You consider your feline friend a close family member, but have you ever questioned whether your cat loves you too? New research from Fancy FeastÒ reveals that almost two thirds (64%) of cat owners aren’t recognising one of the most commons signs that cats use to show their love and affection to us. [1]

Fancy FeastÒ has teamed up with animal behaviourist Dr Kate Mornement to help cat lovers, and their kids, gain a better understanding of how their cats express love, and how they can show love in return. No more holding cats like a doll or tight cradling from the four year old.

Dr Kate Mornement says:

First and foremost, our cats show their love for us largely through their behaviour and body language. So, a great place to start is to explain this to your children and reiterate that humans and cats express love in different ways. While we as humans might love a long cuddle on the sofa, this might not be your cats preferred way of receiving love.

Some hints for the kids:

Let the cat come to you

Children can learn about how their cat likes to receive love by observing their cat and noticing when their feline friend chooses to spend time with them.

Get involved in meal time

For many cats, mealtimes are their favourite time to receive love. Feeding your cat is an act of love and an easy way for kids to show their cat how much they love them.

Play, play, play some more

Playing and games are another way cats like us to show our love for them. When we use toys to play with our cats, we provide them with an outlet for normal feline behaviours including hunting and stalking. Cat’s love to engage in these behaviours, so encouraging them to do so is a great way to show them love.

Get consent

Another helpful way to gain a better understanding of where your cat likes to receive attention, is through a ‘consent test’. This involves patting your cat briefly in an area you know they enjoy being patted and then stopping. Does your cat reengage with you and ask for more pats? Yes please!” Or do they do nothing or move away? – “No thank you”. Allowing your cat some choice and control when it comes to hands on interaction can help improve trust and your relationship with your cat.


Although cat affection is subtle and at times complex, they have a variety of ways of showing affection and trust to the people they are attached to.