Cats are often misunderstood as being misanthropic loners. Some of them can be, but often their independence is mischaracterized. Plenty of owners have cats that are affection, friendly, and very happy. But how do you know yours is? You just have to keep an eye out for the signs.
A good greeting
Cats have a lot of ways of greeting you. This can include rubbing against your legs in the “greeting ritual”, a short happy meow when they first see you, or sniffing at your face. If you get any of those, that’s the sign of a good relationship.
See how they lie
How a cat rests or sits near you is a good indication of their mood and wellbeing, too. If their ears are flattened or backs arched, they may be nervous or feeling threatened. If they really relax, such as stretching up against you or tucking their feet under themselves, then they’re more likely to be happy or content.
A happy tail
If a cat has their tail raised, or raised with a slight bend on the end, it’s a show that they’re confident and content. If the tip twitches or plays around near you, it means they’re very happy with your company, too.
A cat kiss
Unless you have some salmon stuck to your face, a cat licking your face is practically the ultimate sign of affection. Wet nose boops are like little kisses, too.
The more vocal, the better
Cats make a lot of sounds and most of them are specifically for our benefit. Lots of short, high-pitched meows are almost like them saying “hi, I missed you, I love you!” Purring can be a sign of nervousness, but if they’re doing it while relaxing on you, it’s the opposite. It means pure contentedness.
If something’s wrong, they will complain
A mid-pitched meow or “mrrow” is like a request, whether they want fed, are expecting treats, or need something else. If it gets more drawn out, then it’s more like a complaint, like a “why haven’t I been fed yet?” If it’s really low pitched, then it means they’re actively unhappy, but it doesn’t always mean something serious.
They’re gladly eating what you serve
If you’re worried about how well you’re meeting their nutritional needs, look at how much they’re eating. If they’re not eating as much, click here for more details to try swapping to more nutritious meals. If they’re still not eating, it could be a sign of depression or anxiety.
A loving blink
A cat’s eyes can help you see into their mood a little, though it can be hard to read. Dilated pupils can indicate playfulness or aggression, so it’s important to pay attention to their body language otherwise. However, a cat slowly blinking at you is a sure sign of contentedness, like them blowing a kiss.
Interest in their hobbies
From kneading your leg to leaving you “presents” from their hunts to lying on your keyboard when you’re trying to work, cats have their hobbies. If they go about playing and doing whatever interests them, it’s a sign they’re in a good place. If they become reclusive, hide, and lose interest in them, then something may be wrong.
The vet tells you all is well
Don’t just take our word for it, or the cat’s. Make sure frequent vet visits and routine check-ups are part of their life. You never know what ailments or hidden injuries can affect their mental wellbeing.
Our feline friends do make an effort to communicate with us and learning a little of their language can vastly improve our relationship. Hopefully, you see some of the signs mentioned above in your own fuzzy pal.