The Chart


The How You Feline? emotion identification chart is intended for workplaces that prioritize mental health & wellbeing. It was designed for display in public spaces (e.g. lunch rooms, shared work spaces, reception areas, restrooms, etc.) or private offices (e.g. on shelves, coffee tables, side tables, etc.). It can be displayed as desk art, used in corporate ice-breaking exercises, and/or used in diagnostic/assessment/clinical work. Representatives from the following organizations who selected to use this tool for the following purposes, and who generously provided permission to display their school or organization's names on this website include: 


United States

  • American University Health Promotion and Advocacy Ctr. - Office of the Coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drugs Initiatives / Washington, DC (Office desk & wall display)
  • Bibb County Public School District Counselor's Office / Bibb County, GA
  • Caltech Student Counseling Services / Pasadena, CA (Emotion/state identifier; ice-breaker)
  • Central Technology Center Counseling Office / Sapulpa, OK (Ice breaker)
  • Chicago Public School System Counselor's Office / Chicago, IL (Office display)
  • Claremont Colleges Health Education Outreach / Claremont, CA (Health & wellness center use)
  • Contra Costa High School / Northern California (Counseling office)
  • Detroit School of Arts Counselor's Office / Detroit, MI (Mood identifier; relationship assessment tool)
  • Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health / Glendale, CA (Emotion identification during individual therapy sessions)
  • Eating Disorder Center of Portland (Partial Hospitalization Program) / Portland, OR (Patient/client counseling)
  • Fairfax County Public Schools / Fairfax County, VA (Office display)
  • Huntington Hospital Nurse Practitioner's Office / Pasadena, CA
  • Knox County Elementary School Counselor's Office  / Knoxville, TN (Individual & group therapy)
  • Lakeview Terrace Skilled Nursing Facility / Los Angeles, CA (Patient use; emotion modeling)
  • Memorial Park Counseling Office / Rockland, MA (Office display; ice-breaker)
  • Michigan CAT / Novi, MI (Private/personal use for teaching children Arabic language)
  • Orange County Dept. of Ed. Juvenile Hall / Orange County, CA (Office desk art)
  • Oregon State University Human-Animal Interaction Lab / Corvallis, OR (Used at children's summer camp collaboratively offered with the Willamette Humane Society)
  • Pleasanton Middle School Counselor's Office / Pleasanton, CA (Wall display; ice-breaker)
  • Private group office for psychotherapist / Wilkes Barre, PA (Psychotherapy tool)
  • Salem-Kelzer School District K12 Counselor's Office / Salem, OR (Individual counseling)
  • Salt Lake City High School Counselor's Office / Salt Lake City, UT (Group counseling)
  • SHARE! The Self-Help And Recovery Exchange / Los Angeles, CA (Spanish & English charts and scoring sheets in group counseling/support rooms)
  • Stratford STEM Magnet High School Counselor's Office / Nashville, TN (Group & individual therapy)
  • Stockton Unified School District (SUSD) K-12 Taft Montessori School Counselor's Office / Stockton, CA (Group & individual therapy; ice-breaking exercises)
  • University of Connecticut Wellness & Prevention Services / Storrs, CT (Health & wellness center use)
  • University of Montana School Counseling Program / Missoula, MT (Desk art & ice-breaker)
  • University of Tennessee Dean of Students Office (Knoxville campus) / Knoxville, TN (Wall display in office for students identified through on-campus help line) 
  • Western Boone High School Counselor's Office / Thorntown, IN (Individual counseling)
  • Self-Directed Search (Offices of PAR, Inc.) / Lutz, FL (Office display)
  • St. Mary's Academy High School Counseling Office / Portland, OR (Student counseling)
  • Stanford University Vaden Health Center / Stanford, CA (Student affairs office)
  • Whitmer High School / Toledo, OH (Door decoration / emotion identification tool)
  • Westside Neighborhood School / Los Angeles, CA (Early Childhood Center)
  • Wilder Middle School Counselor's Office / Richmond, VA (Ice breaker)
  • Val Verde Unified School District / Riverside County, CA


