Cat behavior

cats behavior showing conflict
cat behaviour showing unhappy cat behavior
Cat behavior showing happy cat behaviors

While it might not be possible to have a conversation with your cat about how it’s feeling, there are many ways to identify whether your cat is happy and relaxed or distressed and upset.

Being able to pick up on these signals will increase your cat’s feeling of security and will increase its show of love and affection to you and your entire household.

Why do cats show different cat behaviors?

Cats are at their most loving and well behaved when they feel in control of their environment.

When they feel this control they will carefully mark their home using facial marking via the release of pheromones. This release happens each time a cat rubs its face against furniture or nuzzles up against your legs.

When you see your cat displaying this cat behaviour, you can be sure that it’s feeling great.

People can unwittingly disrupt these important marks of security by moving furniture or bringing in new furniture , excessively cleaning, or doing building work and DIY work

When this happens our cats become disorientated and take on stress, which can lead to misbehaviour.

Other factors that affect cats are access to food, heat, water, litter trays, attention and competition in the household with other cats (read the Cat Conflict  section for more on these issues), as well as visitors to the household. 

If your cat has been taken out of its environment for a period (i.e. to the vets or   cattery ) then this will reduce the presence of facial marking in the home, which can make settling back in more difficult.

In addition, if you have other cats, the cat coming back home will have a picked up unfamiliar scents while away. These smells may provoke anxietyA physiological and behavioural response to the anticipation of danger, be that real or perceived. in your other cats. See taking your cat back home after a visit to the vet  for more advice in this case.

Perhaps the biggest cause of stress for the cat can be in moving home   where nearly all facial marking has been removed. This represents a major change within the cat’s environment which can cause some issues. See more information on how to move home with a cat .

This is why using a Feliway diffuser or spray is such a help during times of change, as it maintains the pheromone which cats identify with feeling happiness and security.

Using Feliway in the areas your cat frequents will help them to adjust more easily to any changes going on.

Signs of an unhappy cat

Signs of a happy cat

Unlike dogs, who give obvious behavioural signs to their owner when they need something, cats are far more discrete and complex in showing that they are in distress.

Knowing the common warning signs when your cat is feeling stressed is essential in identifying their emotional well-being and making the changes necessary to improve their feeling of security and contentment.

7 Signs to look out for include:

When your cat is feeling secure, loved, and comfortable in its environment they will give off many signals which indicate positive body language.

Some of these signals include:

  • A tail straight up in the air, with a relaxed flick of the top of the tail
  • Lots of affection, including rubbing against your legs or cuddling in your lap
  • A high pitched, “meow!” while chatting with you
  • Lying on its back with four paws stretched out
  • Being curious and playful like a kitten
  • A healthy appetite
  • For more on  Happy cat signs .

Using Feliway will help to keep your cat feeling secure and at ease at all times, making for a very happy, playful, and affectionate cat!

Further advice on keeping your cat happy

For further information on cat behavior see the International Cat Care Cat Behaviour section .

Keeping your cat happy is easy to do if you know how to identify the warning signs and use a Feliway spray or diffuser around the house.

To keep your cat feeling its most loved, secure, and affectionate, take a look at our  Happy Home  section for additional tips and advice.