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Charity compiles Cheshire cat gallery for National Smile Month

18 May 2015
Charity compiles Cheshire cat gallery for National Smile Month 18 May 2015

The UK’s leading feline welfare charity, Cats Protection, has compiled a gallery of contented cats to cheer up cat lovers during National Smile Month (18 May-18 June).

The charity’s supporters submitted photos of their jolly moggies which have been uploaded to Cats Protection’s Facebook page.

“We loved these photos because, although they appear to be smiling because of the way their mouths are shaped, unlike humans cats haven’t developed sophisticated facial expressions and have evolved not to show their emotions in order to survive,” said Cats Protection’s Behaviour Manager, Nicky Trevorrow.

“However, it is possible to tell if a cat is happy by reading its body language. Ears forward and upright is usually a good sign and if your cat's pupils are constricted and slit-like, he’s probably content. In contrast, if they are fully dilated in broad daylight, he's either in pain or ready to fight or run away.”

The feline equivalent of smiling is a slow blink, Nicky adds, so this is the best way to show cats you want to be friends.

Despite the lack of smiles, Nicky warns that teeth can be a significant source of pain and suffering for felines so maintaining good oral health is important for happy cats.

Regular dental check-ups, a good diet and home care management all help to keep cats’ teeth in good condition.

Cats Protection advises taking your cat to the vet if it shows any of the following:
• reduced grooming activity, leading to poor coat condition
• bad breath
• drooling
• discomfort when eating
• pawing at the mouth
• bleeding gums
• reduced appetite or weight loss

For more tips on looking after your cat visit www.cats.org.uk