  • Cairo American College Counselor's Office / Cairo, Egypt (Office use)
  • Lincoln Middle School Counselor's Office / San José Province, Santo Domingo, Costa Rica (Board display; individual counseling)
  • Wettengel Elementary School Counselor's Office / Tamuning, Guam (Office use)
  • HS 119 Elementary School Counselor's Office / Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Elementary counseling)
  • Keystone Academy Counselor's Office / Beijing, China (Group & individual counseling)
  • Stepping Stones to Mental Health - Rocky View School Division / Alberta, Canada (Wall display & tool for students struggling with emotional regulation, anxiety, etc.)
  • Tirana English School / Tirana, Albania (Social/emotional development & educational tool for students aged 3-5)
  • Tree of Life School / Hong Kong (Identification of student feelings at start of piano lessons) 

Pictured above: Counseling room at downtown LA location of SHARE: the Self-Help And Recovery Exchangewhere Spanish and English versions of How You Feline? chart are used in group sessions


Language Selection

This poster was originally created in a service planning area (SPA) in Los Angeles County in which the top 9 spoken languages were (in order of use): English, Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Armenian and Arabic (Asian Americans Advancing Justice, 2009). The Chinese version comes in either simplified or traditional Chinese. Upon special request, this poster is also available in French, German, and Albanian.

Permission to Reproduce or Distribute

Prints of the images on this website are currently being donated and shared for research purposes, but the images and/or prints are not to be distributed or reproduced without written consent and advance notice. Thank you for your understanding.  


The emotions featured in this tool were initially selected based on James A. Russell’s (1980) Circumplex Model of Affect, a model used in research and clinical settings. The emotions used in this chart are still in development. The chart is intended for assessing/interpreting basic, specific, emotions, or 'emotional states,' rather than broad dimensions such as 'moods' or 'core affect' (Ekkekakis, 2013, pgs 321-322). 

The sixteen expressions – digital art designs of a tabby cat modeled after images returned on the first row of a Google search for “___ face” images (e.g. “happy face,” “sad face,” etc.) - were based on emotions most highly represented in Russell’s (1980) two-dimensional model of affect, in which emotions are ordered on dimensions of arousal (i.e. high/low) and valence (i.e. pleasant/unpleasant). Non-labeled facial images were reviewed by sixty students (forty-five undergraduate; fifteen graduate), each of whom matched each facial image with the word that he or she felt that expression reflected (Lee, 2019). Student responses were tallied and totals were used to match facial images with emotion words.

What can I use this chart for?

This chart can be used alongside open-ended or multiple choice questions - in office or clinical settings as a tool for initiating and facilitating communication regarding emotions and mental health, and in research settings as a tool for participant recruitment and data collection.

As a single-item tool, this chart can be quickly and easily used, thereby providing lower demands on researchers and reducing levels of participant fatigue. 

This tool is inclusive of all demographic groups in that the cartoonization of animal (vs. human) faces precludes preference of any racial, ethnic, age- or gender-based group.

This tool appears to be characterized by elements which have been associated with higher survey response rates: Visual appeal (Keeter et al., 2001; Deutskens et al., 2004), clear design and simple layout (Puleo et al., 2002), clear and concise focus (McColl et al., 2002; Oppenheim et al., 1992; McColl et al., 2001), and humor (Rath et al., 2016).

Additional research on the benefits of including art for emotional expression in class/office settings:

Evidence of the utility of emotion-focused therapy for the vocalization and direct address of emotional disturbances (Watson & Greenberg, 2017)

Evidence that the detection & analysis of employee emotions contribute to organizational improvement (Subhashini & Niveditha, 2015).

