28 Ways Your Pet Is Trying to Say “I Love You”
They may not be able to speak but that doesn’t mean they can’t tell you how much they care about you! From dogs and cats to birds and guinea pigs, we’ve got so much pet love happening.
Your dog gives you puppy eyes
You know how when you’re just chilling on the couch, watching Netflix, and your dog rests his head on your lap, gazing deeply into your eyes? That’s pup-speak for “I love you, human!” “Just like humans, dogs use face and body language to communicate,” says Whitney Miller, DVM, Director of Veterinary Medicine for Petco. “Long intense eye contact from your dog is a way of showing they trust you and show affection towards you.” Make sure you show your pooch plenty of love back by avoiding these 53 mistakes every dog owner makes.
Your cat gives you the slowest blink
“For cats, slowly blinking is a gesture of acceptance and comfort. Cats do this with other cats because in the feline world, closing one’s eyes in front of another is a sign of trust,” Dr. Miller explains. But wait, don’t stop there! You can return the compliment, telling your cat how much you love him too, by blinking slowly right back. On the other hand, these are the 15 signs your cat is secretly mad at you.
Your guinea pig sings
“Guinea pigs are very vocal and will emit all kinds of squeaks, squeals, and even a few purr-like noises to show their affection,” Dr. Miller says. It may even sound like they’re singing so consider it your own personal love song (and feel free to sing one back!), she adds. Need more pet cuteness? Check out these 50 funny animal pictures you need in your life.
Your bird shakes her tail feathers
It’s not just dogs that wag their bottoms when they’re happy! “A bird’s tail feathers, like other pets’ tails, are also used as a method to communicate in the wild,” Dr. Miller says. “Like a dog, a bird may fan out their feathers or wag their tail to tell you that they are glad to see you.” And of course, you love your little birdie back! Which is why you need to know the 13 signs you’ve hired a bad pet sitter.
Your cat rubs her chin on you
OK, so technically when cats rub their faces and chins on something it’s their way of marking their territory, says Gary Weitzman, DVM, president of San Diego Humane Society, and author of National Geographic Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness. But don’t rule it out as a declaration of love! “Declaring ownership of you is a very feline way to say ‘I love you’,” he says. Hint: If your cat doesn’t do this, it is one of the 11 signs your cat is depressed.
Your dog brings you her favorite chewie bone
Sharing isn’t just for preschoolers! “If your dog brings you one of their favorite toys and drops it at your feet, it’s likely they are giving it to you as a gift,” Dr. Miller says. “Sharing their favorite things is one way they demonstrate love.” Make sure you choose safe toys for your furry friends! Check out the 16 pet products vets never buy and you shouldn’t either.
Your cat sleeps on your head
“Cats show their love and bond with their person by tuning in to your activities and trying to participate in what you are doing,” says Jessica Char, a certified animal trainer and behavior consultant with Feline Engineering. “Though they are famous for their napping abilities, cats will match the rhythm of their people, being awake more when their favorite humans are home and active.” So take it as a compliment when your cat plops his furry butt on your face at bedtime—he’s just doing what you do!
Your cat rubs up against your legs
You may think your furry feline is just doing figure 8’s around your legs to remind you they need to be fed but there’s more to it than that, Dr. Miller says. “Rubbing against their owners after being separated is cats’ way of saying, ‘I’m so glad to see you!’ or ‘I’ve missed you!’” she says. “Studies found that feral cats rub up against each other after being separated for a period of time.” Make sure you give her a pat back!
Your bird straight up tells you
Parrots and other smart birds are notorious for mimicking human speech but they’re not just “parroting” back what they’ve heard, they can understand the emotion behind the sentiment too, Dr. Miller says. “Certain birds may mimic happy or loving noises they hear from their pet parents, and some are even smart enough to say, ‘I love you,’” she says.
Your dog follows you into the bathroom
It can be annoying to have your furry friend always under your feet but following you around—even when you’re just getting a drink or using the bathroom—is a sign of devotion and affection, Dr. Weitzman says. “Wherever you are, your dog wants to be, and they wouldn’t want to spend all their time with you if they didn’t love you!” he says. P.S. Shutting them out is one of the 14 things you do that your dog actually hates.