13 Surprising (and Sometimes Annoying) Ways Dogs and Cats Show Love

More on PawNation: animal behavior, AnimalBehavior, Red_Room

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Amy D. Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant and the award-winning author of 23 pet care books, including "Complete Kitten Care" and "Complete Care for Your Aging Dog."



There's no doubt we love our pets -- but do our cats and dogs love us back? The answer is yes. But cats and dogs show affections in ways that aren't always what humans expect. In fact, a pet's Valentine wishes might instead puzzle, aggravate or even offend some people. Here are 13 ways dogs and cats show love.

1. Cats (sometimes) scratch and pee to show affection. Cats seek out items that smell most like their beloved human -- and they find scratching and peeing calming. So marking up your favorite chair or baptizing your bed with urine actually is not only a backhanded kitty compliment but a stress reliever. Providing legal scratch and potty opportunities encourages kitty to love you in more appropriate ways.

2. Dogs lean and shove against you. Yes, it can be pushy or awkward, especially with big dogs, but it's a way of showing and asking for attention. Either sit down so he can lean and love, or teach him to sit before you dole out the affection.

3. Cats put their rear ends in your face. This is a friendly gesture we swear! The cat is offering you an invitation to sniff -- and to the feline way of thinking, that's a very loving thing to do. But as you will not want to indulge, respond by scratching the base of her tail instead.

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