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Thread: How do you know your cat loves you? Let me count 25 ways

  1. #1
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Default How do you know your cat loves you? Let me count 25 ways

    How do you know your cat loves you? Let me count 25 ways

    Fay Schopen

    Scientists claim that cats show no attachment to their owners. Au contraire: the evidence of their love and devotion is obvious and abundant

    ‘My cat tolerates affection. She lets me kiss her, even though she clearly doesn’t like it.’ Photograph: Alexander Utkin/AFP/Getty ImagesTuesday 8 September 2015 10.11 EDTLast modified on Tuesday 8 September 201512.59 EDT

    Face it, your cat doesn’t care about you,” reads one headline. “Cats do not need their owners, scientists conclude,” reads another. Poor cats, always getting bad PR. As if it wasn’t enough that Australia has declared war on feral cats, we now have a study that says cats don’t need their owners. The research, from the University of Lincoln, adapted the Ainsworth “strange situation” test, developed in the 1970s to observe just how attached children, and sometimes dogs (idiots), are to their caregivers. They found that when you put a cat in an unfamiliar room it does not look for reassurance from its owner or seem to miss them if they are absent. There’s one potential explanation for this, it strikes me: cats, unlike children and dogs (idiots), are territorial – put them in a strange room and they will be too busy freaking out to look for reassurance. But that doesn’t matter. The myth of the independent cat who sees humans as nothing more than handy food dispensers is firmly entrenched. As a cat owner, I am deluded enough to think that my cat loves me. And I have been racking my brain, and asking everyone I know, to come up with hard evidence of this fact.

    Your cat…

    1. Greets you at the door. One colleague’s cat recognises the sound of her husband’s car in a busy street, and another’s two cats sit on the garden wall waiting for her to come home from work.
    2. Follows you around. Does your cat come and hang out with you, in a sort of casual, hey what are you doing, oh taking a shower, well, I’ll just sit down then, way? That’s love.
    3. Stares at you. Unsettling. But cats only make direct eye contact with people they really like.
    4. Blinks at you. A long slow blink is a cat equivalent of a kiss. Do it back. But only if no one is watching.
    5. Meows. Cats do not meow to other cats, only to humans. This is my best cat fact. Your cat is talking to you. Your cat is telling you it loves you. Also: purring. Loudly.
    6. Tolerates affection. My cat lets me kiss her, even though she clearly doesn’t like it. She may duck, but she doesn’t run away, and I consider this a victory.

    7. Does not bite you. My cat has bitten all of my boyfriends to date. She has never, ever bitten me.
    8. Does bite you. Biting playfully is a sign of affection. My cat doesn’t do this, she never plays. She is a sort of sentient, fluffy cushion, but I love her anyway.
    9. Head-butts you. When cats do this they are depositing their pheromones on you, and marking you as “theirs”. They love you, they really love you.
    10. Comes to fetch you. When my cat feels I’ve been in bed too long, she comes upstairs and meows until I get up. I now close the bedroom door at night.
    11. Breaks into your bedroom. Does your cat repeatedly thump the door, scratch the carpet or mew loudly and constantly outside the door? Love. I now shut my cat in another room at night.
    12. Touches you. One of my friend’s cats taps her with his paw. Unbearably cute. A colleague’s cat caresses her face. Someone else has trained their cat to kiss them on the lips. Aw.
    13, Licks you. An honour – you are considered part of your cat’s family. (Also their tongues are rough and provide excellent exfoliation.)

    14. Kneads you. Like dough. Kittens do this to their mothers when they are feeding to increase milk supply, ergo your cat thinks you are its mother and adores you.
    15. Brings you presents. Cats love giving gifts! Popular choices are mice and birds, but don’t discount frogs or worms.
    16. Gets jealous. It took me ages to work out that my cat was jealous of my computer – but she definitely is.
    17. Trips you up. Annoying perhaps, fatal, in the end (for you, not the cat). But when cats throw themselves to the ground in front of you or weave through your legs as you walk downstairs carrying a heavy tray of crockery, they are obviously telling you they idolise you.
    18. Makes a point. As my friend Jennifer said, when her cat pooed on her duvet immediately after she returned home from holiday: “If he didn’t care, would he bother? I like to think not.”

    19. Sulks. When I returned from a 10-day trip my cat refused to come out of the study for two days. But she wasn’t aloof enough to stop herself meowing delightedly whenever I went in there.
    20. Sits on your lap. Constantly. If I am seated for more than a few seconds the cat materialises. A friend had a cat that tried to sit on her lap when she was on the loo.
    21. Sits on other parts of you. Like your head.
    22. Shows you their belly – the most vulnerable part of the cat. They trust you.
    23. Stays. Or as my friend John says: “They let you live in the same house as they do.”
    24. Doesn’t say no when you repeatedly ask “do you love me?” I take my cat’s silence on this issue as acquiescence.
    25. And finally … maybe your cat doesn’t love you. At least, not in the way you think. There’s no need to anthropomorphise them. Cat love, I suspect, is deeper, truer and more mysterious than the human variety.

