Do Our Cats Really feel Happiness? How Do They Present It?

Analysis exhibits that cats have techniques 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 categorical 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 satisfying.

Indicators of Happiness in Cats

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


A standard signal of happiness and contentment is purring. Though there are some circumstances the place cats can purr out of concern or as a consequence of an harm, cats largely purr as a result of they really feel content material. So, in the event 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 pleased.

white cat purring
Picture Credit score: AleksDaria, Shutterstock

Gradual Blinking

Comfortable cats can even 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 pleased and can also be letting you understand that it likes you.


Some vocal cats can also have interaction in “conversations” with their homeowners after they really feel pleased. In case your cat is meowing and you, it’s signal that it desires to interact with you. Some cats appear to get pleasure from it when their homeowners speak 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 entrance paws. This habits is sometimes called “making biscuits” as a result of the motion appears to be like like a cat is kneading dough. It’s unclear as to precisely why cats begin to knead after they really feel pleased. Some specialists consider it’s as a result of the motion is linked to how kittens will knead on their mom.

bengal kneading blanket
Picture Credit score: Ok Lim, Shutterstock


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 can even point out affection.

Simply do not forget that your cat could begin to trouble you and need to play out of boredom. So, make it possible for it’s getting loads of train and stimulation all through the day. When you’ve got these bases coated and your cat nonetheless desires to play with you, it may be as a result of it likes you and simply desires 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 pleased and excited and would typically meow again if I mentioned 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 normally be lounging close by, however he didn’t favor getting pets. I knew he was particularly pleased every time he made an look and began kneading on a rug or blanket.

I’ve additionally gotten a couple of sluggish blinks, however they’re rarer behaviors that I see in my cats. Generally, I’ll blink at them slowly once 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
Picture Credit score: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

How To Promote Happiness in Cats

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

Set up a Constant Routine

As creatures of behavior, cats thrive off routines. Understanding what to anticipate might help them really feel protected, and lots of will favor and admire predictability.

Whilst you don’t need to have a routine with strict time blocks, you can begin partaking in actions in the identical sequence. For instance, my morning routine roughly appears to be like the identical, even when I’ll get up at various occasions. 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 acquired used to this routine, I may see her anticipating each exercise. She’ll be ready by her meals station whereas I’m making breakfast, and he or she’ll additionally take 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 every time I’m working. She is aware of that I’ll finally take a lunch break and play a little bit extra along with her earlier than going again to work.

Create Vertical Areas

Cats love cozy hiding spots and climbing as much as protected areas the place they will perch and observe. Many cats will get pleasure from having a tall cat tree they will climb. Nevertheless, you don’t have to put in a number of cat timber 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
Picture Credit score: vershinin89, Freepik

Present Enjoyable Playtime

Totally 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 popular taking part in alone and was completely content material taking part in with a deal with meting out toy by himself. One other cat cherished taking part in with cat wands and was happiest when she was chasing feathers hooked up to a string.


Many cats are food-motivated and may’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 too add a little bit extra happiness right into a cat’s life with catnip and catnip toys. The odor of catnip can set off the “pleased” receptors in a cat’s mind. Nevertheless, 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 very totally different plant that additionally occurs to have related results as catnip. Cats that don’t react to catnip could react to silver vine as an alternative.


Cats can categorical happiness in varied methods. Studying about cat habits and being observant might help 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 grasp how your cat exhibits happiness and affection. Nevertheless, when you do, it’ll solely strengthen your bond and enhance the appreciation you’ve gotten for one another.

Featured Picture Credit score: Boyloso, Shutterstock

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