woman kissing her cat

Cats have a reputation for being independent and anti-social. But the truth is that felines have an affectionate and loving side. They may not show that side to everyone they spend time with, but their owners certainly get to experience it. As cat owners, we love showing our pets affection too.

Many show their affection through kisses, at least some of the time. But do cats even know what kisses are? The short answer is kind of. Do they like kisses from their human companions? The short answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no. Read on to learn more about these topics.

How Cats Show Affection

There are several different ways that your cat might show affection toward you. It’s important to remember that cats are subtle creatures, so their signs of affection may be hard to notice if you aren’t paying attention. That said, most cat owners should easily be able to pick up on their pet’s affection cues once the bonding process has taken place. Signs of affection to look for include the following.


Purring is typically a sign that a cat is happy. Cats might purr when they roll on the ground to scratch their backs, they tend to purr when they know that they are about to get a treat, and they like to purr when their belly is full and are content on their bed. If your cat purrs while spending time interacting with you in any way, it’s a sign that they are thoroughly enjoying themselves and that they have great affection for you.


Grooming is an affectionate behavior for cats. They do it as a way of letting other cats and people know that they are playing a caretaker role. Your cat might show affection by grooming your ears, face, head, neck, or arms. They might even groom your feet. If they lick with intention, it’s a grooming behavior that likely translates to affection. However, if the licking is consistent or seems like an obsession, there could be a problem and your vet should be consulted.

Slow Blinking

If your cat looks at you and slowly blinks, it’s a sure sign that they trust and admire you. Their slow blinking lets you know that they are relaxed and feel bonded with you. This is considered the way that a cat kisses, which is obviously much different than our human way of kissing. You can reciprocate the action whenever you see your cat slowly blinking at you, and they should understand that you are showing your affection back.

woman kissing her pet cat
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Most Cats Can Understand That Human Kisses Are a Sign of Affection

Cats do not instinctively know what a human kiss means. However, they can learn what it means overtime. They can understand your affection when you pet and cuddle them. If you add a kiss into the mix, they will come to understand that kisses are just another way that you show your affection for them. Some cats like kisses, while others do not. How your cat feels will be shown by the way that they react to your kisses.

Signs That a Cat Loves Kisses

Cats that love getting kisses will not hesitate to let you know. They will show many signs of enjoying the activity, such as:

  • Leaning toward your kisses
  • Following you after getting kisses
  • Rubbing against you after getting kisses
  • Grooming you while you give kisses
  • Wrapping their tail around your arm or leg during or after a kiss

Signs That a Cat Hates Kisses

Some cats do not enjoy getting kissed and never get used to the activity. They will do what they can to let you know it too. Here are a few signs that a cat might dislike getting kissed:

  • Moving away from an attempted kiss
  • Becoming aggressive during or after a kiss
  • Putting their ears back during a kiss
  • Swatting at your face when you’re trying to offer a kiss


Most cats learn what kisses mean as time goes on. They understand that every time their owners offer a kiss, the offer is out of love. However, not all cats enjoy being kissed and don’t care whether the kisses are meant to provide affection. Whether a cat enjoys kisses depends on their unique personality and temperament.

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