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Cats and Affection | How Cats Show Love

Updated on April 19, 2015

Cat Behavior | Signs That Your Cat Likes You

All cats show love and affection, but learning their language can be tough. Maybe your cat blinks very slowly at you from a distance or rolls around to give you access to its fuzzy belly? Oddly, both these are affectionate displays.

Looking for signs that your cat loves you can be really difficult if you don't know what to pay attention to. This article will present to you some signs that your cat likes and loves you, and while you probably know some of them, there are some more subtle cat behaviors that you should keep an eye open to. So, have you ever wondered if your cat loved you?

Or at least liked you? Do you have any clue how to interpret your cat's behavior?

We all know that cats are a bit different than dogs, and it is a bit harder to tell what's going on with them at any time. Dogs are pretty transparent - they wag their tails, they look at you with their puppy eyes.. Well, you know what I am trying to say. If a dog loves you, you can tell.

But what about cats?

As a proud cat owner (there has never been a period of my life that I did not have a feline friend), I can tell you that it is much more difficult to tell with cats. You have to be able to pick up on very subtle things - such as the way your cat blinked at you, how long it stared into your eyes etc. I am not even kidding.

Cats are very cryptic beings. With their independent attitude, they can sometimes be a handful for anyone, especially if they are too mischievous and playful. But if your cat playfully scratches you, it still does not mean it doesn't like or even love you. So how can you tell? How can you recognize signs of cat affection?

This is what I think of the matter.

Image credit: Pinky | Flickr

Did you know?

It was Mark Twain who once said that if a man and a cat could be crossed, that would be an improvement for a man, but a deterioration for the cat. Do you agree that cats have certain qualities we should envy?

Some signs that your cat likes you

In the next part I will talk about some specific cat behaviors that you should pay attention to and their meanings

Your cat is purring

Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr... purr... p... Wait!

This sign is widely misinterpreted by many of us. Most cat owners will tell you that if a cat purrs it is a sign that it is happy and a display of affection.

This does not have to be the case.

Cats will purr when they are in danger, when they are dying or even when they are in pain. So what does this mean? Purring of a cat can be compared to a smile, in one sense. You know how you have different grimaces? Well, a cat has many kinds of purring. You can smirk, smile menacingly, without meaning it etc. This is the same case.

A cat has a special purr reserved for affection, though, just like people have certain special smiles for special people. If you can pick up on this kind of purring (especially if the cat is rubbing on you), you can be pretty sure that your cat friend likes you.

Image credit: 5 days | Flickr

Bringing things and dead animals to you

How do you find it in your heart to reject kitty's offerings?

No, this is not a threat, as popular jokes imply. If your cat finds something interesting and wants you to have it, you can consider it a gift.

A bit nastier scenario is when your kitten kills a mouse or a bird and brings it to you, especially if it manages to bring it into the house. But this is a sign that your cat likes you and is, in a way, bringing you a treat.

I'm sure you may have known about this one, though.

Well, if you haven't - you do now! Moving on...

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Are you a cat owner?

Are you a cat owner?

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Rubbing against you and holding eye contact

Is it stalking and plain pestering... Or love?

Next time you wake up and your cat headbutts you don't think this is because it is hungry. Okay, it probably is, but there is more to it. This is how cats show they're possessive of you.

Yep, you heard me. Cats have glands in their head that make some kind of oil that they use to mark what belongs to them. This is actually what they are doing to you.

Remember, human, you do not own your cat, it owns you.

But hey, at least it likes you.

Another important thing is the eye contact. Cats find eye contact extremely uncomfortable. So if your kitten looks into your eyes for a longer while and even shares a blink - it likes you very much!

Image credit

Gifts for a cat

Does your cat like these toys?

Great cat toys for your feline friends! - Which one do you like the most? Vote up or down!

