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How can I tell if my cat is happy or unhappy?

21 Mar 2021.


Cats don’t like change. Our furry friends are creatures of habit who prefer their day-to-day lives to stay pretty consistent. For the past year, without travel or even commuting, many people have spent much of the year at home. But in the next few months, we hope to be going back to the office and on holiday. This opening up might be a welcome change for humans, but it could disturb and disquiet our cats. Checking on Mr Whiskers’ mood and welfare is more important than ever, especially as stress can lead to kitty behaviour and health problems such as cystitis. So what mood changes should you look out for? Cat in a Flat find outs. 

How can I tell if my cat is happy?

Affection from your cat is a sign they are content
Affection from your cat shows they are content

Cat owners think they know their furry friend inside out, but what are the signs of a happy kitty? Cats communicate first and foremost through body language, so watch for these indications of mood. Look out for how they are interacting with you and their environment too. 

How can I tell if my cat is stressed?

Hiding is a sign of an unhappy cat

Cats are notoriously secretive about being unwell, stressed and unhappy. You know your cat better than anyone so looking out for any unusual behaviour should help you determine if there is anything awry.

How can I tell if my cat is unhappy?

A stiff posture, backwards ears and puffed up tail are signs of an angry or frightened cat
Angry and anxious cats have a stiff posture, backwards ears and puffed up tail

Along with body language indicators or signs of stress, several other behaviours show your cat is unhappy. Litter box problems can be typical of cats who aren’t feeling themselves. It’s a common problem: around 10-25% of cats will develop an elimination problem in their lifetime. 

Why does my cat poop in the litter box but pee on the floor?

Why does my cat pee in the litter tray but poop on the floor?

Remember, litter tray problems aren’t a sign if spite from your cat. Whatever you do, please don’t punish your kitty but try and sensitively figure out what might be causing it. If you have any concerns at all, please consult your vet.  

How can I help manage my cat’s stress levels?

Keep your cat happy with these tips
Keep your nervous cat happy

If you notice your return to the office is causing Mr Whiskers distress, try reading Cat in a Flat’s blog on separation anxiety for tips. One of the best things you do is hire a cat sitter to drop by and spend time with your kitty during the day. A few hours of loving human companionship should help alleviate the stress of you being out of the home more often. Extra human attention is especially important for kittens, older cats and those with health problems. 

If you’re planning a holiday when restrictions ease, make sure to plan your cat sitter early. There could be a high demand for sitters as everyone tries to go on vacation simultaneously. If your cat is nervous or needs extra care, consider booking an overnight sitter. Company through the evenings and nights should help calm anxious cats and soothe needier furry friends.

Remember to read Cat in a Flat’s ten tips for cat care when planning a trip here. And read up on our community’s list of the best UK staycation spots to explore and the best cat books to read when you get there. 

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