    Last edited by sputnik; September 8th, 2015 at 09:14 PM.
    dowcat, palta, Kittylady and 5 others like this.
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  2. #2
    Elite Member levitt's Avatar
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    the sin bin


    Great article, this made me miss my Lucy.
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  3. #3
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    ^ My cat does all of the above and meets me when I park my car and walks me home.
    sputnik likes this.
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  4. #4
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    awww. mine too. well, except for the going outside and walking me home part. his world begins and ends in my apartment
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  5. #5
    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    My Olive does all of those things and constantly. She's the sweetest little thing I've ever met and I only wish I'd got her sooner. Poor puss was a stray for her first year and she's such a people cat I feel sad she didn't have a home for so long. We're making up for it now though, she's on my lap purring and chirping as I type.
    sputnik, Mivvi21 and palta like this.
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  6. #6
    Elite Member panic's Avatar
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    Cats can be lovable creatures, I've been in peoples' houses where cats just walk up rubbing their head on your leg and curling up in a ball right in your lap, very sweet animals. I've heard lots of times that cats aren't affectionate but that's not been my experience at all. Of course I've encountered some standoffish ones and ones that hiss at you if you get too close but they're not all like that. Dogs are supposed to be man's best friend and I've seen some of those that'd take your head off if they could get at ya. Not all living things have the same personality and can't always be placed in one convenient category.

    We inherited a cat in March, it's been a pleasure to have, just a sweet, trusting, innocent creature who probably misses her former owner very much. But still a very lovable and affectionate creature.
    "The wild, cruel beast is not behind the bars of the cage. He is in front of it."...Axel Munthe

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    26. This:

  8. #8
    Elite Member pinkbunnyslippers's Avatar
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    ^That is such a wonderful feeling.
    LaFolie likes this.
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  9. #9
    Elite Member Sleuth's Avatar
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    Aw reminds me of that wonderful day when Pixie presented me with a gecko body and gave my son the head. True love.
    LaFolie, sputnik, rollo and 1 others like this.
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  10. #10
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    My cat brings me his toys, or my jewelry and mangled earphones if he manages to get his paws on them. He'll steal everything small, shiny and/or jangly, and carry it off in his mouth to his 'killing lair' (i.e. the doormat by the front door) and claw and bite the shit out of it until he gets so overstimulated he starts jumping and running around all over th place, literally bouncing off the walls and furniture until he finally calms down and climbs up onto my stomach to chill out..

    He also hides the stuff he steals sometimes (especially headphones bc he knows he can't go near those but he just can't help himself) and he's absolutely useless with flies, bugs or any actual predators. Total mama's boy, zero street smarts.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    I can't go to the bathroom without being greeted by howls from Pandora as soon as I come out. It seems that the time it takes for me to have a shower or even pee is long enough for her to believe that I've abandoned her. Misty is the one who is most likely to be on my lap while I'm watching tv or weighing me down by settling on my hip when I'm going to sleep and Kitsy, thanks to a rough start, doesn't particularly like being handled or sitting on you but will always comes and sits nearby, no matter what room I am in. Even my MIL's cat makes a beeline for me when I'm there. As soon as Sunday dinner is over she appears and settles down on my lap for an extended washing/purring/napping session.

    My cats love me and scientists and animal behaviourists can blow their declarations out of their arse.
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  12. #12
    Elite Member Chalet's Avatar
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    This is how my cat used to sit on my chest while I was lying down and talking on the phone. His nose would almost be touching mine. He's stare at me while I was blabbing. All four paws and tail tucked under him and purring LOUDLY.

    Mo's cats look like Cher's cat. Persian? Himalayan?
    Last edited by Chalet; September 15th, 2015 at 05:20 PM.

  13. #13
    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    exiled and ostrich sized


    ohhhh I've always loved the B Kliban cats...still have the books and pillows circa 1970s I think.

    my favorite, I think I had a t-shirt of this

    And yeah, my kitties have done all of the 25 ways, and more. We speak the same language. It drives my hubs crazy that I can call them and they come to me, after he tries and tries. They love him too, but they just respond to my voice and come running.
    ManxMouse and Kittylady like this.
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  14. #14
    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    Yes, total BS that cats don't care about their owners. Ours do most of the article stuff, plus more. Hubby has occasional sinus infections and whenever he does, "his" cat (also dubbed puppy cat cause he is very dog-like) sleeps on his head and the painful side of his face. He only does this until the infection has gone. His cat also tells him when it's time to go to bed. And "my" kitty is stuck to me like velcro. Both of them greet us at the door when we get home. And both are outraged when we go on vacation and they have to deal with a cat sitter.
    Trixie, Sassiness and sputnik like this.
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

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