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Do Cats Understand Kisses? Does Your Cat Know You Love Them?

Do Cats Understand Kisses? Does Your Cat Know You Love Them?

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Cats don’t perceive kisses in the same way that people do because a cat’s body language differs greatly from ours. However, if given frequently, some cats might even realize that kisses are their owner’s way of showing love.

Cats have distinct personalities, so how they observe kisses and whether they like them or not will differ from one cat to the next. Cats have their own way of expressing love that has nothing to do with kisses.

You can tell if your cat likes kisses by their reaction and body language. If your cat leans forward, purrs, and bumps its head, it means it’s ok. If your cat turns away or paws at you, it is evident that it does not want to be kissed.

Continue reading to see when your cat loves kisses and when you shouldn’t attempt to kiss and hug your furry friend. And, of course, enjoy the pics I’ve prepared for you!

Do Cats Understand Kisses?

a woman kisses a cat

If you say quiet things like “nice kitty” or “who’s my cutie” to a cat and pet it while kissing it, the cat will associate the kiss with other positive things and think it’s a positive thing. 

If you try to kiss a cat and there is no positive reaction, chances are you are not close enough to feel that kind of affection. For cats, having your head close is very intimate, and you need to have a strong bond with your cat to be able to do it.

Do Cats Like Kisses?

a cat in a woman's arms

Some cats seem to be fond of human kisses. If you’re kissing a cat, it will know you’re showing affection by bending over, purring, and rubbing its head on your head. 

You’ll know your cat doesn’t want to be kissed if its ears are pulled back, its tail starts wagging back and forth, it moves away from you, hisses, or attacks you violently. 

A kiss in the human sense isn’t the same for cats; cats will show their love in a different manner. Cats use body language to express their affection for their owners. A cat’s slow blinking is a powerful way of saying, “I love you.” 

This is similar to a human kiss, but it happens from afar rather than through physical contact. Another way cats show affection is by head-butting you. 

Your cat’s head bumps are signs of affection, but also, remember that cats have scent glands on their cheeks and lips. So rubbing you is also a way for them to leave their mark on you and identify you as their own.

Your Kisses

When you kiss a cat, it will appreciate the gesture and feel loved by you, even if it doesn’t understand the true meaning of a kiss. Human interaction helps cats a lot. 

Cats love, more than anything, all the attention and interaction they can get from you, but of course, there are always grumpy exceptions. 

Giving positive attention to your cat when it wants it, like a kiss on the head, a rub on the tummy, or a slow pat on the back while watching TV on the couch, is likely to be tolerated and even appreciated by your cat.

Cat’s Kisses And Signs Of Love

As any cat lover will rant on and on about, cats are usually very sweet, affectionate, and cuddly creatures, despite their public image of being calm, independent, and aloof. 

Cats may not “kiss” you in the same way that humans do, but they do have their own forms of affection.


a beautiful cat in the arms of a woman

The well-known, classic way cats try to “kiss” humans is by head-butting. When a cat rubs its cheeks against you, it expresses its affection for you (aww). But cats are sometimes confusing creatures. 

Not all types of rubbing are signs of love and affection. For example, if a cat is rubbing against you with its body, this is not necessarily a sweet deed. 

Your cat might just be marking you with her smell as a way of showing nearby cats that you belong to your cat.

Cat’s Ears Up

Another sign of your cat’s affection can be observed by looking at its ears. If your cat’s ears are sticking out and standing upright, it probably means that you are giving it the required attention. 

Your cat is prepared to receive your love and attention, be it kisses, cuddles, or playtime.

Cat’s Tail Pointing High Up

A good way to understand a cat’s emotions is to observe its tail. Although tail wagging is not usually an affectionate and loving gesture, there are exceptions. When your feline’s tail reaches up to the sky and quivers slightly, it means that it’s very happy to see you.

Slow Blinking

One surprising but very adorable way for a kitten or cat to “kiss” you is by blinking at you slowly. When a cat does this, it’s showing you their love for you, but there’s another thing as well – this action is a big vote of confidence. 

After all, when your cutie risks closing its eyes around you for even a moment, it means they absolutely believe you and trust that you won’t do anything to hurt them.

Do Cats Like Hugs?

a cute black cat in a woman's arms

Many cats love to snuggle in your lap, snuggle up to your neck, and yes, they like to hug. For example, Burmese and Ragdoll cats are known to form deep bonds with their owners. 

