Do Cats Understand Kisses?

by Jayley
Do Cats Understand Kisses

Everyone who has a deep affection for their feline companions often bestows upon them kisses regularly. It’s impossible not to ponder whether a cat, on the receiving end of these affectionate gestures, truly feels the love being conveyed. Just as humans react differently to kisses, so do cats, and it’s unrealistic to expect uniform responses.

Every cat boasts its own unique disposition. While some cats relish the sensation of being kissed, others may remain indifferent. Some might interpret these kisses as tokens of love, while others may not regard them as expressions of affection. There exist more effective ways than kissing to demonstrate love and understanding to a cat.

Cats, enigmatic creatures with individualized personalities, have a knack for communicating their emotions without necessarily taking human sentiments into account. Beyond the realm of kissing, numerous alternative methods exist for cats to perceive the affection of their human counterparts. In return, cats employ their own distinct means to manifest their love for their human companions.

Does Cat Like to be Kissed

Does Cat Like to be Kissed?


Does your cat enjoy being kissed? Some cats appear to appreciate or at least tolerate human kisses. If your cat leans in, purrs, and nuzzles your head when you kiss them, they likely interpret it as a sign of affection.

However, if your cat’s ears flatten, their tail starts flicking back and forth, they distance themselves from you, hiss, or swat at you, they’re not receptive to kisses. Kissing, as humans understand it, is not the primary way your cat expresses love, and it may not be the most effective way to convey your affection to them either.

How Can Cats Express Affection

How Can Cats Express Affection

Cats show love to their humans through body language. One prominent display of love is the slow eye blink, akin to a human kiss but conveyed from a distance, without direct physical contact.

Another sign of feline affection is head-bumping. While it may occasionally displace your glasses, give you a tender nose, or even challenge your balance, a cat’s head bump is a clear indicator of their love.

Cats also exhibit their affection by rubbing against you. They possess scent glands in their cheeks and lips, so when they rub on you, they mark you as their own.

Here are various ways for cats to express their love and affection:

  1. Purring: Cats will purr when they are relaxed and want to convey their love. The volume of their purring may vary, but it doesn’t diminish the affection they feel, even if it’s not particularly loud.
  2. Bunting: When your feline friends are on top of you, they may nuzzle their heads against yours or rub their cheeks on you. These actions are ways of showing their affection and marking you with their scent.
  3. Verbalizing: Although cats don’t use words, they communicate their love through various sounds, such as meows and chirps.
  4. Grooming: Cats often use grooming as a way to express love and affection to other cats and humans. Their tongues are slightly rough, which might feel ticklish, but these “kisses” are a means of showing affection and sharing their scent. Be cautious, as some cats may give a gentle love bite.
  5. Belly Plops: When a cat trusts you, they may roll onto their side and expose their belly. This gesture usually indicates that they want to be petted in one of their most vulnerable areas. However, be aware that sometimes, this can be a playful trick.
  6. Gift-Giving: Cats may exhibit their love, trust, and sense of belonging by bringing you “gifts.” While it may be disconcerting, don’t be surprised if your cat presents you with a deceased bird or their toys, as indoor cats may do.

Emotions Felt by Cats

Similar to humans, cats can experience a range of emotions, though cats show affection differently and may have similar triggers. Some emotions that cats can share with humans include:

  • Love
  • Trust
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Stress

To support the idea that cats can feel love, research has shown that cats produce oxytocin, much like humans. Oxytocin is a hormone associated with feelings of love and attachment. Cats will show love when they can trust their owners and receive toys and treats as gestures of affection.

Read also: Why Is My Cat So Affectionate At Night?

How to Kiss a Cat?

How to Kiss a Cat?

Most cats are receptive to receiving a gentle peck on the head from their cherished humans. Nonetheless, it’s important to be mindful that not all cats enjoy this affectionate gesture, and it’s crucial to respect their preferences. 

If your cat responds by moving away from your kisses, flattening their ears, or reacting with hissing or swatting, it’s best to refrain from using kisses to express your love.