Evidence that the acceptance and regulation of intense emotions contributes to mental health (Berking & Whitley, 2014)

Evidence of the importance of emotional control as part of an organizational culture (Van Maanen & Kunda, 1989; Waldron & Krone, 1991)  

We Support

Prints of images on this website have been donated to counseling offices in 10 major research universities, 27 Pre-K and K-12 schools, one not-for-profit hospital, a juvenile detention center, two eating disorder centers, an army career counseling office, a local humane society, one private group practice, and a research laboratory that explores animal-human interactions. We are also a proud sponsor of Pasadena Humane Society's Wiggle Waggle Walks.


    • Asian Americans Advancing Justice (2009). A. Speaks: Language diversity and English proficiency by Los Angeles County Service Planning Area.Retrieved at:
    • Berking, M., & Whitley, B. (2014). Affect regulation training: A practitioners' manual.New York, NY: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-1022-9
    • Deutskens, E., Ruyter, D., Wetzels, M., & Oosterveld, P. (2004). Response rate and response quality of internet-based surveys: An experimental study. Marketing Letters, 15(1).
    • Ekkekakis, P. (2013). The measurement of affect, mood, and emotion: A guide for health-behavioral research. In G. Tenenbaum, R. C. Eklund, & A. Kamata (Eds.), Measurement in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Elaine, P., Jane, Z., Mary, J., Judy, M., Carol, S., & Stephen, T. (2002). Caffeine, cajoling, and other strategies to maximize clinician survey response rates. Evaluation & the Health Professions, 25(2), 169-184. doi:10.1177/016327870202500203
    • Keeter, S., Kennamer, J., Ellis, J., & Green, R. (2001). Does the use of colored paper improve response rate to mail surveys: A multivariate experimental evaluation. Journal of Social Service Research, 28(1), 69-78.
    • McColl, E., Jacoby, A., Thomas, L., Soutter, J., Bamford, C., Steen, N., . . . Bond, J. (2001). Design and use of questionnaires: A review of best practice applicable to surveys of health service staff and patients. Health Technology Assessment (Winchester, England), 5(31), 1-256.
    • Olson, D. H., Gorall, D. M., & Tiesel, J. W. (2009). FACES IV Manual. Minneapolis, MN: Life Innovations.
    • Oppenheim, A. (1992). Questionnaire design, interviewing, and attitude measurement (New ed. ed.). London: Pinter.
    • Posner, J., Russell, J. A., Peterson, B. S. (2005). The Circumplex Model of Affect: an integrative approach to affective neuroscience, cognitive development, and psychopathology.
    • Rath, J., Williams, V., Villanti, A., Green, M., Mowery, P., & Vallone, D. (2016). Boosting online response rates among nonresponders: A dose of funny. Social Science Computer Review, (20160714). doi:10.1177/0894439316656151
    • Russell, J. (1980). A circumplex model of affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39(6), 1161-1178. doi:10.1037/h0077714
    • Saleh, A. & Bista, K. (2017). Examining Factors Impacting Online Survey Response Rates in Educational Research: Perceptions of Graduate Students. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation. 13(29), 63-74.
    • Subhashini, R., & Niveditha, P. (2015). Analyzing and detecting employee's emotion for amelioration of organizations. Procedia Computer Science, 48, 530-536. doi:10.1016/j.procs.2015.04.131
    • Walderon, V., & Krone, K. J. (1991). The experience and expression of emotion in the workplace: A study of a corrections organization. Management Communication Quarterly, 4(3), 287-309. doi:10.1177/0893318991004003002
    • Watson, J., Greenberg, L., & American Psychological Association. (2017). Emotion-focused therapy for generalized anxiety (First edition. ed.).Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


    Concept: This chart was designed by Dr. Anna Yu Lee, a mental health consultant who can be found at

    Anna believes in the power of animals to improve human relationships and mend broken hearts, and particularly enjoys art that evokes the spectrum of emotions exhibited by cats.

    Graphic design: Gabrielle Moyal & Alae Mahdoud, who use water color and digital art techniques.

    Meowdel: Agnes (IG: @fuzzy_brained)

    Contact Information