How To Tell If Your Cat Is Happy


o you have trouble understanding your cat’s kneading claws against your legs or his constant trips to the tree outside just to get your attention? Well, these are common problems cat owners face every day. But the fact is that cats do these gestures to get your attention and because of affection.

Cats are misunderstood creatures, but there’s possibly a serendipitous reason you and your cat were brought together. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list about how to tell if your cat is happy and if his actions are positive (or, in fact, murderous), and how to respond to their stilly, but affectionate gestures.

Even though a cat translator may come in handy to know about your cat’s deepest desires, perception is still the best teacher when it comes to understanding pets. Here are some feline behaviors and the ideal responses to them.

1. Greetings: Good morning, human.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Happy

When you forbid your cat to sleep beside you on the bed, good morning greetings mean stretching his entire body until the vibrations reach the tip of his tail. Then, he steadies himself, circles you, and rubs against your leg. For felines, this gesture is a ceremonial marking of their property.

Cats have glands that release their own scent or pheromones when they rub against things – or in this case your legs. These scent often come from the sides of their body, their forehead, and their cheeks, so they often bump into things sideways.

This head-butt is also called bunting. For cats, bunting is also a request for affection in the form of physical contact. So go ahead and stroke their fur since they haven’t seen you for quite a while.

Cats also don’t get to see you when you are at work that when you return, they repeat this ceremony. At times, cats may also speak or meow when they see you. A high-pitched meow is a good sign, but a low-pitched one means that they had had a tougher day than you did.

2. Communication: “Meow, meow, meow … Hey, I’m talking to you.”

cat meow

At times, cats will try to communicate with you. You can respond by trying cat speak, as well, as some cats enjoy these exchanges. Meow is an all-around response in the feline community. But there are tougher sounds to decode.

Cats make trill sounds like the sound of two sticks vibrating and hitting each other. This is usually how cats call their kittens. It could mean “take me to my litter” or “take me to my food.” As their owner, please oblige.

Cats also produce hissing sounds that indicate their aggression. This entails their ears folding back. This means that they are assuming their defense position. In this case, it is best to stay away from them or to take them away to their object of aggression or fear. Be careful of their claws, though.

The yowl is the annoying sound cats make during mating season. This can come in solo or in chorus. At this point, the affection your cat needs is possibly not from you.

Though most cats often use sound to communicate, there are naturally silent cats that communicate better with action than words. With this, it’s better to just play with them or relax by the window with their paws tucked in between their body and your lap.

3. Eye Contact: OMG! Was that a slow blink?

cat eye contact

Cats have pretty eyes. You may have had your share of staring contests with your cat, but cat’s eyes say so much more than just being eye-candies.

If you’ve been with your cat for a long time, chances are they’ve given you the slow blink. Or not.

The slow blink is a privilege. It is an indication that the cat trusts your presence. Cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy calls this the “Cat I Love You,” where “love” refers to the instant the cat closes his eyes fully. According to him, the closed eye says “I trust that you won’t do anything to hurt me even though I can’t see you.”

Now, how should you respond to this privilege? It is best to imitate the Cat I Love You and turn your head slowly to the side, which says “I am comfortable and relaxed in your presence.”

4. Play: I’m no dog but I like play, too.

cat play with boy

Like all pets, exercise often comes in the form of play. You can tell that your cat is interested if his tail is upright or if his ears are shot up. Gauge the context, though, as this stance could mean alertness because of fear.

With great technology comes great cat toys. There are mechanized scratchers, the scampering mouse, a circuit, and other remote-control minis that cats like to chase. Nonetheless, some cats don’t complain with the classic tire-inducing game: tease them with anything that hangs or dangles.

The simple joys of a box or a high perch are also great plaything for cats. For one thing, a box can be a hiding place. Likewise, any high perch would also make a cat feel safe playing Big Brother. Now, some cats purposely get themselves stuck in high places as they tend not to think of the long-term effects of their actions.

When their owners are around, this gesture usually has the agenda of getting your attention. This might mean that they want you to carry them, and you have to oblige of course.

5. Relaxing: Nothing to worry about. Right?

play with your cat

Once you get your cat down from a tree, the best way to end the day is to lay down your cat on your lap and stroke his fur. Sometimes cats reveal their underbelly, which is prone to you rubbing it and getting scratched afterward.

Showing the tummy is a cat’s way of saying “I can be vulnerable in front of you,” and clawing you afterward means, “but don’t abuse it.”

Cats are solitary critters and the best way to really help them be happy is to leave them alone. Unless, of course, they take the initiative.

It is still very common for cats and owners to not have mutual understanding of when to have physical contact and when to have demarcated space. As such, it is important for you to know and be aware of the signs your cats show so that when they allow you, you can give them affection and you can strengthen your mutual trust.

Every healthy relationship needs to reach redamancy at one point or another. That is, you have to make your cat know that you are happy having him as a companion in life, as well, without having to claw your cat back or climb trees.

cat mom and son

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