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May 21, 2012 at 3:12 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Feline Body Language: 8 Signs Your Cat is Happy

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Just like us, animals express how they feel through body language as well as sound/speech.Cats use many different parts of their body to show us how they're feeling. Here are 8 signs your cat is feeling chipper!

#1. Vocalization

Cats can be very vocal, especially when they are happy. They want to tell you ALL about it, so they may have long conversations with you by meowing for a good amount of time. Also, the pitch of their meow will allude to how they are feeling. When it is high-pitched, cat is content. When it is low-pitched, a cat may be a little disgruntled.

 #2. Posture

happy smiling sleeping kittenYou can tell your cat is content when they sleep with their paws tucked under. This tells you they feel relaxed and at-home in their environment as well as with who is in that environment. A cat that is feeling aggressive will straighten it’s legs and erect the hair along their spine. This makes them appear larger than they really are. On the other hand, a submissive cat will shrink down to the ground to appear small and unthreatening.

#3. Tail Position

The tail can tell you a lot about how a cat is feeling. A happy cat raises its tail straight up. A cat may still be happy if their tail is up the in air with the tip curled. It just means that they feel a bit unsure. A scared cat puffs the hair out in it’s tail as to appear dominant. When a cats tail is between it’s legs, it’s either sad or submissive.

#4. Eyes

cat napping with catA cat’s eyes are very expressive. When their eyes dilate, it means they are extremely happy (and sometimes aroused). Dilation can happen when they see their food bowl is full. I mean, of course! Food makes anyone happy, doesn't it? ;)

Also - have you ever stared at a cat and they blinked back in response? This is their way of telling you they are content. Sudden dilation of the eyes indicates arousal-happiness.

# 5. Whiskers/Mouth

Whiskers help indicate a cat’s mood. When they are positioned slightly to the side, a cat is relaxed – this is known as their neutral position. When something interests them in their environment, their whiskers perk forwards. A cat may pull their whiskers to lay flat on their cheek pads when they frightened. It makes their face appear smaller and less threatening. As for a cat’s mouth, an open-mouthed yawn shows the cat is relaxed and content. (Although they also, just like us, yawn to show they are bored!) Sometimes cats will even stick out their tongues when they're feeling really at peace!

#6 Head

cat head-butt

How your cat’s head is positioned can also reveal how they are feeling. If they're pointed forward, a cat is greeting those around him. It’s their way of saying “Hello.” This also means they are encouraging someone to reach out and greet them. This would be a good time to extend ones hand so the cat can sniff it. If the cat is happy and approves your greeting, they may try and rub their head on your hand or if they are REALLY happy they may head-butt you!

#7. Ears

curious catA cat is content and relaxed when their ears are facing forward, but tilted back just slightly. Sometimes cats ears may swivel to face where a sound is coming from. That shows that they are alert, but still relaxed because just their ear is moving, not their whole body. When a cat’s ears are flattened or lowered, this means they are feeling fearful or anxious. They are becoming a little wary of what’s going on around them. When one ear is flattened, but the other is not, they feel unsure of what’s around them. They aren’t sure how to react quite yet. there may be too many sounds and movements happening around them to understand how to react.

#8. Interest in Environment

Cats engage with their surroundings when feel comfortable. Some cats may be more assertive with they way they explore, pawing at everything they come across. They get up close and personal and have no fear. Others may be more timid. They appear calm and watch their surroundings from a distance. They are still “exploring” just with their eyes, rather than their paws.

Sources:

http://cats.about.com/od/amyshojai/a/How-to-Know-Your-Kitty-is-Happy.htm
http://www.messybeast.com/cat_talk2.htm

Photo Credit:

Cherie Priest

Schill

notemilly

Phototropy

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