How to Tell if Your Cat is Happy

Our pet cats do so much for us. They give us companionship, teach us what it means to care for an animal, and are always there to lend a listening ear as we vent about our day.

So it is only fair that we ensure they are happy in our home. It is a small price to pay for all the genuine love and comfort they provide us.

Here is how to tell if your cat is happy.


A sign of playfulness suggests your cat is in a happy state. Playing is also great exercise for your cat and contributes an overall positive wellbeing. 

Cats who are not feeling well emotionally will not be playful. They will have low energy and hide or sleep more than usual. If this is the case, you might want to consult with your vet or take steps to bring your cat’s mood back up.

Give Your Cat Toys

Toys are a good way to keep your cat amused and mentally engaged. Cats especially like toys that they can chase and catch like teaser wands or toys that are stuffed or sprayed with catnipThey are natural hunters, after all.

Another popular toy cats enjoy is the laser pointer. Simply point the laser pointer either at a blank wall or the floor and move it around. Then, watch your cat energetically chase and pounce on the small red dot in an attempt to catch it. However, some vets believe laser pointers might be psychologically taxing on cats since they are not able to catch the red dot. So be sure to give your cat a reward of some sort afterwards, like a physical toy to play with, so that they can feel satisfied with their accomplishment.

Good Appetite

A cat’s appetite is another way to tell if they are happy. A cat that is eating well and has a healthy appetite is a happy cat. A happy cat will also hydrate regularly, so make sure to always have some fresh water in his or her bowl. 

Some healthy foods that cats love are chicken and fish, especially salmon. Salmon is high in omega-3, which gives your cat healthy skin and a shiny coat. Spinach, chicken broth and blueberries are also great foods that cats love. And don’t forget to give your cat a treat every now and then! Treating them with goodies is a good way to keep their mood elevated, as well.

When cats are not feeling well emotionally, they might avoid food since it will not be as appealing to them. 

very funny cat with smile on cardboard

Kneading & Purring

Kneading and purring are two ways cats would nurse on their mothers as kittens. Kneading is a way to stimulate the milk flow from their mom and it develops into a habit that shows if a cat is comfortable with their surroundings or happy

Purring is a sound cats make when they’re feeling safe and happy. Your cat might rub up against you and purr to show their affection towards you. They will also do this as a way to leave their scent on you and mark you as non-threatening to their environment. However, purring is not always a sign of happiness. Some cats purr when they’re stressed or hurt, as the vibrations stimulate healing!

Healthy Appearance

A cat’s tail can also tell you a lot about their mood and or wellbeing. A cat whose tail is pointing straight up with a hooked end, resembling the letter ‘s’ or a question mark, indicates a confident cat. This means he or she is in a good mood and might want to interact with you. It’s also a cat’s way of greeting a friend!

Grooming is a high priority and a way to tell if your cat is happy. They will clean themselves often throughout the day by licking their coat. Sometimes a cat may even groom other cats or attempt to groom you. If a cat does attempt to groom you, take it as a sign of friendship! This means they trust you and consider you a part of their tribe. How sweet!

On the other hand, if you do notice your cat is not cleaning his or her self then something might be wrong. A dry, brittle and patchy coat could be the result of a cat that has been tearing out his or her fur due to stress.

If this is true for your cat, please do not hesitate to reach out. We at Acoma Animal Clinic in Tucson are committed to helping your feline friend stay healthy and happy!

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