Most of us are familiar with a cat's habit of rubbing up against our legs. You know the cat wants attention of some kind.
Yes, it may be a reminder that the cat wants feeding, but a cat will often do this when she or he has plenty of food available.
Leg rubbing is one form of feline greeting, it is the cat's way of saying “Hello, I know you, I'm glad you are here, I trust you to some degree or other.”
When a cat rubs up against you, not only rubs up against your legs but against any part of your body, she or he is depositing their scent on you, marking you as theirs.
Cats have scent glands on several places on their heads, below their ears, on their chin and around their eyes as well as many places on their bodies.
But your cat will also rub against and leave her scent on furniture, door frames and other inanimate objects, if allowed outside she will also scent mark trees, plants, fence posts and the like.
Does this mean that your cat cares as much for a chair as she cares about you? No, of course it doesn't.
Your cat uses her scent glands to mark inanimate objects to mark out her territory, to let other felines know what area is her domain. True, that you are part of her domain (or her world,) but hopefully of some more importance to her than a fence post.
You will have to observe some other part of your cat's greeting behavior to let you know how much she loves you.
Does your cat allow you to pick her up when you arrive home? This is in itself showing some trust in you, if she also rubs her face against yours she is indicating that she values you by scent marking.
Ever had the head bump from your cat? This is a very intimate cat greeting, reserved for other trusted cats and special humans.
If your cat greets you with a head, or nose, bump you can be assured that she is pleased to she you.
This behavior is a carry over from when your cat was a kitten and would bump mom cat as a signal that it was time to nurse.
Try holding your arm outstretched just above your cat's head, with your hand opened flat. Your cat may raise up, supporting herself just with her hind legs, and bump, or press, the top of her head into the flat of your hand. It's a very pleasant experience.
If your cat does not do this, don't take it that your cat does not have any affection for you, all cats are individuals, it just may not be part of your feline friend's behavioral pattern to greet you in this way.
You have been out all day and your indoor cat has been at home, what is your cat going to do? Yep, your cat is going to snooze away most of the day. So it is quite likely that when you walk through the door you have disturbed kitty's slumber.
How is your sleepy cat going to greet you?
Your half awake cat greeting may consist of your cat rolling on her back stretching her legs right out, maybe even flexing her claws and yawning her head off.
In doing all of this she is exposing her stomach, leaving herself vulnerable to attack, so this is not a greeting that she would give a stranger and shows that she has trust in you.
Beware, just because your cat greets you by exposing her tummy does not necessarily mean that she will permit you to rub or pet it, watch out for her claws!
As stated above, all cats are different with individual personalities, how your cat says hello will be different to how your neighbor's cat welcomes your neighbor.
And if you have more than one cat each will greet you in their own way.
A cat that lives in a house with many other cats, or other pets, will not be so dependent on one human for companionship so may not give you as an enthusiastic welcome as an only cat.
Likewise if there are may humans in your home, it means that your cat has others to get attention from.
An indoor/outdoor cat too, is not so dependent upon you, she can fill her day with many adventures and be a part of a social system outside of her home.
This does not mean that an outdoor cat, or a cat that shares a home with other humans or animals cannot show you some special love, they can, but likely do not have the need for affection and attention as a cat home alone all the day.
Age too can be a factor, an elderly cat will not have the same energy level it once had, so their greeting may not be quite as enthusiastic.
You have to be familiar with the special way that your feline gives you her cat greeting.
Your cat may not use the head bump to say hello, or roll over in front of you but unless your cat is very aloof, and despite their reputation most cat's are not, she will have some way of greeting you. Even if that way is to just give you a cursory glance and then to start grooming herself, she has at least acknowledged your presence.
Unique Furniture For Your Cat.
You could fill your home with unique cat furniture which would mean no space for you! However one or two pieces of fun feline furnishings does make for a happy, healthy and contented cat.