1. They show you their tummy
This is typical of dogs and cats, though you’d best distinguish between the two! The stomach is the most vulnerable area for many mammals. By baring their tummy at you, your pets are telling you they trust you implicitly. The point where this gets messy is when we interpret it as an invitation for belly-rubs. Most dogs enjoy this, but most cats will view this as a breach of their trust and will immediately try to scratch you. But really, who can keep from trying to touch that cute tummy?
2. They’re visibly and audibly excited to see you
Different animals have different ways to communicate excitement, and most have more than one. Cats might do a chirping meow and lift and curl their tails, dogs bark and wag their tail aggressively. Most animals will approach you if they’re excited to see you.
3. They beg for your attention
There are many ways pets can do this: following you around, staring up at you, gently tapping on you with their paws, jumping at your leg, or vocalizing at you (meowing for attention, for example).
4. They greet you at the door
My cat seems to have a preternatural ability to recognize the sound of my motor, my footfalls, and my specific key-ring because she’s always there peeking her head at me when I open the door. A sure-fire way to know your pet cares for you is if it waits for you at the door when you come back home. This is their way of saying: “I’ve missed you, human!”
5. They snuggle up to you
One of the clearest indicators of pet love is when your pet seeks your physical affection. They do so by rubbing their heads against you, sitting on your lap, sleeping with you and embracing you (or, in the case of most cats, letting you embrace them for a couple of seconds).
6. They initiate play-time
The more obvious instances of this are when your pet approaches you with a toy in its mouth. A more misunderstood invitation to play is with cats: sometimes they sneak up on you and ever-so-gently tag you with a claw and then run away, or start randomly chasing you around the house. They’re actually playing “tag” with you.
7. They groom or preen you
Licking and nibbling are typically indicative of what the pet perceives as a grooming session. By cleaning you, they’re showing you they care about you. Think about that next time you’re covered in their saliva.
8. They try to nurse you back to health
Our pets notice a lot more than we give them credit for. Often, they’ll notice there’s something wrong with you when you’re sick and will show concern by fussing over you, sitting on your chest, licking your face and more.
9. They seem serene around you
If your pet approaches you only to take a nap, what it’s telling you is that they trust you to watch over them. They feel safe with you. Cats will also slowly blink their eyes at you, conveying that they know you won’t hurt them.
10. They acknowledge your call
The plainest way pets do this is by straight-up coming to you when you call them, but we all know cats can be… obstinate about doing things their way. Regardless, even cats have their ways to acknowledge your call, such as looking at you or meowing back at you. Often, they’ll even make as if to come to you, only to veer off at the last moment. Cats, they're a mystery.
11. They’re distressed when you leave
They start whining when you’re packing your bags for a trip, climbing inside the suitcases, or sitting on them. They understand the ritual of packing up and what follows it, and they’re trying to keep you from leaving. It definitely makes it harder to break their heart.