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Do Cats Know That They Are Cute? (Or Not?)

If you are like many other cat owners, who believe their cat is too cute. You may be wondering if your cat appreciates this.

Do Cats Know That They are Cute?

Yes, cats know they are cute. Cats have caught on to the human weakness for babies and their meow is their attempt to mimic a baby’s cry. It is merely a tool meant to trigger your parental instincts and sucker you into a thorough petting session all engineered by your tabby trickster.

So, now you know they do. But, how do you show them your love? Are we like their moms? Is cuteness subjective? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more.


How do Cats play on our emotions?

Physiologically our response to cats stems from a weakness for their baby-like features. Humans have a strong instinct to protect tiny human life. Cats also share infantile personality attributes like curiosity, clumsiness, coyness, playfulness, and especially affection!

From their fuzzy little bean toes to the tufts of fur on their pointy little ears, cats are using every ounce of flounce to pounce on your heartstrings. Wiley felines are always on the lookout for someone to impress with their shenanigans.

How Do You Say I Love You to Your Cat?

Cat being stroked

Cat being stroked

When your cat is ready to be loved and you have been properly enticed, you can say I love you in a multitude of ways. From grooming to vet visits there are many practical ways that you show your cat that you love them.

Your cats favorite

Perhaps your cat’s favorite way to be loved doesn’t really require you to do anything except allow your cat to rub on you and claim you as family. Cats have scent glands in their paws and on their cheeks and leaving that scent on you is the highest honor they can grant to you.

Blinking Slowly

Try blinking slowly as you gaze into your kitty’s eyes. If your cat blinks and closes their eyes back with you then they are showing you that they trust whatever you are going to do and they will be more likely to let you pin them down with kisses and snuggles.

Meowing back to them

Meowing in the same tone back to your kitty will let them know that you not only understand how much they like this time with you but also how much you like this time with them.

Cats love to hear themselves meow. Your cat probably has a meow for everything. I’m hungry might be a loud persistent meow followed by a guided tour to the empty food bowl, meowing all the way. When your kitty is in love mode the meows are likely soft and baby-like.

Strong communication

Though your cat might seem distant and aloof sometimes, practicing good cat communication when they are willing leads to a stronger bond between you and your furry friend.

Why are Cats Eyes Important for Their Cute Appearance?

Have you ever noticed how big your cats’ eyes are? In relation to their faces, they are ginormous. Research has found that a disproportionally large eye to head ratio, like that of a human baby is more attractive to humans.

Seeing the large eyes actually triggers a neurological response in our brain that says we need to care for them before all others and by any means necessary. A psychological trick is played by the mind to increase the importance of cat cuteness.

Couple the sheer size of their eyes with their ability to mystify you by gazing longingly into yours, and what you get is a bewitching banquet of purrs, pets, and positive affirmation of your love.

Do Cats Have the Same Love Hormones That we Have?

The love hormone, “oxytocin” is found in humans and cats. A professor from Claremont Graduate University and his team discovered that cats release oxytocin when they interact with their human. So, yes cats have the same love hormone that we do.

Do Cats Treat Us Like Their Moms?

All the behaviors your cat shows towards you is derived from the mother-kitten relationship. Such as:

  • Making Dough “kneading”– this action is a sign that your cat used when they were a kitten to send a message to mom to keep the milk coming.
  • Purring– this purring action is a verbal cue to mom that they would like her to continue feeding them.
  • Head Bunting – this action is performed to mark mom and the rest of the litter so that even the youngest of kittens can find their way to mom.

And one last bit of sweetness, cats treat us like they do their actual moms. The bond between cat and owner is maternal and your cat will show you this is a physical way.

Do Their Sounds Help to Make Them Cute?

Cats make so many sounds throughout the day it is hard to know which ones are a true call for help and which ones are just the din of happiness. A slowly lulled meow can be a signal that they want to get some pets.

Short purrs are reserved for praising their human for a job well done. In contrast, a loud continuous meow is meant to banish you from their royal presence.

How Does Your Cats Cuteness Effect Your Mind?

Two things happen in your mind when you recognize cuteness:

  1. The orbitofrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for making decisions) tells your brain to protect the cuteness
  2. The nucleus accumbens (the brain’s “pleasure center”) releases a feel-good hormone called dopamine when it is activated.

So in other words, if your cat is being super cute your brain rushes to protect it and rewards you for doing it. So picture your kitten’s chamois soft round belly and wide eyes and it is no wonder your “squeal” response is set off.

Why is Cuteness Subjective?

Cuteness, of course, is subjective because what one person might find as an attractive trait, the next might find absolutely horrid. Personal taste plays a part in it as well. Maybe you had a cat with a smushy face as a child and you find that feature to be the epitome of cuteness.

Size could be your weakness and you might see cuteness as anything you can carry like a child. Perhaps cuteness is simply a list of attributes that one person finds valuable or perhaps cuteness is a matter of taste. Regardless, I doubt anyone would challenge your cuteness meter.

Could a Cat’s Enjoyment of Being Cuddled Make Them Cute?

Beyond physical attraction, your cat might have some little bug-a-boos that make them extra cute. Cats like to be carried like a baby. They enjoy the rough tummy rubs and head bunting almost as much as they enjoy the last bit of juice out of the tuna can.

Even when they sleep they have a cuteness about them. Patting at the bed as they run in their sleep to catch what must be the world’s trickiest mouse.

Do Cats Give Us Unconditional Love?

Cats form strong attachments to their humans and they love us even when we are at our lowest. They protect us from danger. I read a story about a cat who took a poisonous bite from a snake for their owner and if that isn’t unconditional love I don’t know what is.

We know that cats must feel unconditional love because they can give it. Cats with no traumatic history with humans will always eventually seek out some form of affections. Playing, stroking, and talking to your cat shows them they are loved by you, and their melody of meows almost trilling from their throats is a confirmation of that love.

Lindsey Browlingdon