Cats and Dogs Show us their Affection Uniquely: Which species is more loving?
I am truly baffled by people who dislike kitties. Most of these folks tell me that the reason they don’t like cats is because felines are aloof snobs who don’t enjoy interacting with people and are definitely not as affectionate or communicative as dogs. What really galls me is that they just cannot seem to “grok” (understand on a cellular level) that cats are not little dogs.
In fact, I feel sorry for them. They have no idea about what they are missing. After all is there anything more delightful than having a kitty curled up in your lap purring away sounding like a diesel engine? In my opinion their unfounded prejudice deprives them of an experience that sheer ecstasy!
Cats and dogs have been sharing the homes of millions of people for centuries as beloved companion animals; but as far as I am concerned, comparing the species is tantamount to comparing apples to oranges. So are dogs really more affectionate than kitties? Or more realistically, do these animals express their affection for humans in ways that are totally different?
We must also take into consideration that every cat has an individual and a distinct temperament and personality. So it makes perfect sense to me that there will be differences in the way our cats show us affection. This said, once we fully understand the feline nature, it become obvious that they all use similar behaviors to let us know that they love us.
There are also times when feline affection is displayed ever so subtly. While dogs openly express their love by wagging their tails and giving sloppy wet kisses; cats, on the other paw, communicate their affection and trust to us using body language. These subtle expressions can easily be overlooked by those who are unfamiliar with feline behavior.
Cat lovers know that some cats are wary when initially meeting a stranger. They may stare at this “stranger” without blinking. But when a cat feels affection and trust, they may give them a slow eye blink. Those unfortunate folks who are feline-illiterate won’t have a clue about such an honor.
Although this “wink” isn’t the same behavior humans display to express affection; a slow eye-blink from a cat is an extreme gesture of acceptance and trust. I think it sad that folks who don’t appreciate cats won’t know they just were “kissed” by a kitty.
Since cats groom one another for mutual pleasure and bonding, if a cat “grooms” us, it is not only a great honor, it is another sure –fire sign that they like and trust us and consider us to be part of their feline family.
Head rubbing or “butting” is a method cats use to claim their territory. Cats leave “possession” messages for other kitties with their facial scent glands, so when your cat rubs her face on you this is another sign of affection but also claiming you as her “property.” Since cats rub their cheeks on items around our homes, those who speak “cat “fluently will know which objects are their cat’s favorites.
Dogs commonly display their bellies to garner affection from their human, to get an itch scratched or to show respect to a higher ranking dog or human. However, cats may show their bellies an invitation to play or to show affection and trust. This said it is always wise to cautiously approach a cat in this position because it may not always be an invitation for a belly rub- it might be interpreted as a possible attack.
Kneading or “making cookies” is a sign of adoration. Kneading accompanied by drooling is the ultimate display of contentment.
In my opinion an affectionate, happy cat is a great joy with whom to share our lives. While dogs can be sweet and loyal, I think there is nothing quite like being loved by a cat.
So are cats truly more genuinely affectionate than dogs? What do you think? Share your thoughts in a comment.