How to Know if Your Cat is Happy?

how to know if your cat is happy

Cats are mysterious and most of the time hard to understand, so it’s not a surprise that most of us wonder from time to time “is our beloved cat happy?”

In cats like in humans, love and happiness are intertwined. If there is love there is happiness.

Every cat is unique, and it may show love or happiness in many different ways.

It’s all so very simple but also very complicated at the same time. If your cat is giving you some love then it’s definitely happy.

To understand our cats is crucial to learn to read their body language. Although our cats sometimes meow a lot, it’s not communication but about a call for attention.

We will give you some basic information on cat body language so that you can see if your cat is happy or it needs some extra loving.

Positive cat body signs and behavior

Let’s first give one example of a situation: coming back home. When you enter your home one of the first signs of a happy cat is a cat that comes to great you.

Cat will most likely greet you with a happy high pitch meow, head butting you or rubbing its head or sides against you. Your cat is saying I’m happy you are back.

To understand your cat you need to focus on its body movements, mainly on the eyes, ears, and tail.

  • In a case, a cat looks at you and closes and opens its eyes slowly, or keeping their eyes in a relaxed position half-closed is a sign of love and trust.
  • If the ears are straight in its natural position and not twitching or turning, that means they are relaxed.
  • When the tail is up with a little curl at the end and not puffed up, not moving then they are satisfied and happy. (Cats don’t wag their tail when they are happy like dogs)

Happy cats’ movements should be relaxed and fluent. If your cat is twitching or gets startled easily that means that the cat is stressed and unhappy.

Some of the positive behaviors that show that they are happy:

  • Sleeping with you or next to you
  • Sleeping in a relaxed position
  • Keeping themselves clean and trying to clean you
  • Kneading their sleeping place or you
  • Rubbing against you
  • Playfulness
  • Healthy appetite
  • Using their litterbox correctly and not spending to much time in it

Negative cat body signs and behavior

Knowing the negative body signs will help us notice that our cats are unhappy or stressed and act quickly to help them.

We will split the signs into 3 parts: head, body, and tail


We can tell a lot by just looking at their eyes, not blinking, dilated pupils, often mean stressed prepared for an attack. (during playing this is normal)

Ears, if they are constantly swiveling their ears listening around, this means they are alert and probably stressed a bit. If their ears are sideways or flat, this can mean they are angry, frightened, or irritated.


If they are standing with their back in an arc and their fur is puffed up or standing up, this means “I’m angry or scared”. (sometimes they can be like this during play, then it’s usually not a problem)


If the tail is straight up and all puff, this is the first sign of being angry or scared. If they keep their tail low or tucked down between their legs this is a sign of insecurity and anxiety.

Wagging their tail and twitching is a sign of anger, not happiness like in dogs. Faster the movement, the bigger the problem is.

Negative behavior

Popping or being outside of the litter box is usually one of the first signs that your cat has a problem or is unhappy.

Skipping meals or other eating irregularities is a show of dissatisfaction with food or you.

Sometimes this can also be a sign of some medical issues, so be sure to take your cat to the vet for a checkup.

Sleeping too much (cats sleep on average between 12 to 20 hours) or sleeping alone is also one of the behaviors that can tell us that the cat is unhappy. To assess this situation it’s good to know your cats’ habits.

Hissing and growling noises, this is usually the most extreme manifestation of dissatisfaction, your cat is in great distress and in defense-attack mode.

Do’s and don’ts for keeping a cat happy

Never underestimate the importance of a good diet, a cat that eats healthy and regularly is a happy cat. Consult your local vet on the best diet for your type of cat, or take a look at one of our articles about some of the best wet-food and dry-food for cats.

Cats need regular play and stimulation, have a variety of toys laying around, and try playing with your cat whenever they are in the mood for playing.

Your home needs to be cat friendly, this means put as many scratching posts as you can, provide some hiding places and places your cat can climb.

Keep the litter box clean, cats are very clean animals and they like to live in a clean environment, so keeping the litter box and your home clean should be the main priority.

Brush your cat regularly, you should brush your cat about once a day if they are not a hairless cat breed. Don’t force it if they don’t want at the moment try again later.

Don’t leave your cat alone for prolonged periods, contrary to popular belief they are much more social creatures than people think.

If you have to leave your cat on a regular basis because of work, school, or something else, try to consider having two cats or a cat and a dog.

We have a helpful article on how to introduce a dog to a cat.

  1. Do not ignore your cat, give your cat some love and affection, we all live busy lives but you can always find some time.
  2. Don’t ignore your cats call for play, it’s really important that they feel you are their play partner.
  3. Do not force the cat to do something it doesn’t want. Try finding a balance between enough and too much.


Keeping your cats happy is not hard and it shouldn’t be a chore, happiness should be mutual.

As a result, if they are happy, you will also be happy.

There is always a reason why our cats are happy or unhappy. If they are unhappy, firstly try finding the source of the problem and resolve it as soon as possible.

We hope our article will help to better understand and solve some problems you may experience.

Feel free to look around our other articles to find more answers to questions about cats. This is another way of just feeding your curiosity.

If you can’t find any answers to your questions or have some suggestions feel free to write to us.

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