You’ve heard the stereotypes: dogs are loyal to their owners and cats All in all, you couldn’t care less about them.
But this is wrong. Studies have found cats form bonds with human caregivers similarly to dogs and even children. Our cats, in fact, love us.
The two pets certainly have different ways to show it, however. Dogs wag their tails and lick our faces to show that they are happy to see us. we also know They smile to greet us
So how do cats express happiness? This is what a specialist has to say.
Do cats smile?
Cats smile, but not the way humans do: While we flash a smile to show our happiness, cats smile with their teeth, says Marci Koski, a feline training and behavior consultant. cats smile for squinting, closing them partially or totally. Their pupils may also dilate while doing this.
Humans by nature are more expressive, we use the muscles of the face to express happiness, disgust, anger, enthusiasm and other emotions.
“Cats don’t have that range of facial expressionsKosky says. “They evolved in an area or areas that had relatively limited resources, so their territories were very large and close interactions between cats were quite limited.”
Instead, cats use exaggerated body movements or expressions to display similar emotions. This could be hissing, growling, putting the ears back or to the side, puffing up the body, or flicking the tail.
Smiling with their eyes is a more subtle expression, but it’s something they do with their humans and other cats alike. Two of Koski’s cats, which are mother and son, display this behavior: the son, Oliver, only comes to her mother for a snuggle when she seems relaxed, her eyes nearly closed.
“Other cats interpret those eye cues as an indicator of how the cat is feeling,” Koski says.
One thing they won’t do is share a gap-toothed smile. Cats only show their teeth when they’re feeling threatened, fearful, or trying to defend themselves, so be careful not to confuse that with happiness.
“They’ll only really show their teeth if they hiss or spit,” says Koski. “Her (little milk teeth) are super, super adorable, but if you see those teeth it’s not a good sign because you’ll also see the big canine teeth.”
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How to know if a cat is happy?
Cat eyes may be the most expressive, but there are facial cues to look for in your pet.
“They can move the muscles of the face, but the results are much more subtle than what we see in humans and dogs,” he says. “If you look closely at a stressed cat or a cat in pain, you might see that the frown or whiskers can be held in certain positions.”
You can also tell if a cat is happy by its body language. If they’re lying on their side with their tummy exposed, they’re happy. His tail will be loose around his body; a tightly wrapped tail indicates stress. They may also be doing what is called a “request purr” or a sound that provokes their humans to give them food or love.
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How to make your cat happy
The best way to make your cat happy is to play with him, says Koski. As a pet owner, you should also try to see the world from his cat’s point of view: one as predator and prey.
Koski recommends two 10-15 minute play sessions per day, using a toy wand so that your cat becomes the predator while the toy is the prey.
“It makes them so happy because it gives them a chance to express those natural instincts and it helps reduce stress, reduces boredom, and it’s a great opportunity to bond with your cat,” says Koski.
Your cat is also likely to be happier if her playtime matches her natural instincts to hunt at dusk and dawn. Try to establish a morning and night routine.
“Follow that game session with a small snack or meal because that will start the sequence of hunt, eat, groom and sleep,” says Koski.
We all want to shower our pets with love and affection, but sometimes cats are happiest when they’re alone. To accommodate this, make sure they have plenty of hiding spaces where they can watch from afar. Koski calls these “no touch, conspicuous zones” and they can be especially important if you have small children or dogs in the house who may not respect your feline friend’s personal space.
Koski says owners shouldn’t hesitate to seek help from a veterinarian or behavior specialist if they have concerns about their cat’s behavior.
“If you have little red flags popping up in your head, don’t ignore them,” says Koski.
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