do cats smile

Do Cats Smile? Understanding Cat Language

do cats smile

Have you ever asked yourself “do cats smile” after catching a glimpse of your furry friend staring at you? We sure have! Understanding cat language is simple to learn but takes time and observation. If you’d like to know the answer to the question of “do cats smile,” make sure you stick around!

Cats do smile, but not like how we humans smile. They use various signals, also called cat language that allow us to understand how they’re feeling. If your cat is smiling, he/she might be using one or more of these cat signals – which can help us identify if they’re happy.

A happy cat means a lighter, sometimes more playful attitude. They’ll appear to be friendlier, more relaxed, or simply in awe of you. And when your cat is smiling, you’ll be able to tell by these tell-tale signs we’ve listed below. Continue reading to learn more.

Do Cats Smile: Bent Forward Ears


Unlike humans where our ears aren’t all that impressive, you can tell a lot about a cat from the ears. Bent forward ears signal playfulness and alertness, which could mean that your cat is smiling at you.

The moment your cat’s ears turn backward in a pinned position, this signals anger and frustration. You’ll no longer be wondering “do cats smile” but be asking if cats can attack humans.

So the next time you notice your cat having bent forward ears when gazing into your eyes, rest assured that he’s happy and smiling.

Do Cats Smile: Slow Wagging Tail

A slow wagging tail indicates your cat is seeking attention. Although a slow wagging tail relates to happiness, it’s typically used when they’re curious.

Many times a cat will slowly wag its tail for wanting things such as:

  • Wanting a treat
  • Needing kisses/cuddles/rubs
  • Are hungry or thirsty
  • Would like to be around you
  • Observing what you’re doing

Sometimes, slow wagging of the tail can indicate fear or anxiety. Other times, it can be referenced to playfulness–it all depends on your cat and their personality.

Do Cats Smile: Soft Meowing


Soft meowing from your cat indicates extreme happiness with you. If your cat is softly meowing at you, especially for short bursts- they’re indicating happiness and are smiling at you heavily.

Similar to how humans speak to babies with soft and gentle voices, cats follow suit by showing their care towards us through soft meowing. And if a cat is truly happy with you, they’ll soft meow the house down until you pick them up for cuddles.

Do Cats Smile: Long Purrs


Long purrs coming from a cat are extremely common in cat language– as it allows us, humans, to know that they’re content and comfortable. If your cat is smiling at you, he/she needs to be comfortable with you. And with comfortability, you’ll hear plenty of long purrs.

Sometimes these long purrs will sound heavier and heavier, which usually signals excitement and trust from your cat.

So the next time you hear long purrs, make sure to give them plenty of kisses and tummy scratches to let them know that you understand them!

Do Cats Smile: Blank Stares

Blank stares from your cat are indicative of happiness. They’re adoring you, and find joy in watching you. If your cat blankly stares at you, feel comforted knowing that they’re happy in your presence. And have no problem smiling at you to show you that.

Fun Read: 10 Popular Instagram Cats You Need to Follow

Understanding Cat Language: Slow Blinks

Similar to blank stares, slow blinks is another tell-tale sign that your cat is smiling at you. Humans slow blink when we’re attracted to someone, or appreciate and are engrossed in someone– exactly the same as cats.

Yes, slow blinks can also indicate tiredness – but overall, it’s a common sign letting us know that they’re feeling peaceful and content.

Understanding Cat Language: Kneading


Hands up if you’ve had a cat that kneads on your favorite blanket twice a day! Yes, folks, kneading is another sign that your cat is feeling cheerful and happy. Kneading is associated with comfort and warmth, which indicates that your cat is smiling at you.

Understanding Cat Language: Sleep on You

Your cat has to have a certain level of trust for you, especially if they’ll sleep on you. If your cat chooses to sleep on you, rest assured they’re smiling at you and feel completely comfortable with you.

Even while asleep, cats always have instincts that can jump into action at any given moment. This is why when a cat sleeps in your room, on your bed, or on your body– they think you’re pretty special.

Understanding Cat Language: Follow You Around


How many times does your cat follow you around, even after letting it out the cat door only 5 minutes ago? Following you around is a sign that your cat is smiling at you, happy with you, or want to be in your presence.

For some, if your cat is following you around- this can also indicate hunger or boredom. But only you’ll be able to assess that signal, given the circumstances and their personality.

Do Cats Smile: Wrap Their Tail Around Your Body

Lastly, when your cat wraps its tail around your body– he/she is feeling happy and content. They’re saying “I love you” without actually speaking. This is an extremely common cat signal that holds many other meanings to it too.

Apart from smiling at you, the wrapping of a cat’s tail around your body can indicate excitement and curiosity. They can also be marking their territory, and sometimes use this form of language to engage further interaction with you.

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