Do Our Cats Feel Happiness? How Do They Show It?

Cute crossbreed Persian cat playing with a ball

Analysis reveals that cats have methods of feelings that set off sure emotional and behavioral responses.1 Whereas cats and people don’t expertise the identical vary and depth of feelings, happiness is an emotion that cats really feel.

Cats could not specific their emotions as people do, so it’s essential to determine cues that point out particular feelings. Studying how cats present happiness can strengthen the bond between you and your cat and make your life collectively much more pleasant.

Indicators of Happiness in Cats

How happiness is expressed varies from cat to cat, and cats may additionally present totally different indicators of happiness relying on the state of affairs they’re in.


A typical signal of happiness and contentment is purring. Though there are some circumstances the place cats can purr out of worry or because of an harm, cats principally purr as a result of they really feel content material. So, should you see that your cat is lounging or in one other relaxed place and is purring, it’s an indication that it’s feeling very joyful.

white cat purring
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Sluggish Blinking

Glad cats may also blink slowly to point that they really feel contentment and affection towards you. In case your cat is in a relaxed place, makes direct eye contact with you, and blinks slowly, take it as a praise. Your cat feels joyful and can be letting you realize that it likes you.


Some vocal cats may additionally have interaction in “conversations” with their homeowners once they really feel joyful. In case your cat is meowing and you, it’s an excellent signal that it needs to have interaction with you. Some cats appear to take pleasure in it when their homeowners discuss again to them calmly, they usually’ll meow again some responses.


One other signal of happiness is when a cat begins to knead with its front paws. This habits is sometimes called “making biscuits” as a result of the motion appears like a cat is kneading dough. It’s unclear as to precisely why cats begin to knead once they really feel joyful. Some consultants imagine it’s as a result of the motion is related to how kittens will knead on their mom.

bengal kneading blanket
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In case your cat is feeling content material and comfy round you, it might begin to have interaction with you extra. Your cat can begin approaching you and rubbing its face on you. A mild headbutt may also point out affection.

Simply keep in mind that your cat could begin to trouble you and need to play out of boredom. So, guarantee that it’s getting loads of train and stimulation all through the day. When you have these bases coated and your cat nonetheless needs to play with you, it may be as a result of it likes you and simply needs to spend a while with you.

Observe How Your Cat Expresses Happiness

In my expertise with cats, I’ve seen that my cats have expressed happiness in their very own distinctive methods. I’ve had a cat that was very vocal when she felt joyful and excited and would usually meow again if I stated one thing to her. She was additionally very shy but playful. So, if she needed to play, it was a transparent signal that she needed to spend time with me and have some enjoyable.

One other cat confirmed happiness simply by being in the identical room. He’d often be lounging close by, however he didn’t prefer getting pets. I knew he was particularly joyful each time he made an look and began kneading on a rug or blanket.

I’ve additionally gotten a number of sluggish blinks, however they’re rarer behaviors that I see in my cats. Typically, I’ll blink at them slowly after I discover that they’re relaxed and lounging close by. Often, they’ll reply again with a sluggish blink, and it feels so rewarding.

cat playing with owner
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How To Promote Happiness in Cats

Whilst you can’t pressure cats to really feel a sure approach, you are able to do some issues to assist them really feel secure and content material. These are some issues which have helped me create a cheerful dwelling for my cats.

Set up a Constant Routine

As creatures of behavior, cats thrive off routines. Understanding what to anticipate can assist them really feel secure, and plenty of will desire and respect predictability.

Whilst you don’t should have a routine with strict time blocks, you can begin partaking in actions in the identical sequence. For instance, my morning routine roughly appears the identical, even when I’ll get up at various instances. After I get up, I begin making my morning cup of espresso. Then, I’ll begin making breakfast and making ready my cat’s first meal. I’ll prepare for work whereas my cat eats. Earlier than I begin working, I’ll give her a deal with meting out toy to play with in order that she will get some train within the morning.

After my cat obtained used to this routine, I might see her anticipating each exercise. She’ll be ready by her meals station whereas I’m making breakfast, and he or she’ll additionally have a look at me expectantly when she is aware of I’m about to work as a result of she is aware of I’ll give her a deal with toy.

After establishing a constant routine, I’ve seen my cat feeling extra relaxed and fewer prone to interrupt me each time I’m working. She is aware of that I’ll ultimately take a lunch break and play just a little extra along with her earlier than going again to work.

Create Vertical Areas

Cats love cozy hiding spots and climbing up to safe spaces the place they’ll perch and observe. Many cats will take pleasure in having a tall cat tree they’ll climb. Nonetheless, you don’t have to put in a number of cat bushes to create vertical areas in your house.

I’ve cleared out areas in dice cabinets and laid out mats on them in order that my cat can sleep in them. I even have some lounging areas positioned close to areas that I most frequent in the home. There’s a file cupboard close to my work desk, and I’ve positioned a cat mattress on high in order that my cat can relaxation close by whereas I work.

domestic cat climbs up the cat pole
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Present Enjoyable Playtime

Completely different cats have their very own play kinds, and discovering out their preferences can enhance their happiness immensely. I’ve had a cat that most well-liked enjoying alone and was completely content material enjoying with a deal with meting out toy by himself. One other cat liked enjoying with cat wands and was happiest when she was chasing feathers connected to a string.


Many cats are food-motivated and might’t resist sure treats. Attending to know your cat’s favourite flavors and giving them occasional treats is an effective way to spice up its temper.

You can even add just a little extra happiness right into a cat’s life with catnip and catnip toys. The scent of catnip can trigger the “happy” receptors in a cat’s mind. Nonetheless, not all cats react to catnip. I’ve had one cat who couldn’t care much less about catnip, however I had extra luck with silvervine. Silvervine is a totally totally different plant that additionally occurs to have comparable results as catnip. Cats that don’t react to catnip could react to silver vine as a substitute.


Cats can specific happiness in varied methods. Studying about cat habits and being observant can assist you identify how your cat expresses happiness and what makes it really feel happiest. I’ll be the primary to say that cats might be very emotionally expressive. It could take a while to know how your cat reveals happiness and affection. Nonetheless, when you do, it’ll solely strengthen your bond and enhance the appreciation you might have for one another.

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