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Why Do We Love Our Cats So Much?

Cat lovers know how strong the bond can be between human and feline. Many of you reading this will love your cat to pieces. The death of a cat often results in our deep and long-lasting grief. But why do we love our cats so much?

 

why do we love our cats so much

Cats are just so EASY to love

Mark Twain once wrote:

“I simply can’t resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course.”

Understandably, people can feel intensely about any pet that becomes a close companion, but cats seem to have a unique way of engaging our feelings. I believe there are many things involved in this: in truth Mark Twain was not wrong, just incomplete.

Why Do We Love Our Cats So Much: Three Things That Cause Us to Love Them

The sheer physicality of cats is one factor. Cats curl around us in a way that a dog could never do. When they relax on our laps, or in our arms, or strewn over us in bed, then we relax in response. It’s a great plus of cats that they can do this, for this causes us to live longer. Dogs are far too inflexible to do the same: when a dog sleeps in our arms it’s just a dead weight.

There is something else about a cat that is very appealing. Cats have some vocabulary though not our gift for language: you could say cats don’t talk-the-talk, just walk-the-walk. All the same they do have a remarkable way to communicate through posture. You know your cat is grumpy, or has a headache, or is annoyed with you, by the way it looks–they have the subtlest ways to tell us how they feel. Of course sometimes they have the loudest and most annoying ways of telling us this too–like when they jump up-and-down on us when we are trying to sleep–but forgiveness is an essential quality of all cat owners and they know that. For proof just look at the angle of that head of the cat in the photograph above.

Then there are the small intimate ways that a cat communicates its love. Pushing is forehead against ours; putting out its paw and stroking us; biting us gently; forever licking us; insisting on sharing and often taking-over our beds.  Cats are miracles of intimacy.

Why Do We Love Our Cats So Much: Cats are Miracles of Intimacy–

All the things above are just some the reasons that answer why do we love our cats so much. (There are many others to discuss another time.) It is strange that an animal that is by nature solitary should know exactly how to manipulate us to obtain our love. Over many years of living with cats I have come to the conclusion that they really are much more than heat-seeking missiles aimed towards out laps. Cats actually do love us as much as we love them. What do you think? Please tell us and share this post with your friends.

 

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40 comments

  1. The longer your cat lives with you, the better she can communicate. My beautiful Persian was my loving companion for 18 years, and she spoke volumns, not only with her body, but also with her voice. She meowed sentences consisting of many differently sounding meows. They varied in volume, duration and tone. Has anyone else ever noticed a cat who could do that? My six-year-old rescue Tabby has begun to speak with three different meows joined together. Of course, I talk to my cats, so I think they are attempting to talk to me.
    My cats do the head bumps, the full-body-rub which includes their tail, the paw-lift for a pet, and so on. But like the fact that they are attempting to verbally communicate as well.

    • Hello Jean — thank you for your thoughtful response. Yes, when we live with cats for many years communication can become remarkably subtle. Most people just don’t talk to their cats sufficiently. It will be interesting to hear how much more your rescue Tabby will have to say for himself. James

    • hi Jean. Your reply resonated with me so much, since I also had a male Persian (red) with copper eyes–and he lived to be almost 18 years old…I figured that was a long life for a pure breed. I had him since was 4 months old. I still miss him so much. Hard to understand for people who don’t have pets, but after having him for almost 18years, I felt like there was a hole in my heart when he passed away – due to kidney failure. ;( But I do remember fondly–how expressive he was. There was one instance (I will never forget)–I came down with food poisoning…resulting in being up ALL NIGHT – for hours–and getting to the point of dehydration…didn’t sleep all night – when finally a relative had to come with a jug of Gaterade for me. The next morning, I finally got to sleep by 11am! When I woke up at 2pm – my Persian was lying right next to me. Mind you, I wasn’t even well enough to refill water for him or give him food. He didn’t care. He just waited for me to get better–not one little peep from him. He was right next to me, the entire time.

    • I know what my cat is thinking and wants before it even reacts, and my cat knows what i am trying to communicate, just by my tone of voice posture and looking into my eyes.. just by looking into each others eyes we catch each others emotions, its always been that way since a kitten, being a house cat, even more so ove rthe years.. i call his name, without fail even if downstairs he will run to me.. but when he doesnt on rare ocasions i know there is a reason so i just let him be.. its that mutual balance of respect that works wonders….. if human partnerships were like the level my cat and I communicate. it would be like a fairytale. my heart breaks just thinking one day i am going to lose him, and ill never have him purr look me in the eyes with such genuine trust and love…. its the most beautiful thing because humans lack that trust and the ability to recieve love. the older we get the more so, the more we dont trust people…

  2. i believe they loved us. my cat always meow around when i’m not home for a day, it look like he missed me. and when i’m home, he always welcome me with his meow .

