We love cats. But most of all we love happy cats. That’s when they’re the most fun and the most rewarding to have around. A happy cat means at least one happy human. And healthy if you think about the latest studies on how cat purrs make us healthier. But how can we know if our cat is happy? How do cats express happiness to begin with?
It’s true that every cat is unique and that they all have their own personality traits that differentiate them from every other cat out there, but there are still some clues that give away the mood of our purring little friends. So let’s find out more about how to read or interpret these signs.
How Do Cats Express Happiness
First and foremost, you should learn to pay attention to your cat’s clues and signals, so be sure to spend some time around your furry friend before you start trying to understand his or her signals. Do that enough and you’ll soon be able to interpret most of what they transmit to you, being it sounds, body language or behavior.
Vocal and Sound Clues
One of the first things cat owners notice is their cats vocalizing. Depending on the pitch of those ‘meows’, they can transmit different messages. While not always vocalizing when happy, when they are, they have a higher pitch in their voice. In general, lower pitched sounds mean that they’re unhappy or that they want something, so when you hear them in a high pitched voice, well, they’re mostly happy.
Another sound that cats make and it’s almost always associated with a cat’s happy moments is purring. But the latest research shows that cats don’t purr only when happy, so be sure to assess that particular situation overall. If your furry little friend starts to purr while rubbing his or her head against you when you just got back from work or when she sits on your lap while you watch your favorite series, well, that’s a clear sign that your cat is content with you around.
Now this is a complex theme, but if you pay attention enough, you’ll recognize the main clues of a happy cat. They communicate all these with their eyes, ears, body positions and last, but not least with their tail, which is considered a cat’s emotional barometer.
For example, if your cat is sitting with her front paws gently tucked underneath looking sleepy and she blinks at you, that’s a clear sign that she’s content. If her pupils dilate when you are about to feed her, well, that’s a no-brainer that she’s very happy.
Also, if her tail is relaxed, the cat is content. When they put their tails straight up with the tip slightly bent, that means greetings. We’re sure you’ve noticed that when you get back home and your cat quickly jumps to welcome you. If not, pay attention next time.
You can read more here on how to interpret the clues of a cat’s tail.
In the second part of this post we’ll explore how cats express happiness through behavior.