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Home > Cats > Do Cats Like to Be Kissed? Signs & Affection Tips

Do Cats Like to Be Kissed? Signs & Affection Tips

Cat kissing a woman on the cheek

How much do we love to cuddle and pet our cats? But of course, not all cats love to be cuddled, and they aren’t always lap cats. Have you ever tried planting a kiss on your cat’s head, only to get a swat or the cat’s version of the stink eye? Do cats enjoy being kissed?

There isn’t one answer to this. It’s entirely dependent on each individual cat’s personality and their relationship with their owner. Some cats seem to like being kissed, while others don’t.

Here, we discuss how cats probably perceive our kisses and a few ways to show them our love that they may actually enjoy. We also look at how cats show that they love us in return.


Do Cats Enjoy Being Kissed?

We humans understand the meaning behind kissing and how it’s a meaningful way that we express our affection for those we love. But cats have no clue what we’re doing when we kiss them.

In a way, this isn’t much different from us. Not everyone is affectionate and enjoys receiving and giving kisses and hugs.

There are many ways that cats will let you know whether they’re receptive to your kisses.

Portrait of a young beautiful woman in a yellow shirt hugging kissing with a gray fluffy cat sitting
Image Credit: Olesya Kuznetsova, Shutterstock

How Can You Tell If Your Cat Doesn’t Like Kisses?

It should be obvious if your cat doesn’t like it when you kiss them. If your cat shrinks away from you when you lean in for a kiss, that’s a sign that now is not the right moment. It’s always possible that your cat might enjoy a gentle kiss at another time, but you should respect your cat’s need to be left alone (or just unkissed) for the time being.

It’s always a good idea to become familiar with your cat’s many moods. If your cat flattens their ears and their tail starts to thrash, it’s usually a good idea to let your kitty cool off before attempting any affection.

When your cat is in a receptive mood and is accepting your pets, you can give a gentle kiss a try. If your cat seems comfortable with it, then you’re one of the lucky ones. However, if your cat looks less than thrilled, there are other ways that you can shower your cat with your love.


Other Ways That You Can Show Your Cat Some Love

Petting your cat in a way that is enjoyable for them is a great way to show them affection. Your best bet is to let your cat lead you: Hold your finger toward your cat’s nose, and your cat will typically push their head against your fingers or hand in the way and area where they prefer to be petted. This is more often than not along their cheeks.

This way, not only are you giving your cat control over how you pet them, but you’ll also learn what your cat likes best.

It’s essential to find the places to pet your cat for maximum enjoyment. The best areas are:
  • Cheeks, just behind the whiskers. Try not to touch the whiskers too much because they are highly sensitive. There are also scent glands here.
  • Under the chin and around the neck. You can scratch along the jaw and down and around the neck. There are also scent glands near the jawbone.
  • Between the ears. This is another area with scent glands, so it’s a prime spot.
  • Base of the ears. Here are more scent glands.

Your cat loves to spread their scent around, so petting your cat in these areas is guaranteed to be enjoyable for your cat and thus, you.

Just remember to avoid your cat’s belly, paws and legs, and tail, as these areas are typically taboo for most cats.

You can also show your cat love through general care: feeding them nutritious food regularly, giving them treats, grooming, and just talking to and interacting with your cat. Grooming, in particular, is a great way to bond with your cat — unless your kitty isn’t a fan.


How Cats Show Us Love

There are several ways that cats show us that they love us. Sometimes, it isn’t always obvious because we do speak different languages, so it’s a great idea to learn these signs.

Cat lying on a person's lap
Image Credit: zavalnia, Pixabay

Head Bunting

Also known as the head butt, head bunting is when your cat gives you those loving smacks on your head (or other body parts) with their own heads. Scent glands are all over their heads, including their foreheads, so when your cat bonks you, they are leaving their scent on you and telling you that you’re a part of their family.

Slow Blinking

If you notice your cat staring at you and slowly blinking their eyes, this is their way of saying that you’re trusted. You can slow blink back as a way of telling your cat that you trust too. Watch how your cat does it and mimic it. This is also a great way to defuse a situation. If your cat is riled up and you slow blink at them, they might just calm down.

Licking and Love Bites

When your cat starts licking you, this is typically their way of grooming you, like a mother cat grooms her kittens. You may have noticed that cats groom each other and almost anyone else in their family, so consider yourself a part of their family with this behavior.

cat licking human fingers
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay


This is an obvious one. When your cat wants to spend quality time with you and is cuddling with you while in bed or on your lap, they obviously love you. There must be a certain level of love and trust for a cat to get that up close and personal with you.


Cats learn to knead while they are kittens. They use those “making biscuits” gestures as a way to stimulate their mother’s milk to flow while they are nursing. So, when cats knead as adults, they are usually feeling calm and content. When your cat kneads while on you, they are happy at that moment.

cat kneading
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock


When your cat is weaving around your legs and rubbing up against you, they are depositing their scent again, which means you are being marked as a member of their family.

They will also sometimes wrap their tails around you at these times or hold up their tail like a question mark. These are all actions that show that your cat is happy, and you can take them as signs of affection.



There are so many ways that you can show your cat that you love them. You can do this in your own “language,” such as petting, giving treats, and even just talking to your cat. Learning what your cat loves (and doesn’t love) is the best way to form a strong and trusting bond.

You can also give kisses, but only if your cat seems receptive to it. Cats are just as individual in their personalities and preferences as we are.

Featured Image Credit: MarcosMorandi, Pixabay

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