  3. We love our cats because they are so attuned to what we feel. My cats know when I am unhappy and will purr and rub up against me until I feel better. And our cats also feel. Is there anything better than a cat waiting for you when you come home? I know my cats miss me when I am away. Cats are so expressive!

  4. I beleive cats love us. When I come home my cat will meow, then purr and show her belly to be rubbed. Whe. When I go to sleep she won’t go and stay in the cats beds we bought her but on the carpet outside my room, she doesn’t want much food but wants to be stroked and played with. At night she will sleep, ly down, or watch tv on to top of the quilt where my family sits in the living room and watches tv. We are Muslim and will watch us intently when we pray and sleeps and tests on the prayer mat when it’s left out like a cute Muslim cat. She is so adorable everyone is happy to see her as we walk through the day

  5. Love this!
    However wanted to make a correction that cats aren’t solitary animals, they’re believed to be solitary hunters. I think this is where the confusion is.
    We see this need, that cats have for cat ‘companioning’, by observing feral cat colonies. I’ve seen a doco where a female barn cat helped mid-wife another cat giving birth.

  6. They show us unconditional love. Whenever Im feeling down, I go to my fur-child and she licks my face and head buds me. My heart swells with love for her.
    I too am Muslim, and she does the same thing. Waits on the prayer mat until I’m done.
    Shes wonderful to have around. (Shes curled up into a ball, and is sleeping right next to me as I am writing this :)

    • Oh, I love that she waits on the prayer mat for you! For some reason, I think that is so sweet!

    • My cats wait on my mat when I do yoga as well. I think it’s more of a curiosity of what we are doing. :) Since the Muslim prayer can include a lot of speaking & moving they’re curious as to what it’s about. Just like yoga, it includes a lot of odd movements. Hence the term ‘Curious Cat.’ 😀

  7. fur-child. Good one & true!

  8. I got my gorgeous little torti girl Hallie from a shelter about 2.5 months ago. She was extremely scared and timid and took weeks to warm to me. I still think she has a way to go to be fully settled, and she hates being picked up and won’t sit on my lap, but I know she loves me. She just needs time to learn to fully trust me, I hate to think what kind of trauma she endured to make her so scared. The cutest thing she does though is that she won’t eat unless I sit next to her patting her. It is the sweetest thing and when we do our best bonding. She purrs like mad, rubs herself all over me, and constantly looks to me for approval to keep eating. Bless her. As I write this she is asleep on my bed with me with her head on my foot and her paw wrapped around my ankle. Makes me want to cry how much I love her!

    • Hi Laura! I recently rescued a Tortie – seven year old female I call Callie. She make progress in trusting me and her new environment every day, and I’m so glad! She’s BEAUTIFUL!!! I see that you posted that back in January. I’m sure that by now you have more brave stories. I’m glad she has a nice, new, loving home. Enjoy! :-)

    • My Cachoo is sleeping on my lap as I write this. I loved reading the articles and all the comments. Only a cat lover would understand. No matter how bad my day has been, just being around my cat makes it all okay. He also loves to sit on my lap to eat his food, in fact he is pretty loud about demanding it. Also, while he is eating he will purr, look up often and wait for me to look at him, before he goes back to eating. He has improved my quality of life more than I can explain. Yes, just looking at him makes my heart fill with love, it’s a beautiful thing:) If I call his name, he always answers back with a meow, he does try to talk back. Sometimes, he will do this thing, where he will meow back and lift his face, as if asking what do you want?:)
      Anyone observe a sleeping cat? It’s the most beautiful view, serene and relaxing:)

      • My first Persian, may he rest in peace, would meow, and then look up…pause a bit…and at times open his mouth – as if to meow–but nothing would come out! lol I would be: “Speak up, I can’t hear you”! lol I still miss him. I did adopt a beautiful female calico Persian…she was shy at first, but has opened up, and really made herself at home…she loves her home, and being with her mother! lol….they are very routine-oriented…cats. They enjoy being in their homes, around those they trust. :)

  9. I literally love my cats, I mean they are my everything. They are my babies, When I leave home early I give them a kiss and when I come back I kissed them again. They lick my faces when I lay down in bed and the boy licks my hair. I’m so in love with them!! I even put their photo picture on my debit card, my phone and laptop background. Since day one I adopt them I never stopped loving them. I picked my baby girl from the street and 1 year later I knew that she needed a company so I adopted my baby boy on a shelter. I love them, I love them and I always will and no one understand the love I have for cats, people think I’m obsessed with them.

