What Do Cats Think When We Kiss Them? (All You Need To Know)

what do cats think when we kiss them?

To kiss or not to kiss? This is a common dilemma faced by millions of cat fanciers worldwide, and understandably so.

Cats are probably the sweetest and most affectionate of all pets and domestic animals at large. Although they can often be independent and a little detached, cats generally love to spend time cuddling with their owners.

That said, cats are incredibly difficult to figure out. These creatures are also highly unpredictable. Plus, they’re entirely a different species from us.

So, the fact that cats love to cuddle with their owners doesn’t necessarily imply that they will express their emotions the same way humans do. And that brings us back to the question, what do cats think when we kiss them?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t clear-cut. That’s because every cat is unique. Therefore, it’s difficult to figure out exactly what your feline friend thinks when you kiss him.

However, two things are clear.

First is that cats do not kiss, at least not the same way humans do. These creatures have developed their own ways of expressing affection for their human owners as well as amongst themselves.

Secondly, while cats may not know exactly what a kiss means, they may appreciate the gesture. That’s because kissing involves body contact, which is one of the ways cats bond with their human owners.

If you’re a cat owner who’ve always wondered, ‘what do cats feel when you kiss them,’ this article is for you. Read on for insights into how cats process human kisses, including how to tell whether your kitto finds your kisses attractive or repulsive.

Do Cats Know What Kisses Are?

One of the commonly raised concerns by cat owners is – ‘my cat kisses me on the lips, does this mean he’s fond of me?’

To settle this question conclusively, it’s important to start by understanding whether cats recognize human kisses or not.

Do Cats Know What Kisses Are?

As we’ve just highlighted, cats have developed their unique methods of expressing affection. And kissing is typically not one of them. While cats may often appear to be kissing their human owners or their siblings, they generally don’t do it the same way as humans. And even when they do, the motive may be entirely different from that of expressing love and affection.

So, the mere fact that cats communicate and express their emotions in different ways than humans is reason enough to conclude that these animals don’t know what kisses are.

But in the interest of clarity, it’s important to note that two things are involved when you kiss your kitto. They include the physical act of making contact with the animal’s body and the underlying symbolism of the kiss.

Most cats will not know what a human kiss symbolizes. However, they may appreciate the gesture since it involves your lips making contact with his body.

So, do cats feel when you kiss them?

Your cat will obviously feel the physical contact your lips make with his body when you kiss him. But he’ll not be able to decipher the intent behind the kiss.

Cat language bile

Do Cats Know We Love Them When We Kiss Them?

As already mentioned, cats find human kisses fairly odd and will generally not understand the intent behind the kiss.

However, note that a kiss involves making body contact with your feline friend. And physical touch is one way cats bond with their human parents. So, as far as the aspect of body contact is concerned, many cats may understand that you’re trying to be affectionate when you kiss them.

Another way cats may tell that we love them when we kiss them is that kissing is usually accompanied by various other friendly gestures.

Examples include a smile, blink, and a gentle touch. Even if your feline friend was totally confused that you kissed him, the fact that you’re also smiling at him and gently rubbing his belly might make him associate kissing with an expression of affection.

So, is it weird that I kiss my cat?

The answer to this question depends on whose perspective you’re looking it from.

From a human’s perspective, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with kissing our cats. It’s a fundamental way of expressing our love and affection for them.

But from a cat’s point of view, a human kiss will generally seem strange and unsettling.

is it weird that I kiss my cat?

What Do Cats Think About Kisses

By now, you probably already know that most cats do not readily understand the intent of a human kiss. However, how your cat processes kissing depends on a range of factors, such as the animal’s intelligence, the frequency with which you kiss him, and other accompanying gestures.

Since physical contact is a fundamental way cats express affection for their owners, some cats may tell that you’re being affectionate when you kiss them. That’s because kissing also involves touch. Better yet, you can reinforce the habit by smiling and blinking at your cat, as well as giving him a gentle belly rub.

Maybe you’ve always wondered, what does a cat think when you kiss them?

As it has now become abundantly clear, most cats will not figure out the symbolism behind a human kiss. However, some cats may think that you’re being affectionate since kissing involves physical touch.

Boy Kissing His Cat

Ways Cats Communicate With and Express Affection for Humans

One frequently asked question by many pet parents is, ‘do cats feel love when you kiss them?’

