You and your purring pal are like two peas in a pod. He sleeps with you, curls up in your lap and always seems to hug your arm. Your fuzzy friend can't speak so he communicates through purring, meowing and body language. By snuggling with your arm, he's showing affection.
Sign of Affection
After a long day at the office, you put your feet up and rest your arm on the edge of the sofa. Baby Felix comes along, sits on your arm and wraps his arms around yours. Or if you leave your arm in your lap, he may snuggle up next to it, rest his paw on your arm and lay his head on your hand. He's mimicking a hugging motion, which is simply a sign of comfort and affection. Felix adores you, is completely faithful to you and is truly relaxed when he is in your presence. Plus, you're warm. Cats like to be warm and cuddling with your arm helps make them feel snug.
Your fluffy kitten will probably make all kinds of noises when he snuggles your arm. He'll purr loudly and make cute high-pitched cries. Purring and "talking" are his way of signalling to you that he is perfectly content and all is well. Not all cats purr, so don't get discouraged if little Felix doesn't. Purring is a learned behavior from his mother. If he's not a purrer, his body language and meows will let you know when he's happy.
Several other signs clue you in to your little feline's blissfulness. When Felix jumps up on the sofa next to you, he'll head butt your hand or climb up next to your head and bump heads with you. He'll lick you and nibble on your arm, similar to the way humans kiss. Part of the reason cats head butt and lick you is to spread their scent. He's marking you and therefore claiming you all for himself. Felines also make a kneading motion when they are excited. He'll probably spread his toes out and gently knead your arm.
When He's Upset
While gentle kneading and nibbling on your arm are clues that Felix is happy, his motions should not be aggressive. If his claws draw blood or if his biting is painful, he's telling you that he's upset and you need to leave him alone. He may have his ears pointed back and will most likely stop purring when he's agitated. Simply move your arm so he can freely get away as he pleases. When he's relaxed again, he'll come back and beg for more attention.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.