  10. I love my 2 britain short hair’s much!!
    One of them is really shy because when she was young her mom didn’t like her at all, so she got an trauma for that, she always walks away from everyone in the house, but when she goes to the loft I know she wants some attention, and then she purrs heavily, I love her so much!
    The other cat is even more adorable, when I feel very angry, she looks very shocked at me, and when I’m trying to cool down, she wants to cuddle with me and one time she was lying with me on my bed, for 2 hours in the evening!, When I feel ill, she will come to me and lie next to me until I feel a little better, one time the girl who I loved for 2years didn’t wanted to talk to me, but rather talked to one of my best friends, It broke my heart so bad for some reason, I almost cryed, but then the cat came in and she was comfortinh me, I love them so much!!, They are almost 3 years old, so we have still a lot of time left, I just simply can’t believe how much I love my cats, they so close to me as my mom, dad, brother, sister and my 3 best friends. I love them so much!!!!

    (Sorry for bad english, It isn’t my main language and I am only 16 years old haha)

  11. I love my cats so much I worry that’s its not normal. I have a beautiful blue point ragdoll who is just a a teddy bear with a heartbeat. I got him as a kitten and we also have a blue grey snowshoe that we rescued. I lost my raggy for a week a while back when he got locked in a half built house. I felt like my life was over and really thought it was a miracle to have for him back. We live on a farm and it was always safe to let him out but he had wandered that day. I’ve been quite I’ll several times and both of them lay by my side for days and days on end and wouldn’t leave. They sleep on my bed and do all the things which show your cat loves you. I’m actually terrified at how I will cope when the time comes for us to part in the physical world. Even although I have strong beliefs about the spirit world. I live them as much ( or more) than humans in my life. No one seems to understand. They think I’m nuts!

    • “I’m actually terrified at how I will cope when the time comes for us to part in the physical world.”
      I know exactly how you feel. I always try to stay in the moment, like cats do and just enjoy my friends company. Some day Dizzy will be gone but not today! And he’ll always be in my heart.
      I’m certain many people feel this way towards their feline friends. They sneak their way into our hearts.

    • I have the same thoughts Jill and no you are not nuts. I think about the day I will be parted from my cat and it’s a very painful to even think about it. I love him more than anyone on earth, more than my family. Cats make it easier to receive and give love, in fact probably all animals do, no walls there. My cat comes and sits right in front of me face to face and just looks until I stop doing stuff and look back and pay attention to him or he will do the head butt thing until I talk to him. Then he jumps on my lap and stays there for as long as he wants.

      • My parents died a few years ago and my baby nunu is my everything. I too get frightened of the day I have to part with her. Every time I look at her I say a little prayer that she never leaves me.

  12. Don’t get me wrong…I love dogs…I miss my two beagles terribly and miss that motivation to hit the trail…I was so focused on my boy Chester for so long that I had no clue what my sweet kitty Inda would mean to me once he was gone..I feel so blessed to have such an amazing creature in my life. She fills the void that I thought would be so prevalent in my life while I am not able to give a dog the right home at this time (no yard, long hours, busy schedule).

  13. Lovely article. My little cat who eventually passed away from kidney failure, had to be encouraged to eat I would sit with him and stroke him while he was eating and he would look up at me from his bowl and purr with delight. After about a year of this, he began sitting beside me purring while I was eating. He didn’t want any of the food, and it dawned on me that he was reciprocating. If he was praised while eating, mummy needed encouragement too:)

  14. I LOVE CATS dearly. To me they are the best animals alive.

  15. Cats are such wonderful pets because a cat’s needs make you a better person. The relationship with a cat is based on the cat being able to trust you. For this you need to be kind, considerate, forgiving and affectionate. Giving unconditional love will be very satisfying and raise your self esteem as you continuously live up to being your best self to keep your cat healthy and content. My greatest joy with my cat is not to think she loves me, but to see she knows I love her.

  16. Iam in love with a neighbours cat. She comes to my house through a window where she oftens waits for the window to opeen up. Then she jumps and comes inside the room.. Then she greets me and rubs my legs and my shoes. Then she goes to my bed and she sleeps on it. And then i join her and i give her a massage. Then she purrs and then she relax and falls asleep. And then me too fall asleep watching her. Then when i wake up she looks at me head bunts me and says meow and then she looks for treats like tuna cann. After eating it she goes back to her garden. It iis our routine and we both are like family. I would do anything for her. And once a mosquito was trying to bite me and she came and killed him with her paw punch. Mosquito died on my chest…

  17. My cream point same siamese (1 year old)- Leo- is my angel. I travelled a 10 hour round trip across the country- shortly after having brain surgery- to get him when he was 4 months old…and it was love at first sight ♡ he jumped in to my hands and has not left my side since. He runs to me when I come through the door, and wants to play all night. When I’ve been sad he curls up with me and purrs till the sadness goes away. I absolutely adore him and happily spend every penny I have on treats and toys for him. He is such an angel and I can’t imagine life without him ♡♡♡

  18. I love my cat because is so cute and nice. She is a good with me and she always is with me. When i am said she is with me.

