Last Updated on: June 28, 2023 by Crystal Uys

cat resting with owner on sofa at home

Cats communicate and use body language that’s very different from humans. So, it can be a bit challenging to determine if your cat cares about you. Fortunately, cats do give off signs and display certain behaviors that indicate that they like you. They may seem subtle to us, but some of these signals are very obvious displays of affection to cats. Here are some ways that cats show that they care for their humans.

Top 10 Ways Cats Take Care of Humans

1. They Rub Against You

You can take it as a compliment if a cat approaches you first. If it proceeds to rub its cheeks against you, it’s a good chance that it likes you. Cats have scent glands around their cheeks and face and often rub their faces against people, other animals, and objects. This behavior can signal territory marking, but when it’s done on people or animals, it can be a sign of acceptance or a greeting from the cat.

This is one of the most common signs of affection that I get from cats. When I come home, one of my cats will greet me at the door and often rubs her cheeks against my legs before running off to do her own thing. It’s always nice knowing she’ll take the time to pause and greet me.

cat rubbing its body against the owner
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2. They Slowly Blink Their Eyes

Cats are highly observant animals. You can often catch them fixated on something and staring at it. If you find your cat in a relaxed position and staring at you, try meeting its gaze and blink once slowly. If your cat slowly blinks back, it’s a sign that it trusts and feels affectionate towards you.

I’ve had the most success with getting a slow blink from older cats. It may be because they’re usually calmer than kittens, and I can catch their attention more easily when they’re lounging.

3. They Knead with Their Front Paws

Cats will knead or “make biscuits” with their front paws when they’re feeling relaxed. My cat will often knead on her favorite rug, and if she’s feeling particularly affectionate, she’ll knead her paws on my lap before settling down or as she’s getting petted. While it’s a nice gesture, it can be painful sometimes if her claws dig too deep. So, I usually have a blanket nearby to use as a barrier while she makes biscuits.

bengal kneading blanket
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4. They Stay in the Same Room as You

Some cats may prefer being left alone and don’t enjoy getting pets, but they can still show affection in their own way. More independent cats may show that they care about you simply by being in the same room as you.

Cats like having multiple hiding spaces in their homes as they help them feel safe and secure. So, if your cat prefers being in the same room as you, it could be because it feels safe around you.

Since cats like cozy hiding spaces, I have some spots set up near my workspace. My cat often prefers to lounge or sleep in these spaces while I work or when she wants to be near me but doesn’t want to be disturbed.

5. They Show Their Belly

Cats are very protective of their bellies because they’re vulnerable spots. So, if they’re relaxed around you and lay sprawled out, it means that they trust you. Some cats may even roll over on their backs and expose their bellies while getting pets. This is a strong sign of trust, and your cat feels extremely relaxed and comfortable around you.

owner rubbing her cat's belly
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6. They Purr Around You

Cats can purr for several reasons, and they’ll sometimes purr when they’re feeling happy. So, if a cat’s purring when you pet it or if it’s in the same room as you, it’s most likely showing its contentment.

Cats can also purr when they’re trying to communicate with others. So, you can always try purring back or speaking to your cat quietly. It’s always fun when cats respond with more purring, and it’s nice to share a conversation with your cat.

7. They Sleep Near You

Sleeping leaves cats in a vulnerable position, so they only sleep in locations that make them feel safe. A cat that sleeps near you or next to you signifies that it doesn’t perceive you as a threat. It’s a sign of trust and could also mean that you have each other’s back.

My first interactions with cats usually start with them hiding and observing from a safe spot. Not all cats will eventually start sleeping on the bed at night, but they usually sleep in the bedroom once they feel comfortable.

owner is sleeping with a cat on a bed
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8. They Headbutt You

It may feel like your cat’s pushing you away with a headbutt, but cat headbutts can be signs of affection. Not all cats will do this, especially if they don’t prefer getting petted. However, some cats will headbutt you when they want your attention.

If your cat headbutts you, try scratching under its chin and around its ears. If it stays still, it’s enjoying the attention and free massage. My cat usually headbutts me after her evening meal. I just take it as a sign of appreciation and affection, and she enjoys receiving some extra pets before taking another nap.

9. They Follow You Around

Research shows that cats can form strong bonds with humans and enjoy their parents’ company. Cats can follow you around the house because they want your attention. They might want some pets or treats or want to play with you. Some cats with very strong bonds with their parents may even start following them around if they’re feeling sick or distressed.

cat rubbing its body against the owner
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

10. They Try to Groom You

Cats can sometimes groom each other as a sign of trust and respect, especially if they’re a bonded pair. Cats that have a strong bond with their owners may start to groom them by licking them more frequently.

Not all cats engage in this behavior, so if your cat never tries to groom you, it doesn’t automatically mean that it doesn’t like you. Sometimes, they might just nibble you gently, which is also a sign of affection.


Cats care for their owners in many different ways. The best way to know that your cat feels affectionate towards you is to observe and understand its behavior. Some cats may be more obvious about showing that they care, but all cats with strong bonds with their owners will let their owners know that they like them. We just have to know the subtle signs and appreciate them whenever we see them.

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