Do Cats Love?

by Elisa Black

Fluffy and Peeper - Photo by Joyce Sammons

Fluffy and Peeper - Photo by Joyce Sammons

I'd like to begin this story in an unorthodox manner and tell you about 2 white mice.

They were my pets and shared a cage, water bottle and feed tray. Each morning I would put food in the tray and one of the mice would bring a piece of food back to the other. I don't know if they took turns doing this because they were identical. I thought it sweet how one would see to the needs of the other. To me this shows that even the smallest of creatures can show love to each other. I watched this routine for months. When one of the mice died the other lived only a few days and it also died.

I've always believed cats love each other. I photographed many of my cats in hugging poses. At my "cat lady" peak I had 6 cats at one time. Most were ferals that were tame enough to come inside for food. I would feed them in the kitchen where they would eat and go back outside. Occasionally I would find a few of them curled together on my bed. Sadly most of my pictures were destroyed in a fire about 8 years ago when my office burned down.

do cats love
CeeCee and Tiger
Photo by Joyce Sammons

Cats have a totally different way than dogs of showing affection both to other cats and humans. First keep in mind that a cat is not a dog. Whereas a dog tries to please its master, a cat believes it IS the master and we are the servants. Affection is shown to humans and other cats by allorubbing (exchanging scents). So anytime a cat rubs sniffs or bumps noses with a human or another cat it is showing both affection and clansmanship.

There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet debating whether cats love each other. Researchers are in agreement on lions. A male lion will help raise his offspring and that fact has been proven. However many scientific studies are in denial that house cats feel human emotions such as love and tenderness. The problem with these research projects is the laboratory setting. Cats under stress and kept in a small cage are not going to express love any more than humans would under those circumstances.

Those who study house cats in their natural home environment found that cats love, cry and experience grief and anxiety in much the same way as humans. When a cat brings a small dead animal and places it at your feet that is also a sign of love. The cat is trying to care for it's human by providing food in much the same way it would feed its offspring. If another cat or person suddenly goes out of the cats life the cat may grieve.

two cats together do cats love?
Frady and CeeCee
Photo by Joyce Sammons

Pharmaceutical companies are studying cats and making groundbreaking discoveries in the emotions of cats. They are finding that many of the drugs used to treat depression in humans may be beneficial to cats. Neurotransmitters (dopamine, seretonin) studies show similarities between people and cats and enforce the belief that cats experience love, fear, embarrassment and many other human emotions.

Mother cats will search and meow for kittens who have been taken away from her. I had a mother cat pass away suddenly and a 3 month old kitten she had "adopted" searched for her for hours. It was pitiful. Normally I will show a dead cat to the rest of the cat family so they know the cat is gone. On this occasion I was in the middle of moving from one town to another and couldn't do this. I've found most cats are intelligent enough to realize one of their own has died. They may cry real tears and have nightmares. More on this subject can be found at

For anyone wishing for a love story between 2 cats check out This tells a beautiful love story between 2 cats where the male cat helps in the care of his offspring. Not only is he there for the birth, he also washes up mama after the delivery.

do cats love
Smokey and Sissy
Photo by Joyce Sammons

There has also been confirmed feral cat research that shows there may be several mother cats raising kittens at the same time in a feral colony. Sometimes the tomcat helps with the kittens and sometimes he doesn't. The individual personality of the male determines whether he is involved.

I have experienced this feral colony daycare firsthand and would like to share this story with you.

My feral cats Snuggles and her sister Boo were expecting kittens at around the same time. It was winter and I brought them inside. It had taken me months to earn their trust enough to coax them in. It was a nightmare of a day that started out bad and ended with a rare blessing. I'll never forget it.

Boo went into labor first. I've assisted in many deliveries and after a few hours I realized something was very wrong. I placed Boo in her carrier and rushed her to the vet. It was early in the day and I was the first patient at the vet. He examined Boo and had to do a c-section on her immediately. The kittens didn't make it and I was allowed to take my poor motherless cat home later that day.

When I returned home I found Snuggles in full labor. She had already delivered 2 of her 9 kittens. NINE! All I could think was "how in the world is she going to feed that many." The answer was Boo. She stretched herself out next to her sister and didn't move away when several of the kittens found her and began nursing. I've had experience with c-section mother cats nursing their young and had no problem with this provided it was OK with Boo and Snuggles.

Once all the kittens were cleaned up and snuggled together, my indoor cat Smokie politely walked over to the kittens and claimed one for herself. Smokie had been spayed when she was younger and I don't know if she was jealous or helping. She got along well with the ferals and there was no problem with them over her taking the kitten. The problem is where she wanted to take it. She jumped on a kitchen chair and snuggled in with her new baby.

I let her know that wasn't acceptable and took the kitten back to the mother/aunt. I didn't want it either falling off of the chair or missing a meal because it was away from the others. Smokie followed me back to the kittens and stretched out with the 2 other mothers.

I kept the kittens inside but the mother(s) were allowed to go out when they wanted. I made a tape recording of the kittens meowing and I'd go outside and play it if the cat was needed. There was always one cat with the babies at all times.

I used to have a picture of the 3 female cats and the 9 kittens. The adult cats formed a corral and trapped the kittens between them. All of the babies lived and I found good homes for them So everything worked out for the best.

Do any of you have cats in love with each other? I'd really love to know.


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Do Cats Love?

