Although not all cats will come running to greet you as you walk through the door, your cat will show excitement and anticipation in their own way.
Your cat will show their excitement through their body language in different ways depending on the situation but there are some general things to look out for to tell if your cat is excited.
The best times to look out for signs of excitement are just before mealtimes, when your cat approaches you for a fuss, or when you go to the cupboard where your cat's toys or treats are kept. Your cat might also show signs of excitement when they’re exploring outside, hunting, or playing with their toys.
Take a look at our video on understanding cat body language.
General behaviour of an excited cat
- Your cat is likely to appear quite ‘alert’, aware of, and responsive to their surroundings.
- Your cat is likely to appear quite focused on the thing they want or are waiting for (i.e. the food or toy).
Body Language of an excited cat
Your cat’s posture is likely to be upright and pointing towards the thing they are interested in, but there should be no obvious tension or hunching. The exception to this is when your cat is hunting, playing or preparing to jump.
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Facial expressions of an excited cat
- Your cat’s eyes may be more rounded than almond shaped, with relatively large or dilated pupils to reflect their heightened level of alertness or interest. In bright light this may not happen.
- Your excited cat’s ears will be pointing upwards and facing forwards, although they may still move in response to sounds/movements.
How can you tell if your cat wants something from you?
- Your cat may be very focused on you, behaving in a way that is aimed to get (and sustain) your attention.
- Their tail may wave gently and rhythmically from side to side, but it should not be ‘swishing’/’thrashing’ or ‘thumping’.
- Your cat’s tail may be held completely vertically – it may even look slightly ‘puffed up’ or appear to quiver a little at the base.
- Your cat may produce a louder, frequent, more urgent and less pleasant-sounding meow. Their purr might also be higher pitched, more urgent, and less pleasant-sounding.
- Your cat may rub against you (possibly in quite a ‘frantic’ or exaggerated way).
- Your cat may follow you around and weave in and around your legs while being very responsive to your movements.
- Your cat may climb up or jump onto you or raise up their front legs to place their paws on you.
How can I make sure my cat is happy and excited?
Similar to humans, you can keep your cat happy by ensuring that their basic needs are met, ensuring they have the opportunity to engage with humans and different fun things like toys and activities on their own terms. A healthy cat is a happy cat, so it’s important to cater to their emotional needs as well as helping them keep physically fit and healthy.