From the worst kind of life to the best, this is a ranking by increasing level of goodness. Life can be hard. Very hard. Any way you can help a cat ‘level up’ in their life is a good thing. To help, here are a list of rankings of the life of cats. It will not map perfectly to every cat’s life, it is just a starting point.
The Rankings, from a cat perspective:
Level 0 – Stray
Living on the street as a stray is very hard. Not a single thing comes easy. Disaster can strike at any moment.
What did you do to deserve being abandoned? You can’t stop to think about how some humans are a special kind of trash because finding food and safe hiding places takes all your time. You keep losing weight. How long until all of you is gone?
Level 0 – In an abusive home
A special kind of horror story.
Might be better off as a stray.
Level 1 – Feral
Ferals also live on the street, but with survival skills. Your momma taught you as best as she could. It’s far from a great life but you know how to defend yourself and find food. Usually. Disaster can strike, and there are no vets in your world.
Fear and desperation are constant companions.
Level 2 – On the street with benefits
You are living on the street, with generous human friends. There could be several people putting out food, or even letting you in for a bit.
Stray or feral, there are good aspects to this life. Could be better . . .
Level 3 – Living with clueless humans
You have a home, it’s warm and dry, but the humans are clueless and thoughtless. So it’s nice, usually. There is (usually) food, the litter box is (sometimes) cleaned. You might be played with, but otherwise you feel like you are seen as mere furniture.
Level 4 – Living with attentive humans
You have a home, safe, warm and well fed.
The litter box is regularly cleaned. The humans are mostly thoughtful and sometimes playful.
If you have levelled up from  or  this is like heaven. You may not be spoiled, but you are living well.
Level 5 – With play and attention
It’s like Level 4, but with lots of play and attention. Your humans see cats as something special, and you in particular.
Sometimes you wake up to an adoring human scritching your head or petting you. It’s a life worth living, even celebrating with loud purrs.
Level 6 – And premium cat food
Because you should not be living on the cheap stuff and junk food alone.
As a cat, variety is appreciated. The good stuff does not even have to be every day to be appreciated.
Level 7 – Towers, trees, and more
Your humans got you a cat tree which you can climb on. Or maybe a cat tower. And more than one litter box.
Life is good on the high castle. The view out the window is great, and the purring is a regular thing.
Maybe your humans have other cats and even a dog. But it’s all good because having four legs in this home is the key to happiness.
Level 8 – Free to be you
Your humans are incapable of being mad for more than one second no matter what happened.
They recognize your superior nature, intelligence, creativity, and cuteness.
The humans even brag about your activities to other humans, sometimes posting pics and videos with that rectangular thing they use to watch cat videos with.
Level 9 – Their world is your world too
Your humans take you on trips to places other than the vet.
A backpack ride to the park, a bike tour in a safe basket, a car with a rear deck view. You knew those humans were going somewhere special, and now you are too. You are becoming inseperable.
Level 10 – Family
You cry, they come running.
You chatter at the birds outside, they join you in birdwatching.
You paw at your backpack or harness, they take you for a walk.
You tap your food dish, they fill it.
You snuggle against them, they hug and pet you.
You wake them up, they greet you and give you scritches.
They need some emotional support, and for all they mean to you, you are there in their lap or laying next to them face against face, comforting them, letting them know they too are loved. You are 100% family.
All images free from https://www.pexels.com/ and specifically:
Cat looking down
Photo by Charles Pragnell: https://www.pexels.com/photo/silver-tabby-cat-2524121/
Paw in hand
Photo by Esra Afşar: https://www.pexels.com/photo/owner-holding-a-cat-s-paw-10759425/
Cat licks bowl
Photo by cottonbro studio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-cat-licking-a-crystal-glass-6869655/
Cat in street
Photo by Lucas Allmann: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-and-black-kitten-sitting-on-floor-696026/
Food offered to cats
Photo by NastyaSensei: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-bicolor-cat-3318214/