My personal favorite is the cat dancer because, well, you can imagine how funny it gets. The catnip toys are also great, but cats tend to ruin them after a while - but they aren't all that expensive after all. Does your cat have a toy that is not listed here and you find it really neat? You can add it or mention it in a comment, or you can vote up and down on the toys already on this list.

Insisting to sit on you or lean against you

Are you adored or just super comfortable?

This is one of the biggest signs your cat really likes you. I mean, you cannot be the most comfortable thing in the entire house, right? What about that armchair? Or the cozy pillow?

When your cat chooses to feel your physical presence all the time it is a surefire sign it likes you that much that it would rather sit on your lap than anywhere else.

This is particularly important to pay attention to when you have guests. If your cat leaps into your lap as soon as a stranger arrives, you can bet it likes you - it's possessive of you.

Image credit

Do you think you own your cat, or your cat owns you?

Do you think you own your cat, or your cat owns you?

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Playfully biting and scratching you

...but never ever injuring you

You've noticed when your cat gets playful that it is more than easy for its control to slip a bit, and so your pet sometimes gets overly enthusiastic with scratching and biting.

The thing is, cats sometimes get irritable when you insist on playing. And then, instead of being gentle with the claws and the fangs, they cause a bit of damage. Usually, the scratches and the bites are not too much, rather just enough to make you go away (or so the kitty wants).

If your cat genuinely loves you, you will notice it's extra gentle with you. It will almost never scratch you bad enough to break your skin, and it will never bite you like you're a tasty little cat treat. You will also see the difference between how you are being treated, and the way Mr. or Miss. Cat treats you.

It feels so good to be privileged, doesn't it?

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Do you make sure your cat is well-groomed? Do you have any grooming products?

Cat grooming products for your pet pals! - Which one do you like? Vote up or down!

I find that picking really good and quality grooming products for your pet is crucial, especially if you are looking for a good brush or hair clippers. Think about the type of hair your cat has, how much it sheds and how often it needs to be brushed, and then decide.

Did you know about all of these signs?

Did you know about all of these signs?

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What did you think of this lens? - Did you perhaps notice some other quirks in your cat's behavior that you would like to share? Maybe a funny story involving y

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    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 3 years ago

      Hey, thanks for a fun read today. Cat's make great pets, but in fact-----they own us. I have an older cat who is 19. He established himself early on as the dominant and has relinquished none of that power in the years since. The back of my chair was his choice way back when and when he is in the house, that is his spot.

    • Essy K profile image

      Essy K 3 years ago from South Dakota

      I believe my cats love me. As for staring, both them and I can hold pretty long stares. The younger one can stare at me, blink and meow, and then rub up against me. ^.^

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      Very good job on this lens. I love my cats.

    • CritterZoneUSA profile image

      CritterZoneUSA 3 years ago

      Interesting info. Cats are fascinating creatures!

    • Radgrl profile image

      Radgrl 3 years ago

      Great

    • Zhana21 profile image

      Zhana 3 years ago

      My upstairs neighbours' cat used to love to hang out with us - and we never fed him!

    • Zdiddle profile image

      Zdiddle 3 years ago

      Love this lens! I just wrote another cat lens and used this as one of the discovery pages. I think it's super important for anyone who owns cats or is thinking of getting one.

    • profile image

      HealthyDoesWealthy 3 years ago

      @mechanicaleye: It's so zen, until I make a mistake, lol.

    • profile image

      HealthyDoesWealthy 3 years ago

      Your cat lens was a lot of fun to read. I love reading about other people's experiences with cats and comparing the similarities and quirks:)

    • techgadgeteer profile image

      techgadgeteer 3 years ago

      Nice lens. I have two adorable cats who love me. Yes, confirmed :-)

    • profile image

      AshaLMX 3 years ago

      My sister's cat Fred loves to come and kneed my back while I'm sleeping. I've also noticed that he drools on me a lot...It's a good thing he's cute. Our other cat Socks like to lick and head-but me and everybody else in our house, even some of our guests. I did not know that she was "marking" us, so thanks for that.