We’ve already tackled this issue comprehensively throughout this post. However, another way to settle this question is to understand how cats communicate and demonstrate their affection for humans.

Here are various signs that indicate your cat is fond of you;

1. Grooming

Grooming is unarguably the most common way cats display love and affection.

Mother cats are known for grooming their kittens. The same is true for littermates. A cat will only groom his fellow cats or his human parents if he loves and trusts them.

You might have realized that after adopting your cat, it took him a couple of weeks before he could start grooming you. That’s because the animal needed some time establishing rapport with you.

Another thing worth noting is that cats groom their human owners a little differently than their fellow cats.

Human-directed grooming mainly involves a few gentle licks on your feet or face.

In the case of cats, the licks tend to be more frantic. Plus, the grooming may also involve checking fellow cats for ticks and other parasites.

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2. Sitting On Your Lap

Just like grooming, it takes a degree of love and trust for a cat to sit on your lap. So, if a cat wilfully comes to you and climbs onto your lap, it’s a tell-tale sign that the animal loves you.

However, cats may also sit on their owners’ laps for entirely different reasons.

For instance, the behavior could mean that your cat is craving your attention. Perhaps he’s trying to draw your attention to the fact that he’s famished or needs to be petted.

Sitting on the lap could also mean the cat is cold and is looking to warm up. That’s especially if this happens during a cold day. Cats may not come close to humans in intelligence. But they’re smart enough to know that our bodies radiate heat which might warm them up during chilly weather.

3. Head Bunting

Head bunting simply refers to head rubbing. It’s another common way cats show affection amongst themselves as well as for their human owners.

Head bunting may also be an expression of ownership.

When cats rub their heads against fellow cats, their human parents, or inanimate objects, they release pheromones through the scent glands in their heads. Scent-marking is a way animals, particularly cats, mark their territories.

4. Slow Blinking

All mammals blink. But the speed with which they blink can say a lot about their emotional disposition.

A slow blink is one way cats express love and affection.

Ordinarily, cats don’t like to be stared at. That’s because, in the wild, staring is synonymous with predatory intents.

But if you stare steadily at your cat and he responds by a slow blink, then know the animal is fond of you. It’s the cat’s way of saying that he doesn’t consider you a threat but a loving partner.

5. Vocalizations

Cats have developed a range of vocalizations that they make to display affection.

Purring is the most common one. Others include meowing and chirping.

cute child hugging a cat

6. Snuggling

Snuggling up close to you is another way your cat displays his affection for you. This is common when you’re sleeping or simply relaxing on the couch.

You’ll realize that your feline friend abandons whatever he’s doing and joins you. The cat may choose to sleep on top of you, sometimes spreading his body all over your face.

7. Tail Positioning

Have you ever noticed that your cat curls his tail around you when you’re sitting or standing near them?

This is another way these creatures express their undying love for their human owners. It’s the human equivalent of wrapping arms around each other.

Still on tail positioning, you’ll know that your cat is fond of you if he shoots his tail up and lightly shakes it.

8. Ear Positioning

A cat will have his ears standing straight up as a sign that you have his full attention.

It’s the cat’s way of showing that he’s totally ready to be cuddled, groomed, or petted by you.

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Do Cats Like To Be Kissed?

We’ve already mentioned that most cats are indifferent to a human kiss. Nonetheless, you might still be wondering, do cats like kisses?

As indicated before, the answer depends on an individual cat. Some cats may appreciate the gesture since it involves physical touch. Others may be totally averse to a human kiss. This underscores the importance of understanding your cat’s personality.

If you’ve lived with your feline friend long enough, you’ll definitely be able to tell whether he loves to be kissed or not. And before adopting a cat, be sure to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the animal’s psychological health. Find out if the cat was previously exposed to events or experiences that might affect how he relates with you.

For instance, cats who’ve had traumatic experiences with humans might display aversion to kissing. Such cats will generally avoid close contact with humans and may need several months before they can trust their new parents.

In the same breath, remember that cats are highly unpredictable. These animals have a way of changing their preferences based on their current mood. So, even a cat that has always been receptive to kissing may suddenly start to express aversion for it.

woman kissing her siamese cat

How Would You Know That Your Cat Likes To Be Kissed?

