Signs Your Dog Is Happy
Owning a dog requires a certain degree of psychic ability. You may find yourself asking: What is she trying to tell me with that bark? Does that tail wag mean shes happy or scared? Is she following me around the house because she loves me, or is she just hungry?
While we cant teach you how to speak dog, we can help you understand which behaviors and body language signals could indicate your pup is happy and content, as well as signs that something could be wrong.
Of course all animals are different, and as dogs age their activity levels and sociability may change. But the following signs indicate your dog is most likely happy, and more importantly, healthy.
Ways To Tell If Your Cat Is Happy
September 11, 2021 By: Summer Samba
Every September, the CATalyst Council celebrates Happy Cat Month. There are countless ways to give your cat a happy life, limited only by their own specific needs and your imagination. But how do you tell if your cat is happy? People who dont know cats well may miss a lot of cues. But even people who have lived with cats for decades may miss more subtle signals.
But before I list some happy cat signals for you, maybe I should explain why theyre important to know. Its because happiness and health go together. If your cats level of happiness changes, chances are there is a change in their physical well being too. So keeping track of your cats happiness is not only good when it comes to having a well adjusted cat, its also a good wellness check.
Your cat may not exhibit all of the follows signals, but chances are if shes happy, she will show most of them.
Purring Means Your Cat Is Happy In Your Presence
As you might have suspected, purring is a good indication that your cat likes having you around.
In fact, Nicky Trevorrow, behavior manager for Cats Protection, tells Cosmopolitan that cats reserve their purrsexclusively for humans they adore. They don’t purr for other cats, except their own kittens.
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Body Language Of A Happy Cat Or Kitten
- Slow Blink aka Cat Kiss. One of cutest signs of affection from your kitty kid is the cat kiss. Your cat will make eye contact with you then blink slowly. Its now your turn to blink slowly in return, then look away. A kitty giving kisses is definitely content.
- Arching their back when you pet them. When you reach to pet your cat, do they arch up to meet your hand? How about turn their heads toward you to get just the right angle for chin scritches? These are signs of a happy cat.
- Greeting You. If your cat comes to the door when you get home, lifts her head and meows, or gives you a chirrup to say hello, she is a happy kitty.
- The Social Roll. The social roll is when a cat gets in front of you, puts her head down and rolls over, exposing their stomach. Cats do this roll out of affection and happiness to see you. If youre walking in carrying groceries though, be careful! Kittys social roll can become a tripping hazard!
- Relaxed Posture. A happy cat will be relaxed when around you. That means they will stretch out long and show vulnerable parts, such as their stomachs. Anxious or unhappy cats will hunker down to hide or get into a defensive position, ready to fight.
- Tail Up. You can tell your cat is happy if their tail is straight up in the air, usually with a little curve to the end. Some cats tails even vibrate slightly when they are really happy and excited.
Look In Her Food Dish
Got a voracious eater or one who picks at her kibble? A kitty who enjoys mealtime and usually finishes her food is probably a happy cat. But if you notice your cat is ignoring her food or if you think shes overeating, check in with her vet to be sure theres nothing wrong. Ask the doctor about your breeds nutritional needs so you know youre feeding her the right food and the proper amount.
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Your Cat Brings You Gifts
Though they might not be the sort of things you’d put on your wishlist, your cat may bring you gifts like dead mice, frogs, bugs, or trash because they feel at home with you.
“Many people think that these ‘gifts’ are for the owner, but cats actually bring them home to where they feel secure. It’s a sign that they feel safe with you,” Trevorrow explains to Cosmopolitan.
Behaviour Of A Happy Cat
- Their tail may wave gently and rhythmically from side to side, usually when held off the ground, but it should not be swishing/thrashing or thumping.
- Your cat may produce a low-pitched, pleasant and non-urgent sounding purr.
- Your cat will either appear calmly interested in their surroundings, so not alert or agitated, or they may be relatively uninterested in whats going on around them.
- Your cat might doze or groom themselves in a relaxed manner.
- A relaxed cat will behave as normal for them, and move around the home as they usually would.
- Your cat should eat, drink, groom, go to the toilet, and sleep in regular, healthy amounts.
Take a look at our video on understanding cat body language.
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In Order To See These Behaviors Your Cat Needs A Comfortable Environment
According to Delgado, the key to a cat’s happiness is setting up an environment in which cats can express behaviors that are natural to them. Be the doer of everything the cat loves: Providing treats, and playing hard to get. Also, Nold suggests getting your feline friend a climbing tree.
“Then, cats can really build trust and a bond,” Delgado says.
Your Cat Nibbles You A Lot
One less common sign of a cat’s fondness is habitual nibbling or soft biting.
According to Care2, a cat will sometimes deliver agentle, tickling bite to those it loves. This is definitely distinguishable from a real bite, as one hurts and the other doesn’t. If your cat is using you as a chew toy, it could be a sign that you guys are best buddies.
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If You Want Your Cat To Love You Play Hard To Get
As a cat owner, your impulse may be to immediately cuddle with your buddy. But Delgado recommends letting your cat take charge of interactions. We know from research that cats actually prefer to be the one to approach you. And if you let them make the first move, you’ll have a better interaction,” Delgado says.
Over time, Delgado adds, your cat will trust you more, because you respect its limits. This dynamic explains why people who are allergic to cats tend to complain that cats love them. “They’re totally avoiding the catand the cat is like, Ooh, I want to sit on that person because they’re not being pushy.“
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The Happy Cat’s Tail Posture
If a cat is scared, their tail will be tucked under their body. If it’s stressed or feeling defensive, it may stick their tail straight up and it will be stiff with the hair “on end.” But a happy cat is clearly happy when their tail is standing straight up in a calm, relaxed posture. You may even see it gently swishing a bit back and forth. It’s sometimes referred to as the “question mark” position as the tail sort of curls a bit at the top like a “?”.
