My cat does this all the time. Does yours? When I am about to pet him by stroking the side of face and down his shoulder and on to his flank, he leans towards me as if he is placing a bit of resistance to my stroking before I have commenced. He likes it and wants more of it.
The cat in the video does it in a very pronounced way and it is exactly the kind of feline behaviour that I am describing. It is a request, in effect, but at the same time it is a response to the person’s actions who has given their cat a signal that they are about to stroke their cat or touch him/her on their side.
It is surely a nice, reassuring example of cat body language which tells you in very clear terms that your cat likes the way you gently interact with her/him.
People ask how can we know that our cat loves us. Well, the ‘feline lean’ as I have described it does not tell you that your cat loves you but it tells you that your cat loves your petting and that is a damn good start.
It cannot be said that all domestic cats automatically like being petted at any time. It depends on the cat, the circumstances and the style of petting. But when and if your cat does the lean you know that you are doing something she likes. It is as good as your cat saying, “Please pet me now because I like it”.
SOME PAGES ON PETTING A CAT: