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  • Shannon McKinzie

Understanding Your Cat's Body Language



Deciphering a cat's body language plays an important role in communicating with your kitty. Cats are great conversationalists and often have a lot to tell you. Cats use facial expressions, posture, and other body language to communicate.


When gauging a cat’s behavior, take in the big picture first. There are many physical signs of a cat's mood, but their meaning can vary depending on the situation in which they take place.


Let's learn some tips on understanding feline body language. They will give you an excellent chance at understanding your feline pals.


Happy cat

A happy cat will look at you with a relaxed expression or soft eyes. They have a relaxed body posture and their ears are in a natural position. The high-pitched gurgling or chatting of cats indicates friendliness.


Happy and excited cats hold their tails high and wag them quickly from side to side. When a cat’s tail quivers, it can be a hint of happy excitement. In the feline world, closing eyes in the presence of someone else is the ultimate sign of trust.


Worried cat

A fearful cat will tuck the tail between the legs. Cats who are scared or worried may tend to hide. The more fearful a cat becomes, the wider its pupils expand. It shows the cat is afraid and wants to retreat.


When a cat protects their ears by flattening them to the side, it shows the cat is feeling afraid. The fearful cats bring her whiskers close to the face.


If your cat is licking and cleaning herself vigorously, then it might be an indication of feeling anxious. Excessive self-grooming is a way for a cat to soothe herself when she feels left out. A soothing, reassuring voice can help encourage an anxious kitty to cuddle with you.


Angry cat

Angry cats want you to stay away or go away. Tight muscles often indicate a cat who is scared or aggressive. If the ears are pinned back, you have a very angry cat on your hands.


When a cat angry or threatened to the point of being willing to fight, it will often make itself as big as possible in various ways. This gesture is often accompanied by hissing or growling. Growling and hissing are emphatic warnings to stay away.


Final thoughts

Understanding your cat's body language is a key aspect of responsible pet parenting. Your cat’s level of emotions greatly depends upon its environment, diet, and how its human companion treats it.


Your goal is to observe the cat and the situation and context the feline is in. Do your best to accurately determine what the cat is trying to say. The more you know about a kitty’s personality, the more you can easily understand their perspective.


If your cat seems to be anxious or stressed, try to find the cause of the distress and if possible, attempt to change the situation for them.


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