  19. AWESOME I CAN TALK ABOUT MY CAT’S HERE!
    To be honest i don’t know what kind of cat’s mine are.
    the younger Cat 4-6 years old(my sister’s or mother’s companion) I will call it “rescued” from a construction sight i worked at when it was a kitten. The cat is short haired big ears and still gets nervous and runs off sometimes. i believe its from me removing it from its home (a stack of crates). apparently it was really sick so i did possibly save it. my cats are outdoor cats. after a year this one came home after missing for 3 days with a shattered leg. surgery didnt work so the leg was removed. still a cute little guy. Weird how it also has not really been increasing in size considering this cat eats like a machine. another topic of conversation.
    So my companion cat a.k.a “if i had a baby” it would be this cat.
    It is long haired cat. gets matted during certain season. really hard to maintain. it doesn’t over eat. big cat. had it since it was a kitten at a few weeks born from a cousins short haired cat that i don’t really remember because this was 10-12 years ago? anyways her name is molly. she has 5 front fingers and 6 nails on her paw. mix of white,grey,brown,black, and a hint of orange? I don’t know what amount of money could take this cat away from me seriously. money is up there with family and my baby molly.
    she is always around me when i get home. always at my bed side or on a towel i leave on the floor beside the bed for her to lay on. for some reason she really likes my towels after a shower. it’s hard to explain what molly does to communicate with me. Sometimes she gives me these looks i cant explain. lately i have been noticing she will nod her head up than down when i’m petting her. she is a pur-o-matic. Sometimes i just have to give molly a look and she will start to purr.:). i believe my cat doesn’t respond or understand words other than MOLLY! or MEWMEWWW. i say it loud to her in excitement when i get home.
    she will also respond to sounds i make with my mouth. when i whistle certain tunes she will gets excited. she will start purring and rubbing against everything. other sounds i cant really explain that get her attention to come to me.
    she is her own cat. my cat will not always listen to me when i call it. but that’s cats for you. she will meow for certain things like food, anger, get away from other cat, don’t touch me there, let me outside, not feeling well, more food. different meow’s but it’s obvious enough. It makes complete sence why cats make you live longer.(If you are constantly at a state of calm with it)example: before i go to sleep i will cuddle with my cat in bed. I find this super relaxing. almost like a meditative state.
    OR having the cat on my chest as i lay in my bed. her soft body on mine, Her purr vibrating through my chest. again. super relaxing and anti stress. especially when my mind is racing and focused on the negative. don’t get the wrong idea… some people will understand others minds will think of differently.
    so we get extra years added onto our life. what about when my baby passes away…. at this moment an adult man’s eye’s are slightly watering at the thought of the loss of his cat. ok. 1 tear. but anyways the passing away of my baby molly will cause me tremendous stress taking back those years.
    Newtons law
    “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”
    Except we have very complex brains that can be reinforced to prevent as much stress as possible at the passing away of your cat.
    But I on the other hand wants and will morn my cat when the time comes and let it all out as she was truly a friend.

    do you really want to keep the extra years of your life?
    one possible solution is to buy another cat an make yourself believe it is a reincarnation of your old cat.
    maybe cat heaven? after all you choose what to believe even though your perception of your surroundings influences your belief.

    I’m screwed as I at the moment believe there is only darkness waiting on the other side. so i live my life honestly and try to be the best i can be given circumstances to human error’s. Religions are just to a means to control populations and these days all religions truly need to come as one and keep the culture on the side.

    so we can all get along

  20. Cats also read you better than you can read them.

  21. When I first got my kitten nunu I was scared of her. But slowly we grew fond of each other. My nunu is my life, she responds to me when I’m down, and I take care of her needs. She is my life, my heart my child. I would do anything for her. When she blinks at me she makes my heart sink. The thought of ever being without her hurts me. I don’t just live her but I love every cat. Every animal. It’s only after having my baby nunu that I have this protective nature over any and every animal. But I love my nunu. I haven’t had her neutered or spayed yet because when I can afford it I will get her to have kittens. She’s a house cat because I’m scared of losing her so I keep her safe and loved at home.

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