    • orangegirl6020 profile image

      orangegirl6020 4 years ago

      It's nice to have the fact that my kitties love me confirmed! Cute lens! :)

    • CoolKarma profile image

      CoolKarma 4 years ago

      I have "a cat or two" and they are all so different in how they show me their love.

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 4 years ago

      Have a 4 inch scar down the side of my face thanks to a cat. Going on having it 47 years. It's my daily reminder of why I hate cats. ;-)

    • wiseriverman profile image

      wiseriverman 4 years ago

      I have a new kitten that climbs up my back to sit on my shoulder. It so sweet of her. She's so lovable when she gets there but ouch on her way up.Great lens!

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      Only had my kitten a day now so I'm still getting used to interpreting her behaviour!

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      Billy will pat me with his (sheathed) claws and even hold my head with his paws if I stop stroking him when he's feeling entitled to all my attention. He was rescued, as a scrap of a kitten, following a major earthquake. For the first three years he lived with me I wasn't permitted to touch him. Things couldn't be more different now. He's 12 years old now and still youthful. I dread the day when he isn't. Thanks for a lovely lens.

    • junkcat profile image

      junkcat 4 years ago

      Our cat is very loving. She makes it known that she has her favorite people and lets them pet her belly. If she doesn't like someone then she runs and hides.

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      When a cat massages you it's a sign of love. It has to do with old kitten behavior. I know it's a good thing. Just not at 4 in the morning. My cat can't tell time.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      There are so many cat behaviors to interpret, but I think that you covered them all! I can defiantly relate to the part about bringing dead animals!I had a cat that must have loved me dearly because he brought a dead rat to my bedroom (when I wasn't there.) I found the body of the rat placed perfectly on the center of my pillow and there was blood on my white bedroom furniture. However, I never did find the head! Later on, my cat came into the bedroom with his tail held high and a proud look about him. Of course, I didn't scold him for his gift but I also didn't praise him either - I didn't want any more of his "special" gifts!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
      Author

      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @AnimalHouse: Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed this article, I enjoyed writing it.

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      AnimalHouse 4 years ago

      This is a very interesting lens. Learned more about cats, on how they react, thinks of you or something. Nice lens you got here.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      This is a very sweet page! Our kitty shows her affection pretty blatantly. She likes to roll around on top of her humans purring and drooling. ;)

    • Allison Whitehead profile image

      Allison Whitehead 4 years ago

      Our cat tears around the house in mad mode every time we feed him. He's a little sweetie though, and he does like sitting on laps. Blessed :)

    • agagata lm profile image

      agagata lm 4 years ago

      I think as long as we act as their servants, we'll be okay ;)

    • SandraWilson LM profile image

      SandraWilson LM 4 years ago

      Sometimes I find my outside cats are more friendly with me than my inside cats.

    • mechanicaleye profile image
      Author

      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @MissKeenReviewer: Hm...I'm sure that that is just another way to express cat love for you...or your toes. :)Just kidding, as long as they do it gently without hurting you, it's a playful display of affection.

    • MissKeenReviewer profile image

      MissKeenReviewer 4 years ago

      They sometimes nibble on my big toe...hmmm.

    • mechanicaleye profile image
      Author

      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Redneck Lady Luck: Indeed they do. You can actually tell the difference between some purrs when you learn how to listen. I'm glad you found the information useful.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I did not know that cats have a number of different purrs and I thought that I understood cats. Great information.

    • missBorokwa profile image

      missBorokwa 4 years ago

      lovely lens, i didn't know about the cat eye contact :)

    • profile image

      getupandgrow 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for this lens-I've always found cats much harder to read than any other animal-now I can change this.

    • PenguinGirl111 profile image

      PenguinGirl111 4 years ago

      Really interesting lens. Thanks.

