Five Weird Cat Behaviors That Are Really Signs of Affection

On any given day, we either think our cats are the best things to ever inhabit the earth… or the most evil creatures sent here to torment us for all eternity. Fear not cat owners, did you know that many of the weird behaviors cats and kittens exhibit that we think are part of their scheme to take over the world, are actually signs of love and affection? That’s right — all those quirks are signs of love.

Here are five common behaviors that are actually signs of love.

cute cat playing with yarn

Attacking Your Feet and Shoes
You’re walking along, minding your own business, when suddenly a ball of fur leaps from some inconspicuous hiding spot such as the bed or nearby doorway and pounces— leaving you tripping over this monster attacking your feet. Before you secretly think your loving kitty is actually a one-man evil empire, take note – this is just what cats do to play with you. When your cat attacks your feet, pounces, jumps, or manages to defy gravity — they are merely trying to play. Next time you notice they are in the mood to play, try engaging them with a piece of yarn, feather on a long stick, or pet laser pointer to give their frisky side some air time.


kitten licking paw at food bowlPawing The Water Bowl and Batting Their Food All Over The Place Perplexing as it may be, when we see our cats probing the water bowl with their paws before they take a drink, the reason is rooted in good ole’ animal instinct. Wildcat ancestors needed to test stagnant water to make sure it was safe. Pawing the water helps some indoor cats check for any possible “dangers” lurking in the water bowl. As for batting their food clear across the kitchen, they just enjoy watching us stumble around the floor as we step on dry crunchy bits. Ok that is a lie. Batting food around is also reminiscent of wildcat instinct— it is how they simulate the capture and conquest of their prey. Using healthy cat treats that they can “find” and “capture” is a great way to help satisfy their instincts.


Leaving a “Gift” at The Front Door
Has your cat ever left a mouse, snake, or other rodent on the front door? These unexpected deliveries are actually a gift for you. Bringing home a fresh catch is not just a chance to see the look on your face when you open the door to get the paper and see the remains of Mr. Mouse are staring back at you. Leaving these gifts for you is actually a very big compliment and show of affection. It is best to simply give them a pat, say thank you, give them a cat treat, and accept the gift.


cute cat enjoying life

Kneading You With Their Paws
Some cats like to show their affection by kneading you with their paws. As kittens, they use this same type of motion to help release milk from their moms when feeding. So when your cat does this to you, it may feel like massage chair made out of cactus, but it is actually their way of showing love and affection for their “human” mom. Awwwwww.


Head-butting Your Face and Showing Their Backside
Cats tend to scent-mark objects that are most important to them. So a cat that head-butts your face is actually paying you a huge compliment in terms of trust, since face-to-face behavior is seen as the most vulnerable position to be in. When kitty presents his or her tail in your face it is not as cute. But, this is also a sign of trust and affection. Cats are smart and opening themselves up to others in the wild was an invitation or greeting between trusting friends. By sticking their tush in your face, they are really giving you a truly “back-handed” compliment.