Cats don’t speak with words, but they can still communicate with their owners using their voice, posture and behaviour. If you can learn to understand the way your furry friend talks to you, you’ll have no trouble recognizing when he’s happy and feeling good.
Let’s firstly consider your cat’s voice. The sound of a meow or yowl can range from a high pitched monotone to a deeper sound that has a much lower tone. The higher pitched sounds are usually associated with contentment and security. Happy cats do purr, but this in itself doesn’t mean he is happy. Cats also make this sound when they’re distressed or injured, so take into consideration other indicators of his mood rather than just relying on the fact that he is purring.
A happy puss has a relaxed posture, with half closed eyes and ears held slightly to the side. His whiskers will point forward and his tail will be held high, often with just the tip bent over. He will sit or stand close to you and will reach forward to be stroked. He may roll onto his back and stretch out, which is an indication that he feels particularly safe and secure.
His coat will be smooth and well maintained; cats that are stressed or anxious neglect their grooming or they over-groom themselves resulting in patches of thinner hair. Don’t be surprised if your cat dribbles and drools when you stroke him because this too is a sign of contentment. Some cats even lick and knead their owners with their paws, or head butt them to show affection.
How your cat behaves around your home will give you a good indication that he’s feeling good. Happy cats are confident enough to explore their environment, and will be keen to sniff and pat at anything unfamiliar. While kittens are more likely to play chase and wrestle, cats of any age enjoy a game when they’re in a good mood.
Keep an eye on your furry friend’s toileting habits. Stress and anxiety can lead to unusual behaviours such as going to the toilet outside the litter tray or spraying urine on the walls and furniture. Stress can also be a trigger for feline lower urinary tract disease, which may result in a visit to your vet.
These guidelines are very general and nobody knows your cat as well as you. Because of this, you’ll be able to identify his unique signals that life is good and all is well in his world.