Cats don’t actually laugh like humans do. Cats have adapted to hide their emotions as a survival instinct, so when we think they’re laughing, we’re actually just interpreting their other expressions as laughter.
If you don’t own a cat, those reactions might seem completely nonsensical. After all, cats are very serious animals. They don’t express their emotions as strongly as dogs or humans, so it’s easy to believe that cats can’t laugh because they lack a sense of humor. However, your cat does have certain mood indicators and facial expressions that you can interpret.
Do Cats Have A Sense Of Humor?
Answering this question is quite challenging. Cats might possess a sense of humor, although it’s unlikely that they will find your preferred joke amusing. Nevertheless, cats can appear surprised and entertained when something moves unexpectedly or when a toy performs an unfamiliar action.
Certain cats may even appear as if they are laughing and attempt to recreate the amusing situation.
It’s difficult to determine if that response is a form of humor, which is challenging to interpret and assess, or curiosity, which cats possess. Most likely, when your cat interacts with something, they are intrigued to discover more about it, may not fully comprehend it, or it fulfills some of their natural instincts.
Why Don’t Cats Show Emotions?
We previously stated that cats don’t display emotions often because it could jeopardize their survival in the wild. This is a common behavior among many animals, but it doesn’t mean that the animal is incapable of feeling.
Cats have to behave consistently to catch their food and find a secure spot to rest. They also have to seem tough and self-assured, especially when they come across other cats and rival predators.
When a cat shows fear or anxiety, it’s basically signaling to other predators that it’s not strong. On the other hand, when a cat appears excited and curious, it’s indicating that it lacks experience to potential predators.
Every cat will show emotions occasionally. Some cats are more easily excited than others, which can indicate their level of trust in you and their surroundings. However, for the most part, cats tend to be calm and steady.
Cats in the wild stay calm to stay alive, and even though our pet cats don’t need to, they still have those instincts.
Ways to Tell That Your Cat Is Happy
Certainly, that’s not very useful for people who have cats as pets. If you own a cat, you would like to understand their thoughts and emotions in order to provide them with a suitable environment. Luckily, cats do exhibit certain subtle signals that can indicate their emotions.
Here are a few signs that your cat is happy, or at least satisfied, with the current situation.
Your Cat Is Very Vocal
Cats meow to get your attention. They don’t meow at each other, unless they learn to do so after meowing at humans.
When cats communicate with each other in the wild, humans cannot hear it. Meowing is a way for kittens to communicate until they can make sounds that humans cannot hear.
Because humans cannot hear those sounds, cats learn that meowing is a better way to communicate. Therefore, when your cat meows, it means they are trying to convey a message to you. A cat that meows frequently is a cat that believes this form of communication is successful in getting them what they desire.
Typically, it indicates that your cat is quite content.
Certainly, cats may also meow to express their displeasure or to communicate their unhappiness with you. Typically, these types of meows have a lower pitch compared to the meows used for happy communication. A meow with a high pitch indicates a cat’s contentment.
Cats purr for two main reasons. If your cat is not feeling well or is injured, they may purr to seek your attention and care. In the wild, they use purring to ask for attention from other cats they trust and to provide comfort to trusted cats.
However, in most cases, your cat purrs because they are feeling joyful and satisfied and want to spread that emotion. Purring serves as a way for a content cat to make other cats (and humans) in their vicinity feel happier.
When cats slow blink, people often think they’re tired. This is because when a person slow blinks, it usually means they’re tired. However, cats may slow blink not only when they’re tired but also when they’re feeling relaxed.
When two cats exchange slow blinks, it means they trust and feel confident around each other. The cat blinking is showing the other cat that it is at ease and not being aggressive.
When your cat gives you a slow blink, it means they trust you, feel at ease with you, and are unlikely to act strangely at that moment.
One more thing to observe in your cat’s eyes is if they appear ‘bright’ or have a slight shine. This is not only an indication of their well-being, but just like human eyes can reveal a lot about a person, a cat’s eyes can also provide valuable insights about them. Shiny eyes usually indicate that the cat is content, in good health, and relaxed.
Your cat’s ears can reveal a lot about their emotions, just like a smile can show if your friend is happy. If your cat’s ears are forward and relaxed, it means they are feeling similar emotions.
A content and confident cat is one that is relaxed and forward. On the other hand, a cat that has their head pressed back is usually feeling intent, angry, or scared. Alternatively, if your cat moves their ears all the way forward in an active or tense manner, it’s likely that they are trying to hear something more clearly, such as a mouse. This behavior indicates that they are paying close attention.
If you have a chat with your cat and their ears are facing forward and relaxed, or forward and attentive, it means that your cat is feeling calm and content. Even if their ears are alert, it simply means that your cat is interested in what you’re saying and is paying careful attention.
Just like humans, a cat’s tail position can reveal a lot about their emotions. Because cats can’t show their feelings as easily with their faces like we can, their tail plays a big role in expressing themselves.
When a cat’s tail is upright and not puffed up, or when it is straight with a slight curve at the end, it usually indicates that the cat is very happy. Although certain longhair cat breeds may not hold their tails straight up, they will still have their tails resting fairly straight out from their back, which conveys a similar meaning.
When your cat is calm and not very active, it assumes a relaxed and content position.
If your cat has a tail that is both curvy and tall, it could be a sign that they are feeling happy and energetic. A curvy tail often indicates that your cat is in a playful mood and has plenty of energy to spare.
However, it’s important to pay attention if your cat’s fur is puffed up or if their tail is tucked under their back legs or around their stomach. These behaviors indicate that your cat is feeling agitated or scared and is trying to defend themselves.
Some people refer to it as kneading, while others say their cat is joyfully making biscuits. No matter what you call it, kneading paws generally indicate a positive sign.
Sometimes adult cats exhibit this behavior, which is commonly seen in kittens. It indicates that your cat is feeling calm and at ease, as long as they are not displaying any other signs of discomfort.
The primary explanation for kneading is that it is a remnant from nursing when the paw movement on your cat’s mother’s belly stimulated milk production. If your cat is engaging in kneading on you, a nearby blanket, or any soft object, they are content and at ease. The act of kneading reminds them of their joyful days as a kitten.
Pranks and Playing
If a cat feels comfortable enough to play with a toy in your presence, it means that the cat has a high level of trust in you. This is because playing is a behavior that showcases a cat’s vulnerability and expressiveness. When cats engage in play, it indicates that they feel secure and safe.
A really joyful cat might bring you toys or request you to play as well. If you engage in playtime with your cat, you’re showing them that you’re content and at ease in their presence.
Certainly, not all cat play brings joy and amusement to their owners. It can be quite bothersome rather than charming when your cat deliberately knocks a glass off the table or a beloved decoration off the shelf.
The truth is, your cat doesn’t destroy things without a reason. Your cat is attempting to interact with you and seek attention. They may not necessarily want affectionate attention, but knocking things over, especially while making eye contact, is somewhat similar to playing a prank on you.
Cats don’t anticipate you to be joyful, but they desire to elicit a response and understand that this is a method to achieve it.
When cats playfully pounce or chase after objects, it indicates their joy, inquisitiveness, and trust in you. It’s similar to how you wouldn’t play a prank on someone you’re not familiar with or fond of, right?