The best way to uncover whether your cat likes your kisses or not is to observe the animal’s body language, behavior, and attitude.

The following are common signs that your adorable furball loves to be kissed by you;

  • He purrs
  • He kneads
  • He blinks at you
  • He head-bonks you
  • He rubs against you
  • He leans into you, with his ears stretched up
  • He licks and grooms you
  • He raises his tail and wraps or twines it around your arms or legs
  • He’s visibly relaxed and pleased
  • He follows you around, as if begging for more kisses

In the same breath, it’s important to understand the signs that your cat doesn’t like to be kissed.

The following are hints to watch out for;

  • Avoidance, where the cat backs away from you as you try to kiss him
  • Swatting
  • Aggressive behavior, such as hissing and baring of teeth
  • Signs of irritation and hypervigilance, such as where the cat’s ears curl back as if stalking prey
  • Signs of frustration or annoyance, as is evidenced by the cat swishing his tail

woman kissing her gray cat

Is It Okay To Kiss Your Cat?

There’s nothing inherently wrong with kissing your cat. But it’s probably not a great idea.

That’s for the simple reason that your cat may not understand the intent of a kiss. And if you happen to be dealing with a shy or skittish cat, your kind gestures may be met with ruthless aggression.

Your best bet is to study your cat carefully before deciding to kiss him. With time, you’ll be able to determine whether your cute furball loves to be kissed or not.

Which Part of a Cat’s Body Should You Kiss?

If you insist on kissing your kitto, it’s imperative that you know where to kiss. As you shall find, not every part of a cat’s body is safe to kiss.

Is it OK to kiss your cat on the head?

As a cat owner who loves to smooch his kitto, it’s not unusual to find yourself wondering, do cats like kisses on the head?

There’s nothing wrong with kissing your cat on the head provided that you don’t spook the animal. In other words, avoid sneaking a kiss on your cat as that could startle him, resulting in defensive wounds.

Do cats like forehead kisses?

Most cats that like to be kissed will prefer that you kiss them on the forehead as opposed to other areas, such as the nose or muzzle.

Do cats like nose kisses?

Cats are generally averse to nose kisses. However, the more pertinent question isn’t whether your cat will like a nose kiss but whether it’s actually safe.

So, is it bad to kiss your cat on the nose?

Yes, a cat’s nose may contain harmful bacteria. These bacteria could be transmitted to your mouth during a kiss, potentially leading to disease.

Besides, you can never know what your cat has been smelling with his nose. Remember that cats explore the world primarily through their senses of smell and taste. So, you might end up kissing a nose that has just been smelling poop or other filth.

Is it OK to kiss your cat on the mouth?

A cat’s mouth is probably the last place you should kiss.

For starters, a cat may interpret a lip kiss as an act of aggression. Unless you’re strongly bonded with your cat, you could earn yourself several scratches and bites for attempting to kiss the animal on his lips.

Another reason kissing cats on the mouth isn’t a great idea is that a cat’s mouth may harbor bacteria and parasites like ringworms. Even for cats with the best oral hygiene, these bacteria may still be transmitted to your mouth, leading to disease.

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Do Cats Like To Be Hugged And Kissed?

It depends on a cat. While some cats might like to be hugged and kissed, others may find it utterly repulsive.

As we’ve already mentioned and reiterated, it’s important to study your cat carefully to examine whether he’s a fan of kissing or not. The same logic applies to hugging.

Two Maine Coon Cats Grooming Each other

Do Cats Understand Kisses?

This post has attempted to settle the question ‘do cats know why we kiss them?’ We’ve seen that cats generally do not understand the symbolism of a human kiss, except that they associate the physical contact involved during kissing with some affection.

As a parting shot, it’s important to reiterate that kissing a cat isn’t a great idea. That’s especially true for a cat you don’t know too well.

Instead of giving your feline friend a smooch, you might consider alternative ways of displaying affection. Examples include grooming your cat, petting him, talking to the animal, and giving him lots of treats.

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Maria is the Founder and Senior Editor at AllCatSecrets.com. She is a lifelong feline enthusiast, self-educated pet care nerd and adores cats of all shapes! Currently parent of 2 adopted cats. She loves iced coffee, playing guitar and cat-cuddling! .

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