Cats do not understand kisses the way we humans do as they show affection, perceive emotions and communicate differently from us. However, some cats may understand that kisses are their owner’s way of showing affection if done regularly. 

Cats have unique personalities so how they perceive kisses and whether they like them will vary from one cat to another. Cats have their unique way of showing affection and that does not include kisses. You will know if your cat likes kisses through her response and body language. Signs that she likes them include the cat leaning forward, purrs and head bunts. If she turns away or swats at you, it is a clear message that she dislikes being kissed. 

Signs that your cat loves kisses 

These are signs that your cat loves kisses:

  • She blinks her eye slowly to show affection
  • She leans forward with her ears up 
  • She is purring 
  • She tolerates your kisses
  • She follows you around and hangs out with you 
  • She rubs her head on you to show affection
  • She grooms you by licking your nose or face
  • She raises her tail and twines or wraps it around your legs or arms 

 How to know if your cat does not like kisses 

  • She avoids or moves away from your kisses 
  • She is aggressive and hissing 
  • Her ears are back and she is irritated
  • She is swishing her tail which means she is frustrated, upset or annoyed
  • She swats at you 

Do cats like to be hugged and kissed?

Cats do not necessarily dislike hugging and kissing but they also do not understand these gestures as we do.

Do cats know you love them?

Cats can sense your affection for them so in a way you could say they know you love them. Interestingly, cats release oxytocin or the love hormone when they interact with fellow cats and humans, just like we do.

Why do cats kiss you on the lips?

Cats may kiss you on the lips because she is intrigued with what you are eating, to show affection or as a result of memories from when they were just kittens.  It is not advisable to allow your cat to kiss you on the lips for hygienic reasons. 

Is it okay to kiss your cat?

Yes, it is okay to kiss your cat to show your affection but it is probably not a good idea to do it excessively. Cats do not really understand the gesture unless you have been doing it ever since she was a kitten. They also usually prefer brief interactions so a quick peck is enough. Let her come to you on her terms and do not force planting a kiss on her.

Avoid kissing your cat on the lips as cats rarely welcome being kissed there and may interpret that as an invasion of their space. It will take a strong bond with your cat before kisses are tolerated.  Do not kiss a cat you only got to know recently as you will probably be met with aggression. Kissing a cat on the lips may also not be a good idea because they carry parasites, ringworm and bacteria. 


Cats are usually receptive to their owners’ expressions of affection for them. Some cats tolerate and even like kisses while some will not. A cat tolerating or liking kisses does not mean they understand the gesture as they show affection and interpret emotions very differently from humans.