First of all, they don’t run away when they see you with your arms spread! When you hold a cat, it may pull back, try to run away, or purr in a certain way that lets you know that it is better to leave it alone. 

On the contrary, your cat definitely appreciates hugs if it easily lets you hug and hold them and gives you a soft purr.

How To Know If It’s Ok To Hug Your Cat

Hugging your cat is perfectly fine, as it shows your love for your pet. First of all, to be sure it’s ok to hug it, don’t startle or stalk your cat. Surprises and disturbances during naptime and meals are more likely to cause scratching than cuddling. 

• First, gently touch the cat to see if it’s interested in a hug. Some cats can be rough in appearance but are still sweet-natured and should be treated gently. Don’t hold too tight, and release your cat if it appears uncomfortable. 

• Let your cat come to you. Some cats prefer to be petted and cuddled when they wish for it. Sit or lie down next to your cat and see if it will give you a hug first. If you have a cat that likes to be petted but doesn’t like being held, lying beside it might be best for you. 

• Gentle praise in a soothing voice can also help your cat learn the positivity of a hug. 

• Finally, you need to know when to let go. If your cat wiggles or pulls away after a quick hug, let it go. Wait until your cat calms down and relaxes before you try again. To keep your cat stress-free by holding it, you have to do it right. 

• Do not sneak up on or jump in front of your cats, as this stresses and frightens them. Wait until your cat comes up to you and sits on your lap. Talk sweet to the cat and gently scratch its favorite areas. 

When your cat is relaxed and happy, feel free to hold it in your arms. It’s okay if the cat is calm and content. Don’t hug your cat too tightly, and if the cat shows signs of distress or tries to run away, let go.

How To Know If It’s Ok To Kiss Your Cat

a cat in a man's arms

You can kiss your cat, but make sure you are healthy and, of course, that your cat is healthy and free of germs. Kissing can transmit diseases and bacteria, so the first thing to consider is whether you and your pet are healthy. 

If either of you isn’t completely healthy, kisses should be avoided until you’re all better. Another thing to consider is whether your cat is accustomed to this degree of human contact. 

If your cat hasn’t been kissed before, it might not be that pleasant for them for the first time. The most important thing when kissing is to avoid kissing on the lips, mainly because of hygiene. 

Most cats prefer to keep their bellies a “forbidden zone”, so it’s best not to kiss their bellies either. Most cats like short-lasting contacts, so if you really want to kiss your feline friend, a simple peck will be enough.

How To Know When Not To Kiss Your Cat

Cats enjoy the attention and affection they receive from their owners, but they also value their privacy. Every cat has a time in its day when they want to be left at peace. 

Now, if you don’t already know when your cat wants to have some alone time, you might recognize it by the following signs:

• silent yowls

• rapid tail wagging

• hiding away

• hissing or pawing at you

• ears pulled back

If your cat exhibits any of these signs, you should stop trying to kiss them and walk away. Not only can your cat hurt you, but it can also cause them to avoid you for a longer period of time. 

Cats are creatures of habit, and they act according to their everyday good and bad experiences. If you proceed to kiss your cat when it doesn’t want to, it will certainly be a negative experience for them. 

Better Be Careful…

You don’t want too many negative things happening, as your cat will quickly associate negative emotions with you, weakening the bond you two have. If you are your cat’s most important caregiver, your bond won’t break that easily. 

However, it’s wise to obey your cat when it’s giving you clear cues. Cats are oblivious to the fact that we all communicate in different ways. 

They will probably be confused or stressed if you ignore them when they attempt to communicate with you in their own way.

Kisses On The Body

adorable tall blonde woman holding a cat in her arms

There are no scent glands on the sides of a cat’s body, so it’s not an area they would normally use for rubbing things. They use their heads, and their bodies just follow.

It’s usually okay to kiss a cat’s body, but as is often the case, it depends on the cat’s preferences. 

They use their heads the most, with the rest of their bodies usually following, but only for headbutts. If your cat doesn’t like a certain body part petted, it probably won’t like being kissed there, either. 

Test the situation by stroking the cat’s side before leaning in and kissing it. If the cat doesn’t mind, you can proceed with a kiss.