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May 28, 2011 Bailey & Gizmo love story
by: fluffie

The beginning starts with our first love Dxtr (Dexter), a rescued cat found around 6 weeks. We bottle-nursed him & loved for 10yrs as a full member of family. When he became ill, Bailey was quickly adopted because I knew the kids would be devastated and may not ever want another pet but I did not want a loss to be their final pet experience.
When Dxtr passed, about 9mos after we got Bailey, BAILEY was the one devastated. He missed his "big brother", he became depressed & was obviously mourning, not to mention, lonely.
Four months later, we rescued a young female, Gizmo. We kept seperate 2days until we could get Bailey neutered. The two got along great after a very short adjustment period. Six weeks later, Gizmo surprised us with a litter (not Bailey's). We seperated the queen & kittens but both Bailey & Gizmo would cry for each other. Bailey became depressed & loss his appetite so we allowed short visits. One day, Bailey got into the room with kittens. It was amazing, he washed Gizmo as she nursed. Then he washed & help with kittens. He was the best step-dad. When we got Gizmo spayed & seperated them for her recovery, we had to allow Bailey visits so he would know she was ok

Feb 01, 2011 Smarter than I ever excpected!
by: Graham G

I know my cat Cleo loves me! she actually understands when i say, "i love you" she'll lick my hand 3 times then stop!

When I'm upset she lays next to me with her paws on me as if to say, "i'm here for ya, i love you!"

I swear when i make eye contact with Cleo she blinks both eyes at once which i read means, "i love you" i do it back to her and she gently bites my nose!

She sleeps with me at night and always wants to be next to me. i'm surprised she doesn't get sick of my company. I thought she'd enjoy some alone time as most cats do. but when i do go out for a while i can see the sadness in her eyes. the way she looks at me you can see the tears build up in her eyes as i leave. I tell her i love her and that i'll be back soon. i think she understands that i won't be gone long when i say that.

When i tell her, "i'll be back tomorrow!" or, "see you in a few days" she sulks and won't greet me as she normally does when i finally do return. i think she understands everything i say!

she's gorgeous and i don't know what i'd do without Cleo. she saved my life several times! i'll always be grateful to her for that. i even tell her that she's saved my life. i think she knows that too.

she even knows how to say, "hello", "no", "what", & "wow" if i don't get up when she wants me to in the morning she'll actually yell, "HELLO!!!" until i get up. i can't believe she actually knows how to yell! you can actually hear the angry tone as she says it too you know she's very upset!

she knows, "sit", "down", "paw", "no", "bedtime",
"bye" i even tell her, "thank you" when she gives me kisses. i don't think she undertands that but you never know.

May 25, 2010 A beautiful story!
by: Maggie Sharp

I loved your story, Elisa. I absolutely loved it!! It also proved to me how loyal the cats were to each other and the kittens.

I believe that cats do love, and a cat's love is a very special thing. You have to earn it, it doesn't just happen. When I leave the house to stay at a friends house or something for a few days Chilli apparently spends all his time crying and looking for me, and if he notices me go outside for any reason he will stand at the window and wait for me to come back in. A cat's love is an amazing thing, the loyalty that is shared both ways is such a wonderful gift.

A lot of people take cats for granted, and never get the opportunity to experience the true love of a cat. And I feel sorry for them, because the love I have for my cat and my cat has for me is doubtlessly what keeps me going.

Chilli seems to love all cats, and will try to be friends with them, he and Wilson were very close. If Wilson was sitting on the couch it would be normal to see Chilli walk up and sit on Wilson! They were always together. =)

Feb 11, 2010 of course cats love
by: kathy

MY two cats Midnight and Lia definitly were sad and depressed when we had to make the decision to take our Savannah Kitten back to the breeder because she was just too aggresive for me to handle. They both loved her that I can say for sure. They are just now starting to come out of being in depressed states. Especially Lia. He didnt eat hardly for a week he was so sad. Midnight definitly missed their race and chase mornings. It will be two weeks this Sunday that we took her back. We brought a new kitten home with us. She is a lot younger than Kachina was when we got her. She was born on the Saturday after Thanksgiving which was the day we brought Kachina home. Lia finally this morning started to wrestle a little bit with her and he finally decided he liked her little baby toys we bought for her. He looked so silly playing with the little fish toy we got for her. Midnight also finally yesterday started to play a little bit with her. We kept them seperated a lot the first week so she would bond with us and not the other cats, which may have been a problem with Kachina. I too was very sad and depressed at having to take her back. Well Lia started to groom her a little this morning so hopefully all will be well. But of course cats definitly have the capacity and the emotion of love for humans and other cats as well.

Feb 08, 2010 Crying
by: Elisa Black

I hate to hear a cat cry. I think that's how I end up taking care of so many cats. I just want to cuddle them like a baby.

Feb 08, 2010 Of course cats love!
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Elisa, such a heartwarming story, and yes, cats DO love!

When my brother's Alsatian died after 11.5 years sharing his life with a shelter tuxedo cat, he allowed Midget to sniff Grizzly Bear's body before he removed Griz for the vet for cremation. After sniffing, Midget silently walked away and hid for the day. For the next 2 weeks, Midg went room-by-room howling in anguish for Griz, going to all their mutual favorite spots where they spent time with each other. Even now, years later, sometimes Midg will go to a favorite spot where the 2 of them shared space and will cry pitifully for a bit.

My tortie, Sadie, shows love all the time. In winter, she may catch a field mouse that gets inside and will proudly display it at my feet.

Otherwise, she will head-butt, rub against me, jump on the bed and lie next to me with a paw on my arm, snuggle with me if I'm upset/crying, jump on the bathroom sink during our morning ritual... I could go on and on, but will spare the PoC forum since we already know that cats love. Never allow anyone to tell you otherwise.

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