Gray and white cat sitting in front of open windows

Because cats are such smart, sentient creatures, they can have a long list of likes (and, perhaps, an equally long list of dislikes!) In most cases, the things your cat loves are the very same things you love—like fresh, tasty food, long naps in cozy spots, and plenty of fun activities, to name a few.

Just like us humans, the things cats find interesting, fun, or exciting can change as they age—your cat may love her toy with feathers one day, but find it boring the next. As a kitty parent, it’s your job to recognize when your cats’ interests change, so you can keep her happy, healthy, and engaged. Although likes can vary from cat to cat, these eight kitty “likes” are a great place to start.  

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    Cats Love Taking Naps

    Two orange kittens taking a nap.

    meowbox / Instagram

    It’s no secret that cats love to sleep. In fact, the average kitty sleeps for a whopping 12 to 16 hours per day! Because cats are nocturnal creatures, they snooze most of the day away—and who can blame them? Everyone loves a nice, long nap in a cozy, comfy spot. 

    Keep in mind, kittens and senior cats will spend more time sleeping than, say, an adolescent cat. But if you're worried that your cat is sleeping too much—or too little—talk to your vet about what's normal for his breed, age, activity level, and size. 

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    Cats Love Grooming and Being Groomed

    A black and white cat grooming herself.

    A black and white cat grooming herself.

    josiesnuggles / Instagram

    Did you know adult cats spend approximately half of their waking hours grooming? Clearly, grooming is an important part of a kitty's life!

    There are a few reasons cats dedicate so much time to grooming: 

    1. It keeps them clean. Not only does grooming help cats remove dirt and grime from their coats, but it prevents predators and prey from detecting them. How? Licking their coats removes any smells it has absorbed. 
    2. It keeps their skin and coat healthy. Regular grooming disperses the oils naturally produced by a cat’s skin and fur, keeping her coat healthy, shiny, and hydrated. 
    3. It makes them feel relaxed. There’s nothing more relaxing than a massage, right? Well, cats feel the same way! Rather than visiting a masseuse, they simply groom themselves to reduce stress and calm down. 
    4. It helps them bond with other kitties. Cats groom each other—and their humans!—to develop and strengthen their bond. You’ll often see cats grooming each other in hard to reach places. 
    5. It cools them off. Humans sweat. Dogs pant. Cats lick themselves. When it’s super hot out, cats dampen their fur with saliva to cool off. 

    Not every cat loves to be groomed by his humans, but if yours does, try brushing his fur with a natural bristle or rubber brush. It'll remove any residue from his fur and feel super relaxing, too. 

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    Cats Love Fresh, Nutritious Food

    A tuxedo cat eating from a pink bowl.

    A tuxedo cat eating from a pink bowl. / Instagram

    It's unlikely that you'd want to dive into a big plate of spoiled food at dinnertime. The same goes for your cat. Stale and spoiled food doesn't just taste bad, either—it can host different types of bacteria, like Salmonella and Staphylococcus, too. 

    Whenever you serve your kitty's meals, be sure to check the expiration dates on both wet and dry food. This will ensure you're only feeding her fresh, nutritious, and safe meals. 

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    Cats Love Running Water

    Two cats drinking from a water fountain.

    Two cats drinking from a water fountain.

    project21.official / Instagram

    If you have a cat, you know they'll try to drink water from running faucets whenever the opportunity presents itself. Fortunately, there are tons of drinking fountains—designed especially for cats—so they always have cool, fresh, running water available. 

    Believe it or not, some breeds of cats also like to play in water. If your cat loves to splash around, try filling up the bathtub or a kiddie pool with a few inches of water during her playtime. This activity will help her get a little bit of exercise and cool off on particularly hot days. 

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    Cats Love Scratching and Clawing

    A black Norwegian forest cat on a scratching post.

    A black Norwegian forest cat on a scratching post.

    woocy_woo / Instagram

    One of cats' basic instincts is to sharpen their claws by scratching and clawing different surfaces. They also happen to get a ton of joy from it, too. 

    In addition to sharpening their claws, scratching can help relax and rejuvenate cats. Think of it as the human equivalent to a nice, long stretch when your muscles are tired or achy. A quick scratch session on a cat tree or scratching post can wake a tired kitty up immediately.  

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    Cats Love Daily Playtime

    A cat surrounded by toys.

    A cat surrounded by toys.

    laur15mh / Instagram

    Playtime is serious business for cats, all the way from kittenhood to their senior years. It doesn't take much to keep a cat entertained—she'll play with anything from lint and string, to tricked-out cat toys—but it is a vital part of their health and development. Not only does playtime hark back to their days in the wild when they had to stalk, hunt, and capture their prey, but it keeps them exercised, engaged, and happy, too.

    There are literally hundreds of thousands of cat toys on the market, but your cat may like playing games, such as hide and seek, too. No matter your cat’s choice of play, it’s important to sneak in a few minutes daily.    

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    Cats Love Watching Birds

    A black Norwegian forest cat looking out a window.

    A black Norwegian forest cat looking out a window.

    adventures_in_catland / Instagram

    It's not uncommon to see cats curled up on windowsills. Why? It's a prime bird watching location! Whether cats love to watch birds because they're prey or simply because the movement captures their attention, some cats can spend hours observing birds every day. 

    If your cat loves to curl up in windows, be sure to protect her skin from the sun's harsh rays, especially if she has light-colored fur. Try to limit her hours next to the window when the sun is strongest—between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.—and talk to your vet about kitty-approved sunscreens. 

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    Cats Love Their Humans

    A cat cuddling on a person's legs.

    A cat cuddling on a person's legs.

    hilanabekker / Instagram

    Although cats are often depicted as solitary animals, they need love, attention, and companionship—and love to get it from their humans. The ways cats say “I love you” are just a little bit different than we humans. 

    Some signs your cat loves you include purring, bunting (or putting her head on you), sleeping on or near you, meowing, licking, and even sticking her butt in your face. Yes, really. 

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