Signs that a cat is not happy

Signs that a cat is not happy

There is no doubt that the communicative code of felines is much richer than most people think. In fact, the more we know about the psychology of cats, the more they surprise us. In this post we are going to outline what are the signs that a cat is not happy.

It may be due to a physical problem, lack of stimulation, or incipient depression. Be that as it may, there are several studies that have identified these signs of discomfort and unhappiness in our friends. Knowing them will help you avoid them or identify them to take the appropriate measures in time. Can you come with us?

You may also be interested in: How many cats can you have at home?

Indicative signs of cat unhappiness

Among all the investigations that delve into this matter, we are going to look at the one involving 19 British experts. All of them coincide in classifying the signs that reveal the discomfort of cats in body, sound and behavioral signals. That is, you must pay attention to the body language, sounds and behavior of your pet.

Body signals

The placement of the head, ears or tail is a source of information about the mood of a cat. It is not by chance that he leans his head forward when he wants to be petted or that he flattens or tucks his ears back because he feels scared or angry .

Blepharospasm (constant and involuntary blinking) or the preference to keep the eyes closed for a good part of the day is synonymous with restlessness or pain in the cat. In both cases it can be a disease, physical or mental, that progresses and causes pain to the animal.

Holding the tail low or moving it violently horizontally is indicative of sadness and nervousness respectively. You have detected a threat and you don’t know how to kill it. The hunched back with the bristly hair, the vibrating of the tail or sleeping with the front legs stretched, below the body, implies that you do not feel safe and relaxed.

Sound signals

As we already developed in another post (Cat sounds and their meaning), the meow is not the only sound resource used by kittens. In fact, there are more than 100 those identified by the experts, although under normal conditions they only use a dozen.

Meowing and, in general, low and sustained sounds reveal discomfort. Grunts and howls are usually characterized, precisely, by being guttural sounds lasting a few seconds that the cat repeats persistently to get our attention , and to release its tension.

Grunts are low in volume while whines or howls are loud, but in both cases your pet is expressing anxiety, stress, or pain. If it is a fact that does not remit in time, you should not delay the visit to the vet to explore it and find the cause of its anguish.

The purr

This rhythmic and low intensity vibration that cats, also wild ones, emit with their mouths closed is not always linked to pleasant or pleasant situations. There are several studies that have confirmed the presence of purr in the moments of agony of cats, preceding their death.

It is a mechanism that they use to seek comfort or repair the emotional drain they are experiencing. In this sense, if you perceive that your cat begins to purr when it sees you approach, it is telling you that it is not receptive and that it does not want physical contact.

Behavioral cues

Behavior changes belong to this section. In this way, we can affirm that both body and sound signals, which often manifest together, are punctual. Behavioral signals take place in a sustained period of time, while the cause that generates them persists.

Thus, you will notice that for a while now, he has stopped showing interest in the game, that he refuses to move, that he tends to hide, that he does not want to interact with you , that he has stopped preening and / or eating or that he presents sudden changes in mood. They may suddenly become restless, irritable, or quite the opposite, listless and absent.

Ethologists generally point to lack of companionship, poor cognitive stimulation, or changes in their environment as the main triggers for these behavioral disorders. For example, perhaps you have spent more time away from home or have taken another pet into the house making them feel lonely or displaced.

Trust the professionals

We will not tire of insisting on the need to observe the behavior of your kitten in their day to day to detect these anomalies. Consulting with your veterinarian as soon as possible will be the fastest and most effective way to find the problem and solve it.

It may be something specific that goes unnoticed, but if it persists, acting without delay will be more than necessary to prevent greater evils. After all, no one knows your cat’s tastes and oddities better than you and can satisfy their mental and emotional needs, don’t you think?


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