Keys to understanding the body language of cats

Feline communication is largely non-verbal, although from time to time cats may use special noises, such as howls, growls, hisses and meows, to express their point of view. However, your cat talks to you all the time . Do you understand what he is saying?


It can be difficult for us to pick up on the subtle cues that indicate when our cats are feeling distressed or anxious. The warnings cats give are not always obvious to the untrained eye.

Unfortunately, this means that these signs can be overlooked as insignificant, until the cat progresses to more obvious signs of distress, such as attempts to fight or flee in a panic.

Because feline communication cues are easily misinterpreted , or missed altogether, cats are often mislabelled as moody and moody.

While certain behaviors can serve as clues to your cat’s mental state, none of them should be misinterpreted in isolation.

Cats can also send confusing signals if they are unsure of a situation, so your cat’s eyes and ears may say “I’m relaxed,” but the posture of its body and tail may indicate otherwise.

Once you know what to expect, you will find that your cat is talking to you almost constantly. Here are five common ways your cat “talks” to you and what it tries to say when it does.


The tail: a measure of your cat’s mood

Your cat’s tail can help you gauge how he feels in a given situation, from relaxed and comfortable to scared and agitated . It’s important to get a good idea of ​​your cat’s average temperament, measured by how high its tail is when it’s relaxed, so you can judge when it’s feeling anxious or restless.

When a cat is happy, it tends to hold its tail high, with a slight contraction or curvature forward . A nervous wagging tail is a sign of interest; You can observe this when your cat is staring intently at a bird through the window or playing with a toy (especially just before it pounces on it).

Always pay attention to a moving queue

This can help you get an idea of ​​how stressed or anxious your cat is in a given situation. When your cat is flailing, it can wag its tail faster and with more force . This type of movement is a sign that your cat is overwhelmed by the situation and is not enjoying it.

If your cat is concerned about the situation, she may also lower her tail and wrap it under her body or around her side if she is lying down.


Ears aren’t just for listening

A cat’s ears are loaded with information. When your cat’s ears are forward and slightly to the side, he is likely to feel relaxed. When your cat is really interested and excited, her ears may poke forward.

Your cat’s ears may twitch a bit while following a sound, but fast-twitch ears can be indicative of nervousness and uncertainty. A cat that is scared or agitated may move his ears to his neck and fix them firmly against his head or move them sideways to resemble the wings of an airplane.


The eyes: A window to your soul

Your cat’s eyes help tell the story of her inner state . When you are happy, your pupils will be normal size (not dilated) and your eyes will be open or perhaps slightly closed, if you are especially relaxed.


Do you know how much your kitty really loves you?



If your cat is excited and on the verge of being aggressive or running away, his pupils may change shape, either dilating or contracting, and his eyes may appear rigid.

If your cat is staring at something, for example a bird or another cat, this is a sign that it is preparing to attack. On the other hand, if your cat is feeling fearful, she may avoid eye contact and may exhibit rapid eye movement as she assesses the situation and looks for an escape route.


The muzzle: the face of fearWhen your cat is relaxed, his whiskers stick out from his face, where they are less noticeable. However, when he is interested in something, his whiskers can move back and forth, becoming stiffer. When your cat is scared, he can hold his whiskers flat against his face.

Sudden licking can be another sign that your cat is restless . If your cat is licking his lips and not eating, he may be afraid of something. For the same reason, a nervous cat may begin to excessively groom itself.


The body: Read your cat’s postureA relaxed cat’s breathing is usually slow and deep . He keeps his claws safely hidden and moves in a relaxed manner.

The more agitated a cat is, the more its muscles will tense. If your cat is completely immobile, it may mean that he is about to fight, run away, or, pounce on something / someone. A stressed cat will move stiffly.

A scared cat may slow down and fall to the ground when it is scared (although this pose may simply indicate that it is preparing to jump on something). When your cat gets nervous, his claws can spread out; In addition to breathing shallow and fast.

A fearful cat may try to change the appearance of its size – its fur may shed. You can arch your back to look bigger, or you can try to appear smaller by hunching over with your limbs held tightly against your body.


You should always pay attention to your cat’s physical reactions to a situation. For example, if you are holding your cat and he is looking down, stiffening his body and leaning towards you, he is asking you to let him down. Respect his request and let him fall gently before he feels forced to resort to the claws.




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