Have you finally gotten yourself a furry friend? Cats are great indoor pets and companions. For you to make the relationship work, you must understand your cat. Fortunately, with a bit of training, you can learn all about their needs and behaviors. Cats use body language to communicate with their handlers. These signals can be in the form of facial expressions, body posture as well as sounds. When you learn cat’s body language, you are able to take better care of it and strengthen your bond. You will also prevent potential aggression and misunderstanding.

Common Cat Body Languages and Their Meaning


Tail signals

Cats use their tails to communicate. Taking notice of a cat’s tail position is one of the best ways to tell what they are trying to say. When the tail is up, it signifies that the cat is happy and cheerful. This means the cat is approachable. When a tail is down, it indicates that the cat feels threatened or is scared. When a cat wiggles its tail back and forth rapidly, it indicates that the cat feels agitated and should probably be left alone. However, if the tail is moving slowly, it shows that the cat is taking its time trying to decipher the current situation and deciding what to feel about it.


Use of the Tongue

When your cat suddenly starts to lick, it can be an indication that the cat is uneasy. When it licks the lips and refuses to feed, it is an indication of fear. When your cat is nervous, it will scratch and lick its body rapidly and excessively. When your cat is nervous, it will become uninterested in a lot of things and can develop reluctance in feeding.


Eye Signals

While the eyes of your feline are beautiful to just look at, they can also be gateways to the cat’s emotions. Here are some cat body language eye signals:

  • Pupils that are dilated this normally occurs when the cat is stimulated, surprised or scared.

  • Pupils are constricted – this is an indicator that the cat is feeling aggressive and tense.

  • Staring – when your cat stares down at something or someone, it is normally a dare from your cat. You will normally notice this look when a cat is preparing to strike at an object or prey.

  • Blinking slowly the meaning of this is the opposite of the stare. This is an indication that the cat feels comfortable and safe around the person. It is a sign of trust.

  • Half closed eyes when your cat has the droopy eyelids, it indicates that the cat is feeling safe and is in a relaxed mood. It shows that the cat trusts you.


Ear Signals

This is yet another part of the body cats use to pass messages. The ears are great when you want to tell the mood the cat is in.

  • Ears pushed forward - when you notice this sign, it indicates that the cat is in a cheerful mood and would not mind playing.

  • Straight up ears – this shows that the cat is alert. This is especially so if the ears are fully erect.

  • Turned back ears if you notice that the cat has the ears turned back, it is an indication that it is not in a good mood. This is a cat that is irritated and any attempt to play with it may not end too well.

  • Sideway turned earsthis is an indicator that the cat is nervous or anxious over an issue. You need to be very cautious when around a cat with ears turned to the side. It may attack at any time.

  • Ears flat against the cat’s head when you notice your cat’s ears in this position, it is an indication that the cat is scared and defensive. It is also an indicator of an angry cat. Therefore, it is best to leave it alone.


The Whiskers

When you notice the whiskers set out from the cat’s face and less noticeable, it shows that the cat is relaxed. When the whiskers stiffen, protrude and move forward, it shows that the cat is interested in something. When you notice the whiskers are straight against the cat’s face, it is an indication that it is afraid of something. The whiskers are one of the key cat body language tools.


The Body Posture

  • When your cat is in a relaxing mood, you will notice that its breathing is deep and slow. The claws do not show and walks around in a relaxed manner. 

  • When a cat is agitated, the muscles become tense. If it suddenly freezes, it shows that it is about to attack or flee. You will notice a rigid posture when your cat is stressed. 

  • When your cat is frightened, it moves at a slower pace and will drop down and lie on the ground. However, the cat also assumes this position when it wants to pounce on prey. The claws protrude when the cat becomes nervous. You will also notice that the breathing becomes shallow and rapid.

  • You may sometimes notice that the body size of your cat changes and the fur may fluff out. The cat will arch the back to appear bigger or it may curl up to look smaller. This are normally signs that the cat is afraid.

  • When the cat is happy and content, she will mostly roll over and lie with the tummy facing up. You can rub its tummy to play with it. A cat normally takes a rest by lying flat on the ground.


Using Sound

  • Just like little babies, cats have learned to use their meow sound to communicate. A cat will use the meow sound to ask for food, to show approval or as a greeting.

  • When a cat purrs, it shows that it is content. It is also a sound made when the cat is seeking for attention. This is especially when it is unwell or almost dying.

  • When it gurgles in high pitch, this is a sign of friendliness. Spitting, hissing or growling are signs that you should stay away from the cat as it is nervous or in a foul mood.

These are some of the most common cat body language signs. With this information, you learn how to interpret the signs your cat is giving you. You’ll also be able to get along with it much better.


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