How to Tell if Your Cat is Happy With her Food

By Pam Johnson-Bennett

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Pam Johnson-Bennett is a certified cat behavior consultant, best-selling author of 10 books and host of Animal Planet UK's Psycho Kitty. With the release of her latest book, CatWise, she is currently on the national CatWise Cat Cafe Tour presented by Wellness.

Are you unsure whether your cat likes her food? Maybe you can’t figure out what her body language is saying as you prepare and serve the meal? Here are some signs that indicate your cat is giving her seal of approval. Keep in mind that your cat may not do all the following behaviors, especially if she is not as mobile, has a medical condition or impairment. Every cat is an individual but the following list sums up the typical behaviors cats show when they’re happy and content with their food.

  • Your cat instantly appears when you’re preparing food. No matter where she is in the house, she suddenly shows up when you open the can, pouch or bag of food.
  • As you prepare food, your cat weaves around your legs, reaches up and stretches against you or even jumps on the kitchen counter in anxious anticipation.
  • Your cat purrs or meows as food is being prepared.
  • She does a “happy” walk to the bowl with an upright tail. There’s no slinking body posture or hesitation.
  • She may chirp or let out a happy “mew” as she heads to the bowl.
  • The cat’s ears are forward or relaxed but not pinned back or in “airplane wing” position.
  • There is no hesitation to eat. She may sniff for a second or two and then indulge in her meal.
  • There is no walking away or head-turning after sniffing the food.
  • She doesn’t cry or issue a complaining meow.
  • The cat will have a relaxed body posture while eating.
  • The cat’s tail is not thrashing or thumping the ground.
  • There is no growling while eating.
  • If you’ve fed the appropriate amount, the bowl will be left clean.
  • The cat who likes her meal will not eat around certain ingredients.
  • The cat is obviously thriving.

 


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