Kisses On The Nose

Cats don’t like being kissed on the nose. It’s a sensitive area for them, and they use their noses to communicate with other things. A large part of a cat’s communication is olfactory; they gather information by pressing their noses against something. 

It’s pretty rude to kiss your cat on the nose if it’s not willing to gather information from you. It’s a form of intrusion that many cats don’t like, so it’s best to kiss her somewhere else rather than risk making your cat angry. 

Cats can transmit a disease through their saliva. Cats rely so heavily on their sense of smell that they press their noses against all things, especially those they don’t want to touch at first, like cat food or bugs.

Cats, on the other hand, can feel affection when they’re kissed. However, whether your cat enjoys the gesture each time is a matter of personal preference. Some cats enjoy being kissed all the time, while others prefer it as rarely as possible.

Kisses On The Head

Most cats like it. Many cats enjoy being petted on the head because it’s a safe zone. Every cat is unique, and your cat may dislike head kisses. The only way to really know whether or not your cat likes it is to try it. 

If your cat doesn’t like head kisses, it may be because of the way you kiss him. Loud kissing sounds will most probably make your cat uncomfortable. 

Cats have quite a sensitive hearing, so loud noises close to their ears will undoubtedly bother them. Be gentle and don’t make too much noise when kissing your cat’s head.

Other Things You Can Do To Show Love To Your Cat

a woman strokes a cat while drinking coffee

Cats aren’t that good at showing love and affection, especially compared to dogs. Dogs will jump all over you, wag their tails, and lick you. Whereas a cat will do no such thing. 

Cats, on the other hand, have their own unique ways of expressing love, and once you’ve decoded their words of love, you’ll be able to say it back in a way your cat will understand.

1. Rub And Let Rub

Cats have scent glands, as I already said, on their cheekbones and generally on their face. When your cat headbutts you and rubs against you, it’s the ultimate sign of affection. 

Your cat is also leaving its mark on you and proclaiming you as theirs. By allowing your cat to do so, you’re accepting this display of affection, and your bond is secured. You can lean in and let your cat rub against your head as well. 

At some point, you might be able to initiate these rubs yourself. It’s not likely that you’ll headbutt your cat, but by putting out a finger you’re letting your cat rub its nose or cheeks on it.

As I mentioned earlier, slow blinking is the key to a strong bond with your cat. Your cat may not enjoy being showered with kisses, but you can “kiss” it by following its body language. 

Make eye contact and blink slowly until your cat does the same. I’m telling you, if this isn’t the best thing in the whole world, I don’t know what is. This is your cat’s way of showing love, and if you do it too, your cat will understand exactly what you’re saying.

3. Grooming Bonds

a cat in a girl's arms

Grooming truly strengthens the bond you have with your cat. That is another way for your cat to spread its scent and for you to fulfill your obligations while also demonstrating your love you have for your pet cat. 

Brush your cat gently, and if it happens to stare at you, do the slow blinking.

4. Talk To Your Kitty

Talk, but also meow, especially if you have a talkative feline. You might even notice all the different chirps and meows your cat exhibits. There’s a special one just for owners a cat loves. 

You can try imitating your cat’s soft meows, as it may interpret it as an expression of love, which will enhance your cat’s feeling of safety and affection.

5. Yummy & Healthy Treats

Another way to show affection to your cat is by giving them their favorite treats. This is always a good idea, but always think about your cat’s health and weight first! 

There are many healthy treats available that will be good for your cat’s health and also strengthen your bond. 

If there are no cat treats that have your cat kneading the night away, you might want to check out some healthy recipes and pumpkin treats for cats here: List Of Best Pumpkin Cat Treats & Easy Homemade Recipes.

Final Words On Cats & Kisses

I know it’s sometimes hard to refrain from squeezing and kissing your beloved kitties, but we should always respect our cats’ desires and preferences.

Cats don’t always understand the things we do, and they might misinterpret when we try to kiss them and even get scared. So it’s always best to be careful and do things slowly and carefully.

To conclude, if your cat hisses or swats at you, it’s probably best to leave them alone. If your cat gives you the slow eye blink or snuggles up beside you, it might be a good time to give them a little smooch!

Related Articles:

10 Reasons Why I Love My Cat So Much I Cry + 10 Signs Cat Loves You

Why Do Cats Flop In Front Of Their Owners? Why Does My Cat Nibble Me? Why Do We Say Love Bites?

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