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Petwise Blog: Expressions of Animal Affection: From Cats to Birds and Everything in Between

Let’s explore how animals express their deepest affections to one another and to their humans…

From cats and dogs to small animals and birds, snuggling and cuddling with each other and their people is a universal way they demonstrate and receive love. Attention and treats are things they all adore!

For other ways specific animals show affection:

  • Cats engage in mutual grooming, bumping noses, bunting their heads on you, purring, kneading, rolling, showing you their belly, trilling, meowing, and licking. Their tail posture can also be a sure sign of contentment.
  • Dogs sit with you, follow you, wag their tails, jump around, smile, give kisses and licks, and offer huge greetings when you get home. They also give loving gazes, lean on you, bring you their toys, nudge you with their nose, and let out big sighs after cuddling and sleeping near you. Maintaining eye contact with your dog deepens your bond. When your pup looks at you, their brain releases oxytocin, the love hormone.
  • Ferrets look for you, play with you, and give kisses.
  • Bunnies jump for joy in the air, doing bunny binkies or zoomies, cuddle, purr in the form of teeth chatters, and give kisses in the form of licks.
  • Guinea pigs squeak for your attention and sometimes jump in the air. They purr when they cuddle.
  • Hamsters get to know their human’s scent. They can really enjoy having their people pet them and receiving treats. They show they want to come out and visit by standing on their hind legs when they hear their human’s voice.
  • Birds cuddle, preen you, chat with you, and share their food with you. They chirp, sing, and some will mimic you because they want to fit in and be part of your community.
  • Reptiles show trust and seek attention. They may close their eyes and doze off when you pet them.
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