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      Great lens. Definitely know my cat loves me... :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      I learned something new about cats here. Thanks!

    • tophatpro profile image

      tophatpro 4 years ago

      Great lens! I have 2 cats. One is very gentle and cute and loves to play and be loved. He sleeps on top of me or in the crook of my arm and always wants to lie on my keyboard while I am working. The other cat is very different. He likes to show that he's in charge. He tells me when he wants to be petted and then tries to bite when he's had enough. I've had to learn to pick up on signs like sudden movements, a more aggressive tail swish and a change in purr. However, he can then come back within a second and start headbutting my hand again to be petted!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Loretta L: I know exactly how you feel - my kitty died this summer because of severe pneumonia and there was nothing we could do for him. It was an agony for myself to lose him, he was THE perfect cat. Each one of them has their own quirks, and that is why it can be devastating when they leave us. They have their unique personalities, and show things in their own way - if you know how to observe them properly!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @squidoopets: Yes, yes, cats are very possessive when they like someone. :)

    • mechanicaleye profile image
      Author

      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @lionmom100: Cats are generally interesting to observe. :)

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      lionmom100 4 years ago

      Very nice lens. Cat behavior is so interesting.

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @mommytalks lm: I think 17 year old cats are exceptions to all rules - your kitty is a veteran, so it has a special category! :)

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @rawwwwwws lm: I am glad you did.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      When I had a kitty I knew he loved me very much. He was very possessive, always wanting to be physically close (including sleeping on me)

    • mechanicaleye profile image
      Author

      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @montanatravel52: Thank you, I am happy that you learned more about cat behavior. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • mommytalks lm profile image

      mommytalks lm 4 years ago

      In spite of all your arguments above, I can assure you that my Ginger does not like me! LOL She is 17 and cranky; I forgive her :D

    • rawwwwwws lm profile image

      rawwwwwws lm 4 years ago

      I loved this lens.

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      My furbaby died three days ago, so I am feeling the loss of him rather badly at the moment. I think this is my 2nd visit to your page, I think I must have got called away in the middle of my last visit. My cat used to vibrate his tail if he was particularly pleased or happy. If he wanted milk he would lick his lips at me, in a most hopeful manner. If we were slow fetching it he would do it several times. A large black cat who has now decided he wants to be mine is also doing the liplicking thing when he wants biscuits. Sadly two years ago I was told I'm allergic to cats, so now I have lost my furbaby I probably won't have another cat.

    • montanatravel52 profile image

      montanatravel52 4 years ago

      I'm a HUGE cat lover, and am happy to find out they all love me ;) Really enjoyed the info, learned quite a bit!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
      Author

      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Stazjia: Cats are rather possessive, I agree. Especially when there is a stranger around you. But if your cat groomed you, there is little doubt she adored you! Thank you for your wonderful feedback.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 4 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I only have a dog now but I used to have cats. I had one that particularly liked me, in fact I think she thought I was her mother because she was possessive and would even groom my hair and eyebrows when I was asleep. It was a quick way to wake me up actually. Great page with really interesting information.

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @delia-delia: Cats are smart like that, and you cannot resist giving them what they want. I suppose that's the charm of it - an irresistible creature! But, in return, we get their own special attention, and I thought it was a good idea to emphasize how cats lavish us with their own special love, so that it does not go unnoticed! Thank you for the blessing, I appreciate it very much!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Elsie Hagley: Oh, thank you for the blessing, I am so happy you enjoyed my lens!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @MikeRobbers LM: Oh, I'm sorry for that. That must be tough, if you like them and would want to have a cat.

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Thamisgith: Cats have that independence deeply rooted, but they can be wonderful companions if you pay attention to them (on their terms, of course). You can notice how possessive they are easily. You should definitely get a cat if you can, they are unpredictable and fun to be around!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @TheLittleCardShop: Observing cats is fun if you ask me, regardless of what signs they show at the moment. :)

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 4 years ago

      I learned a lot about cats, since I don't own one and just spend time with my niece's. I will try to pay more attention on signs :)

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      Thamisgith 4 years ago

      I love how independent cats are. We don't have one at the moment. Maybe soon.

