They say that the secret to keeping someone madly in love with you is that you have to keep them guessing a bit and never let them feel so secure in your relationship that they stop working. And no one knows how to play this game better than cats! Let’s be honest, with a lifespan that averages fifteen years but can certainly go to twenty, these furry little lovebugs have to keep us interested so that they may continue to live the lives of worship and adoration that they demand. And while it’s not always easy to read a cat’s mind (yet another one of their twisted games), we are here to share with you some secret learnings about these magical felines that let us know when they are pleased with their humans.

1. They Show You That Belly

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Bellies! There’s nothing sweeter than walking in from a long day at work and seeing your cat flop over on the floor and put her belly out. This behavior shows trust and also blesses you with the gift of seeing how soft and adorable they are underneath. This position is one of vulnerability and one that you as a human should never take for granted. Depending on the cat, this may be an invitation for a belly rub, but some cats will act out defensively and try to bite when you attempt to pet them – remember, when cats are on their bellies, they are vulnerable showing that they trust you, but unlike dogs, not all cats like belly rubs.

2. Butting Their Heads Against Your Legs

Head-butting! The proper term for this is “bunting” but no matter what you call it, it’s still the most adorable way your cat can say you have their approval (at least for that moment). Bunting is used to get our attention and is a useful way for your cat to gently remind you they wants some attention in the unlikely scenario that you have stopped admiring them to do something pointless like working or cooking.  Additionally bunting puts the cat’s smell on you which is something cats do with other cats as well. Basically, you’re being marked because while your cat might not say it to you, they wants the rest of the world to know that you belong to them.

3. Gifts Because They Care

Presents! Okay, so you might be horrified about the surprise “presents” you find at your back door now and then. But bringing you their prey is your cat’s way of showing you that she was out there today, protecting the premises and would now like to gift you with the hard-earned mouse that she may have saved you from. In the wild, cat mothers teach their kittens to hunt by bringing them injured mice and other small animals to show them what to do, some scientists believe that cats are just doing their instinctual duty of showing you – as their extended family – how to fend for yourself.

4. When They Curl in For Snuggles

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Sleep time snuggles. So your cat stares at you disapprovingly all day, judging your Netflix choices and frumpy t-shirt. But deep in the night when you are asleep she comes in and snuggles next to you. And just like that, a whole day of knocked over drinks and surprise attacks on your feet are forgotten. Cats curl up and snuggle with you because they remember sleeping in a fuzzy huddle with their litter mates, the ultimate feeling of love and comfort. If your cat likes to curl up real close, that could mean they feel safe with you.

5. A Complimentary Massage

Your cat may also use the time that you’re relaxing to get close to you, maybe lick you or knead her paws into you. Consider it a free massage.  Enjoy it, even if you get some claw in your skin, as she is expressing affections by putting her scent on you through the soft pads in her paw or reenacting a behavior kittens do with their mother when they are babies.

There are plenty of other small and sneaky ways cats will let you know that they love you and that you are doing a good job of being a human. It’s just not always going to be spelled out for you. But if you pay attention, watch their behaviors and peek at them when they aren’t watching, you’ll find that they are just playing the game to maximize the amount of snuggles, treats, and worship that they can get. And that is how it’s done, folks!

Lead image source: ajlatan/Shutterstock

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