Cats are cute, cuddly, curious, and complete laws unto themselves. They come and go as they please, tolerate affection on the promise of their next meal, and stroke our face with one gentle paw while simultaneously clawing us with the other! Cats will be cats, but who would have them any other way?

I’ve often heard it said that, while dogs can harbour deep emotional attachments to their care-givers, cats only see us as dependable food dispensers that just happen to be there, rather conveniently, when their tummies start to grumble. Slander!

As a cat owner myself, I am forever hopeful that my cat loves me – call it delusion if you will – and that her sometimes infuriating behaviour is a clear sign of this. Yes, I frequently moan about her habits, but I also secretly love them, hopeful as I am that her intentions are driven purely by a deep, undying affection.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the curious cat behaviours that drive us crazy (but secretly we love!) and that clearly reflect devotion and nothing else:

  1. Cats are accomplished stalkers that will follow you around and trip you up, whether you’re taking a shower or carrying something fragile down the stairs. One of my cat’s favourite hobbies is to weave through my legs like a slalom skier on my way downstairs. These mid-stair meetings have become increasingly precarious but, in my cat’s defence, I know she just wants to be close to me and go where I go, even if it means I die en route.
  2. Sitting on your lap is one thing, but sitting on your head? Yep, it’s something many cats do; in fact, I was woken the other morning in this very situation. When I’d eventually worked out why my head felt heavy and had shooed my cat from the room, I returned to my pillow only to realise my ears were now cold and I desperately needed her back.
  3. Cats are often jealous friends that take to meowing loudly, clambering all over you and generally making a point when they feel your affections are being directed elsewhere. Yes it’s annoying and sometimes quite painful, but what truer reflection of their devotion than this?
  4. Everyone loves surprises, right? Cats are experts at this and happen to be the best gift-givers in the world. Some of the most popular presents include mice, birds, rabbits and frogs. While we hate to receive them dead or alive on the carpet, we appreciate the kind gesture nonetheless. Hairballs are also presented more often than we might like.
  5. Staring is something cats do well and if you’ve ever tried to out-stare your feline friend, you have probably failed (or fallen asleep trying). If staring was a sport, cats would be victorious. Yes, it’s unsettling and makes you think your cat is plotting something dreadful, but surely cats only make direct eye contact with the ones they love? I like to think so. Also, in the blink of an eye you might disappear, which, to a caring cat, isn’t something worth chancing.
  6. When a cat kneads you with its paws, you probably find yourself holding your breath. No? Maybe that’s just me. No matter how still I sit or how thick my clothes are, I can always feel the needle-like jab of my cat’s claws. It’s tense, it’s uncomfortable, but I never intervene. If my cat wants to knead my arm because she loves me, who am I to stop her?

However your cat shows you she loves you, whether it's through pawing, licking, head-butting or play-biting, you can be sure she does. The dependable food dispenser part is just a bonus! If you have any points to add, please share them with our other readers! Feel free to email me directly or post your comments below: [email protected]

Written by: Hannah Dyball