If you are like most pet owners, your cat or dog is your fur child and you love them with all your heart. With all the hugs and kisses that you give them, do you ever question if they feel the same way about you? The short answer: Yes. Dogs and cats express their emotions in a variety of ways. Here are all the signs to know your pet loves you as their human.
Make eye contact
Eye contact is huge in the dog world. If your pup maintains eye contact with you they love, trust, and feel safe with you. Think of your own habits. Typically when you are nervous or intimidated by someone it is natural for you to have trouble making eye contact. However, if you trust them and want to show respect, you’ll typically make eye contact.
Check on you
When on walks or in new areas, it is normal for your dog to feel the need to check on you if they have a strong bond to you. They may look up at you frequently while on walks or if they are off leash they may run ahead, but will usually wait for you or come back to check up on you.
Happy to see you
We have great news. Dogs are just as excited to see you as you are to see them. When your dog looks at you their brain releases oxytocin or the "love hormone" like humans do. Typically the licking, jumping up and down, bringing you their favorite toys, or even peeing a little are clear signs that your pupper is super happy to see you again.
Relaxed with you
If your dog wants to sleep in the same bed as you or in the same room, they really love you. It’s the feeling of being a member of a pack, and him or her sleeping with you is a sign of loyalty. Other than sleeping, when your dog leans on you or is just always near you it’s another sign of trust and that they feel safe. If you notice them slowly blinking, showing their belly, or a soft/happy facial expression they are visibly relaxed.
Listen and respond to you
A great way to bond with your pet is through training. Typically the training classes are more for the human than the dog, but this is how you work together on correcting each other’s behaviors toward one another. If your dog responds when you speak to them by obeying the command, they are attached.
Eye contact and long adoring stares
Similar to dogs, when your cat stares at you longingly with slow blinks and squints that is a telltale sign they trust and admire you.
Follows you and talks to you
Many cats may not be waiting at the door for you when you get home, but it is common for them to follow you around. Your little shadow will want to keep you company by following you into a room, sitting on your lap, joining you in to the bathroom, and even sleeping on your pillow at night with you. Cats also enjoy talking to their humans. Typically if you hear them making small squeaks or meows they are trying to communicate with you to get your attention.
Some clear signs your cat is comfortable around you and has bonded to you are: kneading on you, head-butting, grooming you, exposes their belly, curved tail tip, nipping, rubbing on your legs and hands, and purring. It is probably the cutest thing in the world when your cat reaches their tiny forehead to your hand or face and begins to purr uncontrollably. If they are this relaxed around you, they clearly are happy and trust you as larger less hairy cat.
Brings you "presents"
On the topic of viewing you as an enormous bald cat, it is common for your feline friend to bring you "presents" from time to time. Cats are, first and foremost, hunters. It is normal for them to hone in on their natural carnivorous lifestyle and kill small animals such as mice or rabbits. However, many cats do not eat their prey or even kill it. In the wild, cat mothers try to teach their kittens how to eat their food by bringing them a dead or injured prey. If they bring you one of these "gifts", they are simply trying to mother and teach you their hunting wisdom.
Plays with you
A great way to gain confidence with your cat is to bring out their natural social skills and hunting abilities with toys. Some cats love to chase a laser pointer, attack feathers, or even play fetch with a pom pom ball. So whip out the laser pointer or string toy and enjoy!
It’s so important to be bonded with your pets as it leads to a much happier and healthier life together. Typically that bond develops through your time spent with them such as playing, training, exercising, and mealtimes.
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