People ask, is my cat happy? I have the video below that I think will answer the question. Although cats have not yet mastered the English language because there is no profit in it, they are still capable of clearly communicating their mood.
Our cat Riley is featured in the one minute video below. She is a big girl weighing in at about 26 pounds. She is about 12 years old. Riley was not always a happy cat. She had a rough start in life and was part of a feral stray litter. We read a lot of cat behavior books and applied the principles, but she remained antisocial for years. It took a long time to gain her trust.
As the years went by she realized she was surrounded by people and other animals that respected her and cared for her. When she wanted to be alone and have some privacy we accommodated her. When she wanted the best seat in the house I sat somewhere else.
As time passed she realized it was more fun to hang out with the family then it was hide under the bed. Of course positive reinforcement in the form of her favorite cat treats and petting her until you could tell she had enough by swishing her tail all helped.
Is my cat happy and how do I know that she is? When it comes to feline behavior the strongest form of communication is the cat's body language. In the video below Riley is in her happy cat position which is on her back with her paws up in the air and the feet portion folded at the wrist joint.
This lets the air flow across her belly which she enjoys. To a cat exposing the belly area is a very vulnerable position to be in. Although it's enjoyable it can only be performed when all is safe and secure. This means the cat needs to be surrounded by people that can be trusted. And when it comes to a feline giving trust it is earned not given. It took many years before we ever seen Riley's stomach.
I hope the video leaves no doubt in your mind that Riley is a happy cat. When a cat is lying on their back with the landing gear in the upright position chances are the cat is happy. We would love this video to go viral. It's off to a good start with nearly 6 thousand views. Please give it a favorite "gold star" or share it with friends.
By the way what a wonderful stomach she has. White and gray fur with dark leopard spots only across the middle is very special. But who doesn't think their pet is special? Another way I can tell if my cat is happy is when she stretches. This is another very enjoyable activity for felines.
You can see in the happy cat video above, when I first approached her she stayed in her relaxed position. When I spoke to her she first stretched out her front legs and chest.
When I spoke to her again
she began to stretch her rear legs and hind quarter area. Then just to
make sure there was no doubt that she was a happy cat she gave me sweet
eyes. Hopefully you know what sweet eyes are because it's a little hard
to explain. It's when the cat looks directly at you
but the eyes are not completely opened. This is accompanied by a slow
closing and then half way reopening of the eyes in an unmistakable
gesture of goodwill and love.
We hope you will visit our cat behavior section where body language is
discussed in more detail.
If you would like to get involved and post pictures and stories about your cat and the crazy things he or she might do we encourage you to join in. This next link takes you to our online cat community pages where you can submit a story about your pets.