How do Cats Show Love?

Cats show love to their owners in various ways. They are not demonstrative like dogs, cats show affection in very subtle ways. The following are the different ways cats express affection.


This is the most common sign of cat love. If your cat purrs when he is around you, it is obvious that he loves you. Purring also has health benefits. It lowers your cat's heart rate and also makes you feel more calm.



The technical term is "bunting". It's whenever a cat touches you with their head or cheeks. Cats have scent glands on their cheeks, if they headbutt you, it's their way of marking you with their scent. This is a way for your cat to bond with you. Basically, they are saying that you belong to them.


Cats love to moon those that they love. They are showing that they trust you. Pay close attention to their tail language. A cat communicates through how they carry their tail. If they moon you with their tail held high and a hook at the tip, this is a sign of respect.


Kittens do this with their mother when they are nursing. Grown cats will knead when they are feeling loved and happy. It's a sign of well-being and happiness.



Cats love to scratch! As I wrote in the how to stop cat scratching post, one of the reasons that cats scratch is to express affection. They will usually scratch something they associate with you, like a favourite chair or sofa. There are scent glands on cats paws. Scratching allows them to leave their scent on the furniture. It's another sign of claiming you, like headbutting.

Showing Their Belly

One of my cats does this on a daily basis. Whenever I come home from being away, she rolls on the floor and shows her tummy. This an obvious sign of trust and love, as that's the most vulnerable part of a cat. If she shows you her belly, it's her way of saying that she trusts you. It is also an invitation for playtime and petting.


Grooming or licking is another way that cats show their love. This is your cats way of marking you with their scent. It's a very affectionate cat that does this. They are saying you are part of their family.


Both of my male cats love to give love-bites. It's a sign of playful affection. Usually a cat who likes to lick or groom you will give love-bites when feeling frisky.



Cats only give direct eye contact with people they trust. In the wild, looking an animal directly in the eye is a sign of a challenge. Your cat must trust you if they are making eye contact. If they stare and then blink their eyes, this is a sign of love. Look back into their eyes and blink slowly to return the love.


Ah, every cat owner has received a dead mouse or lizard on the pillow. Your cat is sharing their "gift" with you. It's a sign of love. Best to praise them and dispose of the gift in the trash bin. Some cats will also gift you with one of their toys. Take it as a compliment.


How to Stop Your Cat from Scratching the Carpet

One of the common complaints of cat owners is a cat who scratches the carpet or furniture. It can be very destructive and cause stress in your home. The following tips will help to stop your cat from scratching the carpet.


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Why Do Cats Scratch?

Before I get into things you can do to change this behaviour, it's important to understand why cats need to scratch. Cats scratch for health reasons and also to communicate with you. Firstly, cats need to wear down their claws naturally. Indoor cats claws don't get worn down as quickly as outside cats. I wrote an earlier post on trimming your cats claws here

Secondly, cats scratch to communicate with you. Did you ever notice that your cat scratches when you return home from work? He is trying to tell you he is happy you are home. Of course, if he does this on your sofa or carpet, you will not appreciate it. Cats also scratch when they wake up from a nap to stretch their muscles and wake up.


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Cats love to mark their territory with their scent. There are scent glands in their paws, and when they scratch something it's their way of marking it as their own. Scratching is normal cat behaviour. It is part of their nature and something you should not try to change. You can however, direct them to scratch on designated scratching posts or cat trees.


Cat Scratching Posts

There are several different types of cat scratching posts. There are both vertical and horizontal posts, as well as wood and corrugated cardboard scratchers.

Kong cat scratcher available on Amazon

Cats like different textures. If your cat is scratching the carpet, consider getting a scratcher that has a carpet like texture to it. If your cat likes to scratch wood (like door frames or coffee tables) buy or make a wood scratcher. You can sprinkle a little catnip on it to attract the cat or add a little toy nearby.


Place the scratching posts near where your cat likes to scratch. If you catch him scratching the carpet or furniture, pick him up gently and move him to the scratching post. You will have to do this a few times for the cat to learn. You can also discourage him from scratching certain areas by using aluminum foil or a heavy plastic sheet over the area. They don't like that texture and will avoid it. Cats also don't like the smell of citrus. You can wipe down the wood with a citrus solution and they will stay away from it.

Scolding doesn't work unless you catch him scratching. If you yell afterwards, he won't understand why you're upset and will be afraid. This will cause more stress and your cat will act out more. Remember he is not trying to misbehave, he is only doing what comes naturally. Your cat wants to please you, it's up to you to teach him where to scratch. Positive reinforcement works well. When he uses the scratching post, praise him and pet afterwards so he knows you are happy with him.

This video gives you some tips on how to stop your cat from scratching the carpet.



Is Your Cat Stressed?

A stressed cat is the main reason for common misbehaviour. Sometimes you may not even know about it until your cat starts acting out. Long term stress like being bullied by another animal, a noisy environment, or changes in their lifestyle can make cats more anxious and lead to disease.

Some cats deal with stress very easily, whilst others are more high strung. I had a cat that was very timid and she would go running at the slightest noise or disturbance. She was a former feral kitten and we think that led to her being so sensitive. A cat that hasn't properly been socialized will also be prone to stress.

Signs that Your Cat is Stressed

  • Hiding or being withdrawn. This is usually the first sign of stress. Cats that hide from you or other animals are scared of something. 
  • Extra attention. By contrast, some cats will want extra petting and cuddling when they are anxious. They are seeking reassurance from you to make them feel safe. 
  • Litterbox aversion. This is one of the most common symptoms. If your cat is avoiding the litterbox, he is trying to tell you that something is wrong. 
  • Excessive meowing. Your cat is literally trying to communicate that he is upset. 
  • Eating schedule changes. A cat that has little appetite or conversely, eats more than the usual is a sign of stress or depression. 
  • Scratching or excessive licking of fur to the point of bald spots. 
  • Aggressive behaviour. Being aggressive with humans or other animals is a sure sign that your cat is stressed out.

How to Reduce Your Cats Stress

Cats hate change. Seriously. They love things to be reliable and have the same schedule. That goes for mealtime, playtime, sleeping, etc. They like to know you'll be home by a certain time and hang out with their according to a routine. It may sound boring but cats love a set schedule. It makes them feel secure and safe in their home. They will be less likely to feel anxious or act out.

Cats don't like sharing. They have the "what's mine is mine" attitude about their possessions. If you have multiple cats, make sure they each have their own food and water dishes, toys, litterboxes, scratching posts, etc. If you have issues of one cat bullying the other or taking possession of toys, try to put their things in a separate part of your home to avoid conflict. It will give the bullied cat a safe place to hang out and feel secure.

Just as in humans, stress can lead to health problems. The best way to keep your cat calm is too see things from their perspective. If they are hiding because they are afraid of another cat or dog, think how you would react in that same situation. If your cat is anxious, try to omit the cause of his stress and make him feel safe. This will keep him healthy and happy.