Cats are often thought of as independent and aloof creatures, but that doesn’t mean that they’re devoid of emotion. In fact, your feline friend may be demonstrably showing you affection without you even realizing it. Here are some surprising ways that cats can express adoration to their humans.

Gift Giving

It may be hard to believe, but cats can actually present their owners with a “gift.” This usually looks like a dead mouse, rat, bird, or insect but don’t be fooled — cats are attempting to show you how much they love you. This instinctual act comes from the mother cat teaching her kittens to hunt and is a display of cats’ affection.

Head Butts

Everyone knows that cats enjoy to be stroked on the head and neck, but they also express love through head butts. Known as bunting, kitties head-butt their humans and other cats to spread their scent and mark them as family. This can be considered a sign of affection since cats are showing their trust by letting their marks be known.


Kneading is the act of cats pressing their paws into something and then alternating paws. This behavior is relaxing for cats and can indicate that they are content and happy. If your cat is kneading your lap or blanket while purring, they are feeling a deep sense of comfort around you.

Slow Blinks

Not all signs of affection are physical; cats can also show you their love through eye-contact. Slow blinking is a sign of contentment and usually indicates that a cat is feeling especially comfortable around you. If your kitty is staring deeply into your eyes and then giving slow-blinks in between, that’s kitty talk for “I love you!”

Tail Quivering

It’s well-known that cats use their tail to communicate their feelings; twitching is often a sign of excitement, while curling around your ankles is a form of affection. But cats can also wag their tail to show contentment, mainly when eating food. If your cat’s tail is quivering while they munch away, they are expressing a deep sense of trust and peacefulness around you.

Tummy Exposure

On the subject of trusting, another common sign of love is when cats show their tummy. Though it can be incredibly tempting to give their tummy a rub, this exposure is actually a vulnerable position and cats will only show their bellies to those they deem worthy of their trust. If your cat flips onto their back and exposes their fuzzy tummy, they are showing their utmost love and trust to you.

Follows You Wherever You Go

Cats may spend most of their day lounging around, but if yours never takes their eyes off of you and follows you from room to room, they are simply displaying their affections. Cats need attention and by monitoring your every move, they are trying to ensure that your time and love are concentrated toward them.

Joint Sleeping

Sleeping is one of cats’ favorite activities and when cats decide to share the bed with you, it’s their way of showing you affection. Cats exhibit signs of trust when they choose to sleep close to someone; and if your feline friend curls up tightly against your side, then you’re deemed worthy of their love.

Meowing and Purring

The most obvious sign of affection is when cats meow or purr. If your kitty meows and rubs up against you, they’re communicating that they want attention and care. On the other hand, if your cat is purring, it can indicate that they’re feeling comforted and content, and do feel affectionate towards you.

Cats may be commonly thought of as independent, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t show affection. From gift giving to head-butts, there are myriad ways cats express their love towards their humans and it’s important to pay attention to those subtle signs. Understanding how cats communicate their affection and spending quality time with them will help build your relationship and start a bond that can’t be broken.