“How do I know if my cat is happy and likes me? asks Melissa (7 years)

First of all, how can you tell if a cat is happy? Cats can’t tell us how they’re feeling, but we can learn a lot by observing their behavior closely.

What does a cat like to do? Does he have a favorite chair to sit on? Or a favorite window to look out of? Maybe he likes to sit on your lap or play with toys?

The things cats do are probably what they enjoy doing. As long as they have the opportunity, they are probably happy. Giving a cat toys is a great way to keep her happy, especially if it’s a kitten.

For example, you can make a game for cats about their food – cats have a natural hunting instinct and like to chase after their food. The easiest way is to find an empty water bottle and poke holes in it. Then put in the croquettes and close the lid. When the cat rolls the bottle, the food falls out.

Depending on their personality, cats can show they are unhappy in two ways:

  • They may hide under a bed or in a closet, showing no interest in play or interactions. If they also stop eating and going to the toilet, it is often a sign that they are unhappy.
  • They may also pace and seek our attention by meowing constantly. These cats can follow you all the time and destroy furniture or other objects in the house.

Some cats can also urinate in the wrong place when they are unhappy.

If a cat shows any of these signs, it likely means something is bothering her. If he’s not eating or grooming himself, or if there are other signs that worry you, it might be a good idea to take him to the vet to see if there’s a problem.

How do you know if your cat likes you?

If a cat enjoys snuggling on your lap and purrs when petted, it most likely appreciates the person cuddling it. Cats choose to hang out with the people they truly love, just like we do with our friends. If a cat likes to be petted, it’s likely to stay still, close its eyes, and move its head or body to be petted in its favorite spots. It can be along the cheeks, under the chin, or between the ears and eyes.

If the cat doesn’t like any of this, don’t panic because you think she doesn’t like you! Some cats are friendlier than others, and a cat may not like being cuddled just like some people like cuddles and some don’t. A cat can appreciate a person’s presence even if it doesn’t want to approach them.

This review was written by Susan Hazel, Senior Lecturer, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide, Australia.
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