We all want our cats to be healthy, happy and enjoy everything in their kitty world - but how do we know that we've got it right? What are the signs of a calm, content kitty?
Firstly, we need to make sure that they have all the resources we know they need in their everyday lives. From comfy beds, to high perches, from hiding places to scratching posts and from food bowls to litter trays - these are some of the basic essentials you'll need for a happy cat.
Try to feed your cat around according to the instructions on the food, and in line with healthy diet guidelines for your cat's breed, age and activity levels. Doing so should keep your cat at a normal healthy weight and will help to avoid obesity, which can sometimes lead to other health issues.
If you have just welcomed a new kitten to your home, you can learn more about your new bundle of fur as they grow and develop; getting to know their individual traits, habits and body language is all part of the joy of having a kitten.
But remember cats can have different characters, just like humans, and they can change as they grow older.
Signs of a Happy Cat!
Your cat grooms regularly!
A cat with a nicely groomed coat and healthy appearance is a sign that your cat is feeling good! But keep an eye out to ensure they are not overgrooming as this could be a sign that there is some underlying issue causing your kitty stress.
Your cat is vocal!
When cats are happy, they can be vocal and you might almost think they are having a conversation with you! A high pitched meow normally means they are content, or want something such as food! But be aware, a low-pitched meow may mean the opposite!
Your cat purrrrrrrs!
In most cases, this is a sign that cats are relaxed and calm and they might also purr when you are stroking them - which means that they are very happy and feeling sociable. However, it can sometimes mean that they are feeling nervous or are in pain and trying to comfort themselves, so keep their other body language signs in mind to ensure they are happy!
They look relaxed when sleeping
If your kitty is relaxed and calm, they will sleep with their paws tucked under, or even on their side or back. If they curl up into a ball on your lap this is a sign that they are in a good mood and feeling happy!
Your cat is friendly!
A happy kitty will come to greet people and other animals that they perceive as friends. Their tail will be upright, with the tip a little crooked. However, this generally does not mean that they want to be picked up. Let them greet people on their own terms and don't force them into interactions they aren't comfortable with.
They like playtime!
Kittens particularly like playing with toys and this, of course, is a sign that they are happy. Don't be concerned if they don't want to play as much when they get older - their priorities might change and they might prefer to go outside into the garden to watch other cats and creatures!
Your cat likes to rub
Rubbing themselves against furniture - or even people's legs - is a sign that your cat is relaxed. It also means that they are marking their territory, which they particularly like to do!
Your cat kneads
Another sign that your cat is content! But be aware that their claws can be sharp so you may want to protect your lap and use something soft between you and their claws! However, cats might knead for other reasons; it might be something they do to comfort themselves when they feel stressed so look out for other signs that reveal how your kitty is feeling.
They like exploring!
A nosy cat is a happy cat! If they are exploring around the house and not hiding away, this normally means they are relaxed and happy with their environment. But if they run away and hide as soon as someone enters the room, they may be anxious or nervous.
They have a good appetite!
If your cat has a normal healthy appetite and eats the balanced food that you give them, they should be content. However, if they lose their appetite and leave their food for a few days, you may want to check with your vet for any underlying causes. If you're considering changing your kitty's food, make sure you make any changes very slowly otherwise they're likely to turn their nose up!
Their toilet habits are normal
Once trained, your cat will use the litter trays you provide on a regular basis (as long as they are regularly cleaned and maintained, and in a suitable location). But if they are nervous or feel unwell, they may well toilet outside the tray, in which case you need to investigate the reasons further with a vet.
Their body language is relaxed
Is your cat's body relaxed with eyes that are almond shape (not rounded)? Then they are a happy cat! But if they seem tense with whiskers flattened backwards - this means they are not happy!
Your cat is happy to be stroked
If your cat is calm and content, they will probably like to be stroked, but only in their favourite places! Most cats like to be stroked around the base of their ears, around their cheeks and under the chin. However, they're not keen on having their tummy, tail or their back stroked. Don't be fooled by your kitty laying on their back with paws in the air - that's generally not an invitation to stroke their stomach, just a sign they're a relaxed cat!
If your cat is showing signs of anxiety or stress, consider using a FELIWAY Optimum Diffuser for constant calming and comfort in your home so you can be happy together.
Take our quiz: How Happy Is Your Cat? to see if you've got the coolest kitty on the block or whether your cat is showing some signs of stress. We'll email you with personalised advice to help you keep your cat even happier.