How To Read Your Cat’s Emotions

Cats make wonderful pets. They are laid back, low-maintenance, cute, and playful. But unlike dogs, they aren’t always easy to “read.” Aside from meows and purrs, there can be little to go off of to determine your cat’s mood. Being unable to verbally communicate with our pets can be frustrating. This is especially true if we get a sense they are sad or in need of something, but we don’t know what or why.

Cats can also be hot and cold. They love you but aren’t necessarily as affectionate as you may like.


The good news is that there are ways to interpret and understand what your cat is feeling — without being a psychic. Each cat is special and unique. But there are a handful of tell-tale signs to look for that offer insight into what emotions your cat is experiencing. Better understanding these signs allows you to understand and interact with your furry friend more effectively, making you both happier and healthier in the long run!


Being active and playful is one of the top signs of a happy kitten. Of course, the older a cat gets, the more likely it is for its rowdiness to subside. But rest assured that this does not mean his happiness levels are depleting, even his energy is. Bear in mind that “playing” doesn’t mean your cat is bouncing off the walls. Simply paw-patting is a form of goofing around and signifies satisfaction.



Like humans, a cat’s sleeping patterns can tell you a lot about his or her mood. Taking age into consideration, not getting enough shut-eye may signal that something is bothering your feline, may it be physical or emotional. On the other hand, excessive sleeping can also be cause for concern. While cats are typically known as “lazy” pets, pay attention to your cat’s sleeping habits, and if there is a drastic change in them, talk to a vet.



If they are eating regularly, that’s a good sign your cat is happy, as a healthy appetite is indicative of a happy cat. However, a little too much indulging could be a sign that, like humans, they are coping with other emotions, like depression or stress. Similarly, if they are barely touching their food, give your vet a call.


Body Language

Rubbing up against you is a way for a cat to mark your territory and claim you as theirs, which is a good thing. Because they want to mark you as their own and show ownership, it means they are happy to be around you. Another indicator that they are content is kneading of their paws.


Also, pay attention to their tail. If it’s in an upright position when they are roaming the house, with a slight curve to it, it means they are happy as can be.

It can be frustrating and concerning if you think your cat is unhappy. However, by paying attention to its behaviors, patterns, and body language, you will be more likely to spot the signs that something is wrong and stop it in its track.