‘Is the heating going to be on?’ Belle asked me as we were on our way home yesterday evening.
‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I put it on earlier for the cats. In case they got cold.’
She looked at me.
‘The cats who spend the whole night outside and are covered in fur?’ she asked, eyebrows raised.
‘Yes,’ I said, feeling a bit silly, ‘I didn’t want them to be sad.’
AND THERE WE ARE.
Welcome to my new life, in which I spend an unreasonable amount of time every day worrying about whether or not my cats are happy. Because how exactly do you know if a cat is happy? What if they are bored? What if they get lonely and miss me but don’t know how to tell me? What if they wish I’d leave the radio on, or would like a different blanket?
Every time I leave the house I wonder if they’ll be sad, not knowing when I’m coming back, (I do tell them but I never see them write it down), or if when I DO come back they will have forgotten me. It can be hard with cats because they often don’t give a lot away. A dog will make it very clear how happy he is, but cats play it much cooler. Someone on Twitter said to me recently that cats can actually understand and speak English, they just CHOOSE not to. I feel like this could be true.
I know I’m doing all the basics – they’re microchipped, vaccinated, treated for fleas and worms regularly and have a balanced diet, (WHISKAS® ‘creamy soups’ are their favourites, and I find it adorable that they are called ‘creamy soups’), but how about their emotional wellbeing? Are my cats happy?
When you look at it rationally, they do seem pretty content.
They mainly lie around on top of me on the bed like this:
I love the way they all bundle together with their paws casually draped around each other. Camille, who is the tortoiseshell, is particularly fond of resting her head on Endeavour and sometimes when he is asleep I’ll watch her sidle up to him and just very gently put her head on his tummy, hoping that he won’t notice.
When I come home, they seem pleased to see me, and follow me around in a gang. If I go upstairs they will all run up after me, and when I go down again, there they are under my feet.
They gather themselves and stare at me:
They nudge my hands with their head and purr at me, and they have an uncanny knack of knowing just as I am waking up and jumping on the bed and into my face. If they come in through the cat flap and I am upstairs I will hear them call out, as if asking where I am.
‘I’m up here!’ I’ll call back, and they will run up to see me.
If they’re in the right mood, they will fling themselves over onto their backs as I pass, offering up their tummies.
Generally, as far as the ‘is my cat happy?’ question goes, the signs seem positive.
For extra reassurance I checked out WHISKAS® K.I.T, The Kat Institute of Technology. WHISKAS® K.I.T a brand new YouTube channel full of short, fun videos about different aspects of cat health and wellbeing. Want to know why your cat purrs? Interested in getting their meows translated? Unsure of what makes a healthy cat diet? WHISKAS® K.I.T has the answers.
Here’s the video I watched that asks ‘how do I know if my cat is happy?’
Watching the video did reassure me. My cats do all of the things that WHISKAS® says are signs of cat happiness, plus they’ve yet to leave me a note complaining when I forget to put the heating on.
(Because you just know they could if they wanted to.)
Do you worry about your pets being happy or am I just being a crazy cat lady?? Please leave a comment and reassure me!
This post is a collaboration with Whiskas, but all thoughts are my own. Check out their website and their KIT hub for more information on cat happiness and their Youtube video for fantastic KIT videos.