    • MikeRobbers LM profile image

      MikeRobbers LM 4 years ago

      unfortunately I'm allergic to cats .. I love them so much though, they are adorable!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Kitty has me trained to get up at 5:30 or 6:00 whether I want to or not, she wants her "Fancy Feast" now! although she has two bowl full of 3 kind of dried cat food...yep, she had me trained. Then I thought hmmm, this could work in the opposite, so when she tried getting me up by pawing my face and staring me down, I decided to use the NO word and kept on sleeping. She settled down until I got up. But being the sucker that I am, I still get up occasionally at 5:30 am...feral Kitty is the smartest cat that has even "owned me."~d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      I love all animals and cats are one of them. Great lens. Thanks for sharing especially the photos they are very cute.Blessed.

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @TonfaGuy: I'm sure he is! Cats generally are. :)

    • TonfaGuy profile image

      TonfaGuy 4 years ago

      At age 56, I have just got my first cat and he's great.

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Snakesmum: Oh, she definitely likes you in that case! Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
      Author

      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @anonymous: Happy you do, it means a lot to me!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @captainj88: Thanks! Kitties are awesome!

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I think my cat must like me, as she sits on my lap sometimes, and gives headbuts occasionally. She was a stray when I found her in the street, and she's not the most trusting cat in the world. Nice lens.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is great information, I like them very much. :)

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      Leah J. Hileman 4 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Fun lens. I love my kitties. I know they love me, too.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      And My

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @anonymous: Oh, she definitely loves you if she sits in your lap when you have visitors!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @Board-Game-Brooke: That's too bad, they are bundles of joy!

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 4 years ago from US/TN

      I wish I had a cat. I had one when I was a child, but I'm allergic now. :-\

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I happpily co exist with 2canines and my sweet cat who is the head of our household. Midnite reigns supreme as she puts our 90lb irish setter in his place. When people come to visit she is in my lap deciding if they can stay .,she is wonderful we love her bunches!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Aren't cats wonderful? Enjoyed your lens!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @CoolFool83: Thank you, I am happy you think so!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @malenacaty: Your cat definitely likes you very much if she does that. No doubt about it!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @chezchazz: Tell me about it. They will eventually rule this world. :)

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @anonymous: Thank you, I am very happy and also thank you for pinning this lens!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Cats own us for sure, squidliked and pinned

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 4 years ago from New York

      I have 2 cats, each with their own distinct personality, but both definitely own us!

    • malenacaty profile image

      malenacaty 4 years ago

      All that and maybe another sign: she comes to me in bed or when I sit on the couch, she comes to sleep in my lap.

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 4 years ago

      This is a really wonderful lense.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I used to have cats and they did all these things,cats definitely own us :)

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @whats4dinner: Oh, it appears that it likes you more! :)I am glad you liked the lens, thank you!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @evelynsaenz1: Thank you very much! I am very happy you enjoyed reading this and thank you for the blessing, it means a lot to me that you find this lens worthy of that. :D

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @malena10: Thank you, I am glad you liked it!

    • mechanicaleye profile image
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      Eda Škulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      @anonymous: Oh they tend to do that. Sometimes I wake up with a cat right in my face. But I don't mind them. :)

    • whats4dinner profile image

      whats4dinner 4 years ago

      very informative!!! my friend's car likes to sit on my lap instead of his own master. awwwwww.. that is sweet!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 4 years ago from Royalton

      You are a very sensitive person owned by a cat.Squid Angel Blessed!

    • malena10 profile image

      malena10 4 years ago

      I love cats, nice article!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This lens was a lot of fun. By the way, we have cats that like to climb up onto our chests and sleep on us while we are sleeping. I have photo evidence!