Imprinting is a common behavior in mammals, where an animal forms a strong and enduring bond with one person or animal during a critical period. Interestingly, cats have also been observed to imprint on humans, often showing a clear preference for one individual over others. This bond can develop when cats perceive their human as a reliable source of safety, shelter, food, and companionship.
While some pet owners may view cats as aloof creatures, it’s not uncommon for them to have a favorite person in the household that they’ve grown particularly fond of. So, how can you tell if your cat has imprinted on you? In this video, we’ll explore 13 signs that your cat might be signaling that you’re their favorite person and loves you.
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Signs Your Cat Loves You #1: Your cat wants to play with you
Cats are notoriously independent creatures and won’t engage in activities they’re not interested in or with people, they don’t trust. Even if a cat loves playing, they may not engage in playtime with just anyone unless they’ve accepted them as part of their family. If your cat chooses to play with you, then it’s a great indication that they trust and feel comfortable around you. In fact, playing together can be a sign that your feline friend has imprinted on you.
Signs Your Cat Loves You #2: Your cat likes to groom you
Grooming is a significant behavior that can signal imprinting in cats, particularly if you’re the one who receives it more frequently than others. When cats groom humans by licking their hair or face, it’s a sign that they view that person as a close companion. It’s also a way for cats to show that they care about their human’s well-being. Grooming also fosters social bonding between cats and humans. When your cat licks your ears, hair, hands, or feet, they leave their unique scent on you, indicating to other cats that you’re part of their social group. Mother cats groom their kittens to mark them as belonging to them, and similarly, your cat grooms you to signal to others that you’re part of their family. In essence, if your cat frequently grooms you, it’s a strong indication that they’ve imprinted on you and consider you their favorite.
Signs Your Cat Loves You #3: Your cat likes to knead on you
Kneading is a distinctive feline behavior that can indicate your cat has imprinted on you. Kittens begin kneading soon after birth, instinctively performing the behavior on their mother’s nipples to stimulate milk production. Even after they’ve been weaned off milk, cats continue to knead throughout their lives. When a cat kneads on you, it’s a sign that they’re experiencing pleasure and happiness and that they feel deeply attached to you. It’s also an indication that your cat is in good emotional well-being and feels secure and comfortable around you. In essence, if your cat kneads on you, it’s a strong sign that they’ve imprinted on you and see you as a beloved companion.
Signs Your Cat Loves You #4: Your cat likes to sleep on you
Sleeping is a vulnerable activity for cats, as they’re always concerned about their safety and won’t sleep in an environment they perceive as dangerous. However, if your cat has imprinted on you, they may choose to snuggle up close and sleep next to you. This behavior signals that they trust you to protect them from harm and that they feel safe and secure in your presence. It’s also an indication that they feel a deep bond with you, as cats will only sleep next to someone they trust and love. If your feline friend sleeps with you, it’s a clear sign that they’ve imprinted on you and consider you a valued member of their family.
Signs Your Cat Loves You #5: Your cat likes to talk to you
Vocalizing is a clear indication that your cat is attached to you. Unlike with other cats, felines tend to be more vocal when communicating with humans. Experts believe this is because cats have adapted to communicate with us in a way we can understand. If your cat makes distinct vocalizations like trilling, purring, chirping, and tiny high-pitched meows when you’re nearby, it demonstrates how strong your bond is. It means they’re feeling happy and excited to be around you and want to share their joy.
6) Your cat follows you around
One of the most common signs that your cat has imprinted on you is when they follow you around the house. If your feline friend accompanies you to the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen, it’s a clear indication of the deep attachment you share. Your cat enjoys being around you and seeks your company. It’s important to remember that cats, like humans, can experience loneliness, so cherish this special bond by allowing your cat to simply be in your presence. However, if your pet prefers to maintain distance from you or disappears whenever you enter the room, it could be a sign that they feel uncomfortable around you. In that case, it’s worth investigating why and addressing any issues that may be impacting your relationship.
7) Your cat likes to give you gifts
It’s true that your cat can’t express love in the same way that humans do. However, they show their affection in their own unique way. While it might not be the kind of gift you’d expect, cats often bring their owners presents such as a dead mouse, frog, bug, or their toys. It may seem gross to us, but to them, it’s a way of showing their love and trust. Cats are natural hunters and they only share their prey with someone they feel close to. So, if your feline friend brings you a present, consider it a token of their affection and gratitude for your bond.
8) Your cat likes to snuggle with you
When a cat has imprinted on you, they enjoy being in your presence and that often includes sitting on your lap or next to you. Your lap is a safe haven where your cat can relax and bask in the warmth and comfort of their favorite human. It’s your cat’s way of being affectionate and social with you, as they seek to stay close and bond with their trusted companion.
9) Your cat nuzzles your face
If your cat is always rubbing their chin and cheeks on you, curling around your ankles, or giving you a headbutt, it’s a clear sign that they have imprinted on you. Cats have scent glands located around their face and body that they use to mark their territory. When a cat rubs against you or walks between your legs, they are actually marking you with their scent. This is their way of communicating to other cats that you are a part of their social group and that you belong to them. This type of territorial behavior shows affection and a strong bonded relationship between you and your feline friend.
10) Your cat shows you its belly
When a cat lies on its back and exposes its belly, it’s taking a significant risk by putting itself in a vulnerable position that makes it harder to defend against predators. As such, this behavior is not something that cats will do in front of just anyone. If your feline friend frequently displays its belly to you, it’s a sign that they trust you implicitly and feel safe and secure in your presence.
11) Your cat purrs in your presence
Cats are known for their soothing purring sound, which they produce when they are happy, relaxed, or content. If your cat purrs when you pet them, it is a clear indication that they are comfortable and happy in your presence. However, it’s important to note that cats may also purr when they are anxious, sick, or in pain. If you notice another negative body language, such as flattened ears, a lowered head, or hiding behavior, it’s best to give your cat space and observe their behavior closely.
12) Your cat appears unfriendly towards other people
Your cat may have imprinted on you if they don’t seem friendly with other people. Cats are naturally cautious animals, and they may not trust just anyone. If your cat prefers to hide or avoid other people but is outgoing and affectionate with you, it’s a sign that they feel comfortable and safe around you. It may take time and patience to build a bond with a cat, but once they have imprinted on you, they will likely become your loyal and loving companion.
13) Your cat has memorized your routine
Imprinting can also mean cats paying extra attention to you and everything you do. Does your kitty seem to know when you’re about to get ready for bed, leave for work, or come back home? If so you’ve been deemed worthy of their constant and sustained attention. Cats don’t like to waste energy on things that don’t provide an immediate reward so your cat’s keen observation of you and your activities means they value you a lot.
Cats are amazing creatures that can form deep bonds with their owners. By understanding their behavior, we can recognize the signs that indicate how much our feline friends care about us. From following us around the house to purring in our presence, cats show their affection in unique ways. As cat owners, it’s essential to appreciate and reciprocate the love our cats give us. By providing them with love, care, and attention, we can strengthen our bonds with our furry companions and enjoy a fulfilling and happy life together.
Please share these 13 signs your cat loves you and sees you as its mom with your friends and family.