In many cases we believe that cats do not have a language as extensive as the one they really have. We must keep in mind that felines have a very rich body language, but it takes time to learn and understand it.
Moreover, every day new things are being discovered about feline psychology surprising the scientific circle. Can we know if a cat is not happy? This is an interesting and necessary question. The answer is that we can.
Thanks to feline behaviors (which are part of their way of expressing themselves) we can know if a cat is in a good state of mental health or if, on the contrary, it is not having a good time. The thing to keep in mind is that the things that make a cat unhappy are obviously going to differ from the human world.
Therefore, join us in this article where we will explain the symptoms that your cat may show to let you know that he is unhappy.
Why is it important to learn these signs?
A number of professionals in the field of feline psychology have indicated that it is essential to divide signals into body, sound and behavioral. This will allow us to better understand the differences between the three fields.
It is essential that you learn about body language, about sounds your feline emits and about his behaviors in order to understand him. Of course, we want to clarify that the fact that your cat is not happy is due to a misunderstanding between the human and the cat, but that does not mean that it is on purpose. It can all be improved with information and practice 🙂
1# Constant blinking or keeping the eyes closed.
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This is a body signal that your cat may be feeling uneasiness or even pain. Constant blinking is called blepharospasm.
The point is that it is a key indication that your cat may be feeling unwell due to both a physical and mental condition that can develop and get worse.
2# Ear and tail wagging
The same goes for the tail. It is another element of its body that transmits a lot of information. When a cat starts to wag its tail low and tail wagging, it is because something is making it feel sad, angry or nervous. It is a very characteristic movement because it is a somewhat unpredictable and strong tail movement.
Other body signals are bristling hair, hunched back, vibrating tail or also putting the front legs stretched out or under the body when going to sleep. This last signal indicates that he is going to rest without feeling safe.
3# Low sounds
This is a sound signal. The sounds that cats emit are another way of expressing what they feel. They have more than 100 sounds identified by professionals, although in practice they tend to use about a dozen of them.
If you hear your cat emitting low and sustained meows, it means that he is not comfortable (and feels discomfort). They are usually sounds that last a few seconds and that he repeats (gutturally) to attract attention and so he does not feel so tense.
The difference between grunts and yelps is that the former are low in volume while the latter tend to be loud. However, both denote anxiety, discomfort or pain, so if your feline usually makes them, we advise you to go to the veterinarian for a check-up.
This is a sound signal. It is more complicated to understand because we associate it with positive or pleasurable experiences. However, the purr can also be emitted to indicate discomfort or dissatisfaction. It is a way for them to deal with emotional wear and tear as a way of consolation.
Therefore, if you notice that your cat purrs when you approach him and he doesn’t seem to be leaning towards you “in your quest”, the purring is most likely a symptom that he doesn’t feel like it at that moment. It is a clear signal that says: I don’t want physical contact now. On the other hand, if you perceive that he purrs and comes closer by tilting his head towards you, then it is the pleasurable type of purring.
5# Behavioral signals as a sign of discomfort
Body signals and sound signals are usually emitted in a short period of time while behavioral signals are part of the feline in a more sustained way because they are generated by something that usually persists over time. In order to work on these behaviors it is necessary to investigate what is the cause that generates this behavior.
Behaviors that denote that your feline is not well in terms of mental health may be, for example, changes in interest in play. Your feline always loved to play and now seems to no longer enjoy it.
Another behavioral sign may be that he doesn’t want to have contact with you (he doesn’t want to interact), that he no longer cleans himself effectively, that he doesn’t eat as much, that he starts to isolate himself from everyone etc. In other words, you can see that his usual behavior is changing and he may be more restless, listless, apathetic, absent, etc.
These behavioral changes may be due in many cases to us, the humans, because we are doing things that stress them without realizing it, such as including a new pet in the family without having made an optimal introduction.
Did you know these signs that your cat is not happy? Leave us a comment so that we can read you 🙂