Here are some additional considerations to learn the best way to show affection to feline companions:

  1. Avoid kissing cats on the lips, as it can intrude on their personal space, which may make many cats uncomfortable. Furthermore, cats can carry bacteria and parasites that can be transmitted to humans through contact with their saliva. This is especially pertinent with kittens, cats that haven’t received up-to-date vaccinations and parasite checks, and cats with dental issues.
  2. Exercise caution when attempting to kiss a cat you are not well acquainted with. Even if your own cat appears to appreciate your affectionate gestures, other cats may not share the same sentiment. Cats unfamiliar with you might not tolerate such proximity, even if they allow it from a trusted human.
  3. Educate your child about the appropriate way to interact with cats and discourage them from kissing cats altogether. It is advisable to impart the aforementioned rules to children, and it’s probably best to discourage them from attempting to kiss cats. Some cats may have a lower tolerance for children than adults, and if a cat were to react by biting or scratching, the child’s face is more likely to be the target.

Ways to Show Your Cat You Love Them

Cats communicate and behave in ways distinct from humans. Most cats don’t find typical human displays of affection, like kissing and hugging, appealing. It’s the responsibility of cat owners and caregivers to understand the language cats use to facilitate effective communication.

Dedicate your time

Dedicating quality time to your cat is a wonderful means of expressing your love. This makes them feel cherished and at the forefront of your attention. There are various activities you can enjoy with your cat, like petting, gentle massaging, and engaging in playtime. Additionally, you can show affection by exchanging “kisses” with your cat through slow eye blinking, as they do to convey their affection to us.

While you’re caressing your cat, take the opportunity to discover their favorite areas for petting and scratching, as well as the spots they prefer not to be touched. It’s essential to exercise caution when massaging and petting your cat, as some cats may become overstimulated after prolonged petting. This overstimulation can lead to aggressive behavior, including potential attacks on your part.

Train with them

Training your cat offers a fantastic means of demonstrating your love for them. It fosters constructive bonding and establishes a unique “love” language between you and your feline friend. Utilize wholesome treats like freeze-dried chicken or salmon to aid in training your cat to respond to commands, sit, and perform entertaining tricks such as a high-five!

By providing your cat with these nutritious treats, as well as some catnip or cat grass, you express your love and appreciation. They’ll revel in endless entertainment and experience sheer delight while enjoying the thoughtful gifts you’ve bestowed upon them.

Give them Attention

While there are numerous ways to express your love for your cat, the most effective approach is to be attentive to their cues and responses. Understanding your cat’s body language and moods is crucial. If your cat isn’t receptive to affection or play at a given moment, it’s best to respect their need for space. If they dislike grooming, minimize those sessions. Additionally, if your cat doesn’t get along with other animals, refrain from introducing them into your home.

When it comes to kissing your cat, exercise caution regarding the areas you choose for affection. Avoid kissing their mouth as it may contain bacteria potentially harmful to humans. This is especially pertinent for outdoor cats that may consume wild animals carrying diseases. 

Read this too: How Much Attention Do Cats Need?

Ways to Know if Your Cat is Mad

Cats are susceptible to a range of emotions and can experience different moods, much like humans. Occasionally, cats can become stressed and irritable, and there are specific actions that can provoke such feelings, including:

  • Introducing a new pet to the household.
  • Boredom.
  • Going away on vacation.
  • Offering affection when your cat is not receptive.
  • Inadequate food or water availability.
  • Neglecting to keep the litter box clean.

When cats are upset, they may exhibit aggressive behaviors, such as hissing, biting, or scratching. Some cats may also display signs of stress, such as excessive shedding, over-grooming, or urinating outside the litter box. To ensure your cat’s ongoing happiness, it’s essential to minimize potential triggers, although some may be unavoidable.

The Main Reason Your Cat is Angry is When You Leave them Behind

Just like humans, we occasionally require breaks from our daily routines and enjoy going on vacation for a few days or even a couple of weeks. However, some cats may experience feelings of anger and stress in your absence.

Cats are notably self-sufficient, and unless your cat has a medical condition, you can leave them with food and water, along with a few clean litter boxes, when you’re away for a weekend. For extended vacations beyond a weekend, it’s highly advisable to arrange for a cat caregiver to stay in your home.


Most cats do not perceive human kisses as a display of affection. Cats will unmistakably communicate whether they appreciate being kissed or not. The most effective means of expressing your love for your cat is by offering toys, treats, and dedicated one-on-one time. Cats, in turn, demonstrate affection through grooming, purring, and exchanging affectionate “eye kisses.”

If you need to board your cat while going on vacation, there’s no need to fret. While cats may experience some initial anxiety, their love will rekindle upon your return. Finding a professional caterer or a trustworthy cat caregiver will undoubtedly convey your love to your cat, even in your absence.

Disclaimer: Always ask your veterinary advice for consultation.

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