adapt to humans, and the relationship between them is the give and take that represents each other’s personality.
The researchers also found that women tend to have “more intense” relationships with their cats than men, which may explain some of the deplorable origins of the “mad cat” stereotype.
“In response, cats approach women owners more frequently, and they start to communicate more frequently (such as skipping sessions) than they do with male owners,” Manuela Wedel, co-author at the University of Vienna, told Discovery News. Their owners have more intense relationships with their cats than their male owners. “
How do cats show affection?
So, yes, it’s possible that your cat does actually like you. How can you tell if that’s the case? There are several ways cats show love and affection, and you’ve probably seen many (maybe all) of them with your own cat.
If your cat starts giving you those slow blinks, then you’re in. You probably notice this most often when you’re petting your cat’s head. By slowly blinking, she’s saying, “Yes. You are a person I like, doing a thing that I like.” You can even try to blink slowly back at your cat to see how long the loved-up, silent convo lasts if you want to (which you know you do).
Kneading and Head-Butting
Does your cat like to knead you or ram his head into your body? He’s not trying to physically assault you; he’s saying, “Hey! I love you!” Kittens knead at their mothers’ stomachs to make milk flow. When adult cats knead, they’re mimicking the relationship they had with their mothers. As for head-butts, rubbing his face on you is a great way for your cat to transfer their pheromones to you, which lets other cats know you’re definitely spoken for.
Cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves, and this favor is often extended to humans when cats are feeling especially lovey-dovey. If your cat gives you a lick or even a little love nip, she’s probably trying to communicate some combination of “Hey, I love you” and “Hey, give me some attention.”
Cat signs have been associated with you.
You know that your cat at least does not hate you, but how do you know if her feelings are more “Oh, you’re right, for a roommate” or “sharing deep and irreversible”? Here are some signs that your cat is seriously associated:
- Rubbing against your legs
- Following you
- Sitting on top of you
- Slow blinking at you
- Vocalizing to you
- Bring your gifts
- Kneading you
- Staring into your eyes
- Grooming you
- Exposing the belly
- Curved tail-tip
The biggest sign that your cat has bonded with you is repeated and frequent displays of those cat-approved forms of affection: slow blinks, licking, kneading, grooming, and head-butting. Soft, welcoming purrs are always good, and if your cat likes to present her butt to you, well, you’re definitely in.
Ways to bond with your cat.
If you’re still thinking, “Oh god, my cat might kind of hate me,” don’t worry. There are definitely ways to strengthen your bond with your cat (or to make sure you bond right away with a new cat).
The key is to meet your cat on her terms. By interacting with your cat when and how she wants (because your cat knows who is in charge and won’t forget it), you’ll quickly become one of her favorites.