As a leader in the veterinary space, Jennifer Perusek has interacted with many individuals about common pet behaviors and preferences. One thing that is often observed is that individuals may think that their pet does not hold affection for them, and this is particularly the case with animals considered to be less expressive such as; rabbits, lizards, and cats. In some cases, this is because pet owners occasionally use dog behaviors as the standard in which they judge the temperament of a pet. Because cat owners make up a large percentage of pet owners in America, Jennifer Perusek has a vested interest in making sure that owners are aware of some of the ways that they show their affection. Being aware of how cats may act when they are safe, healthy and secure helps owners know that they are loved but has the bonus of making sure that they can tell when their pet is feeling ill or uncomfortable as well.
Cats Speak with Their Eyes: Jennifer Perusek has noted in her time as a veterinarian that some pet owners do not consider how often their pets communicate with their eyes. Cats especially are particularly keen on using their eyes to convey their feelings. One way that cats show affection with their eyes is by slowly squinting. This comes to a surprise to some pet owners, however, the vulnerability that a cat shows by blinking his or her eyes at you (even for a second or two) shows that your furry friend is quite comfortable in your presence.
Small Bites: The fact that cats sometimes show affection by nipping at you comes as quite a surprise to some cat owners. Cats often nip at each other to express fond feelings, and some cats keep this habit when interacting with their human counterparts. This is not to say that you must let your cat bite you, but it is an interesting example that displays the ways that comparing behaviors among different types of pets is not always the best idea when evaluating your own pet. If biting is constant or painful (keep in mind that cats have thicker skin than humans and can have difficulty adjusting to this), feel free to address the behavior with a professional resource.
Showing Their Belly: Cats and other animals are intimately aware that their tummies are one of their most vulnerable spots on their bodies. When a cat shows you their belly, they are communicating that they feel comfortable and safe in your presence. Keep in mind that every cat is different, and some cats are more accepting of you actually touching their stomachs than others. A good way to establish a good bond with your pet is to resist petting that area if you are unsure of their reaction to it (or know that they do not enjoy it).