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How To Tell If My Cat Is Constipated, This monitoring sheds light on the cat person’s personality. Research study reveals that human beings and pets have 2 unique characters. While the character of a human can be called warm and pleasant, the personality of a canine can be called protective, dominant and also yes, even affectionate. This research recommends that owners of dogs often tend to be cat lovers as well, as part of their personality.
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Warning Signs Of An Unhappy Cat
- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Like humans, cats experience a wide spectrum of emotions and there will inevitably be times when theyre feeling blue. They may not be able to say Im unhappy, but they are communicating. We just have to learn to recognize their behaviors.
Whats normal for one cat may not be normal for another, so look at changes in each cats specific behavioral patterns to see if something is amiss. Cats are generally creatures of habit, so when theres suddenly a shift in their behavior, its very unlikely that its random. Other family members, as well as your cat sitter, can also help alert you to alarming changes.
Many of the signs of an unhappy cat can also indicate physical ailments, so its best to rule out injuries and illnesses before reaching a conclusion about their mood. When in doubt, a trip to the vet can help you make sense of your cats unusual behaviors.
If you suspect your cat isnt feeling like their normal happy self, here are some clues that can help you determine if your cat is unhappy.
You Have Options When It Comes To Your Pets End
Some cats die peacefully in their sleep, but for others the final step is not so easy. Consider whether you want your cat to have a “natural” death or to opt for euthanasia. There is no right answer, and you should choose whichever option you feel is best for you and your cat. Feel free to discuss your cat’s situation and prognosis with your veterinarian, and talk over your decision with your family and close friends.
If you choose to provide your cat with hospice care until she passes away on her own, follow the above steps to keep her comfortable.
Euthanasia can be a scary decision for a cat owner to make, but ending suffering is also the greatest gift we can give. Your veterinarian will give an overdose of a sedative, usually the injectable pentobarbital, and your cat will pass quickly and painlessly.
When your cat has passed, she can either be buried or cremated. Your veterinarian can help you with options available in your area.
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Grieving The Loss Of Your Cat
Grieving the loss of your cat is completely normal. She has been an important part of your life and provided companionship and love. Take that personal day from work if you need to, and talk to your friends and family. If you have other pets, let the routine of caring for them provide some normalcy. No other pet will ever replace your cat, but they all bring different things to our lives and are special in their own way. And most of all, look through old photos and videos to remember your cat at her best and consider ways you can honor her memory.
Food Picky Pants Or Suddenly Chubby
Cats are food monsters. Really, eating is one of their favorite things to do. If all of a sudden your little cat pig stops loving food, something could be troubling the fuzzy one. The problem could simply be dislike. Cats who have eaten the same brand of food for a long while can decide they dont care for it anymore. Theyre picky like that. It might be theyve grown bored with the lack of variety. In the wild, cats hunt different types of prey, offering them a buffet of choice. In the house, the choice is removed and can lead to a case of the blahs in your kitty.
Also, a cat wont eat when their mouths hurt. Dental problems are a common issue in aging cats, according to SeniorCatWellness.com. The three most common dental problems in cats are periodontitis, gingivitis and tooth resorption with varying levels of severity.
Unhappy kitties can overeat too. While chonky cats are super cute, it might signal some issues if your trim feline suddenly blimps out. Either the cat is unhappy or some health problem, like diabetes, could be brewing. If introducing new food doesnt solve the undereating issue or the overeating is overwhelming, contact your vet.
Be sure the cats water dish is fresh and clean at all times too. You can make getting a sip of water fun by purchasing a water fountain for animals. The bubbling water will provide hydration and entertainment.
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The Telltale Signs Of A Happy Cat
What are the signs of a happy cat, and how do you know when a cat is happy? We know, we know, there are a lot of rumors swirling around out there that the only times cat and happy can be used in a sentence where one is relative to the other involve ritualistic soul-stealing or the sound of treasured bric-a-brac shattering on the floor. But underneath it all, when the iPhones are put away, cats just really want to be happy. So, whats a cats person to do?
First, its important to recognize evidence of an actually happy cat.
Happy Cats Love To Learn
Another good sign your cat is happy is if you can work with him to teach tricks. Cats may take a bit of time to acclimate to training compared to a dog, but being intelligent creatures, many cats really learn to enjoy clicker training. If you pull out a clicker and some treats and your cat comes running over, ready for a training session, this is a sign you not only have a happy cat but a mentally engaged one as well.
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They Have A Good Appetite
A healthy appetite means kitty is in a good mood. But if kittys appetite is too healthy, it could be a sign shes bored, depressed, or lonely, says Dr. Franklin McMillan, director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society. Evidence suggests that, just as in humans, eating can be a psychological mechanism to cope with stress and other sources of unhappiness, he says.
You also want to contact your vet if your cat starts showing less interest in food. While not every cat is ravenous, if there is a sudden drop in appetite, there may be something wrong, says Dr. Rachel Barrack of New York Citys Animal Acupuncture.
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Happy Cat Body Language
Body language varies from paw to paw. Generally, A cats tail in the form of a question mark means they are happy and everything is normal. Just another day in the cat hood. However, if the tail is not high up it may indicate a sense of fear and discomfort in the environment.
Dilated eyes may be a sign of excitement and joy seeing their favourite toy or treat. Ears pushed back is a clear sign of a stressed and anxious kitty. The more you observe your kitty, the more you will learn about their behavior.