As feline guardians, we are on the tools day-in and day-out to keep our cats happy and healthy. Despite this, many of us are plagued with a nagging sense that we should be doing more.
So: how do you know if you are keeping your kitty happy? Here are some undeniable signs that you’re ticking the boxes.
While narrowed eyes on a human are a cause for alarm, in the cat world this is a sign of feeling safe and loved. Your cat is telling you that your presence makes them feel safe enough to close their eyes and let go a little. Next time you see your cat looking at you with lowered eyelids, slowly blink back at them – chances are, kitty will return the signal. For more on this, check out Jackson Galaxy’s video on The Cat ‘I Love You’.
Head bumps and leg weaves
Yes, sometimes this is just a food-driven smash and grab, but when your cat is pushing the side of their furry little face against your legs, furniture and walls, they are confirming that spot is secure. A large part of cat happiness comes down to how safe they feel, including around you and around the house. If kitty is doing this regularly, the vibe in your home is officially ‘safe’.
Hanging out with you
The science is in, showing that cats want company. They prefer to have some control over how interactions go down, and a degree of personal space, but a happy and relaxed cat will not make a habit of hiding in the closet. Start taking notice of where your cat is when you are at home. Does he or she eventually turn up in the same room as you while you potter around?
The more obvious signs
Most of us are familiar with the usual: purring, chirping, kneading, playing and chatting with you in the hallway.
So there’s the benchmark you should be setting in consultation with your feline.
To really impress, consider introducing stretch targets, like a pot of catgrass on the window sill or a weekly spritz of catnip on a favourite toy.
In the next post we’ll tackle the even bigger question: what to do when your kitty is acting out with behavioural problems.