As soon as you understand the basics of your cat's behavior, you can quickly interpret how it feels. If you are trying to understand your cat's behavior, our guide will explain everything you need to know to speak the language of cats!
This is how your cat will spend most of his waking hours and is a fundamental part of the feline language: relaxed, happy and comfortable in a family environment. You should look as if you were satisfied to see life go by.
If you are lying down, you may be stretched, curled up in a ball, or resting with your head raised and legs neatly gathered under your body.
Your eyes will blink softly or be half closed.
The ears will relax, keeping carelessly in an upright and forward position, although they will turn sideways independently if the cat hears something around it.
Also the whiskers relax, moving away from the cheeks, giving the feeling of a smile.
The body maintains an elegant and relaxed posture, without any tension that suggests that it is about to take action.
It may seem funny and fluffy, but since its birth your cat is designed to be an excellent hunter: it can easily stalk and capture its prey, and is able to concentrate 100% on its target. If your cat concentrates on a small object that moves, or something new around it, you will notice that its body language changes as it tries to decide which is the best response to that stimulus.
The eyes open and the pupils contract.
The ears and mustaches are directed forward, with the body tilted toward the center of your attention.
The body will crouch when stalking, with the hind legs folded under the body.
The language of your cat's tail will show attention by staying low behind it. The tip of the tail, as well as the hindquarters, can move jerkily as it prepares to attack.
If you are the object of his attention, for example, if he is trying to get food or pampering, he could rub himself against you with his tail upright, but don't be fooled: stay focused on his goal!
A happy cat is easy to recognize: you will understand his body language easily. This is the state in which you would prefer that your cat spend most of the time, since it is the perfect state to enjoy a good time together.
Symptoms of happiness
If you are sitting, you will be relaxed and upright, with your ears facing up and forward but relaxed, sometimes orienting you gently towards familiar sounds, such as the voices of your family.
If you are lying down, you may have your legs collected under your body, or stretch on your side or even on your back with your legs extended outward, indicating that you are completely happy.
You can sleep with your eyes closed or semi-open, or seem to weigh your eyelids, almost as if you were daydreaming sometimes. If it blinks very slowly, try to blink too slowly to show that you are relaxed: this imitation behavior is a fantastic way to strengthen the bond with your cat.
The whiskers will relax and the tail will remain still (or vertical with a slight curvature if it is greeting you).
If you caress it, you can close your eyes with satisfaction and begin to purr softly ..
Cats are very sensitive, especially to changes. It may take some time for cats to adapt to unexpected changes, so learning to recognize their anxiety symptoms will help you relax. The sooner you recognize your cat's body language signs, the sooner you can give him a reassuring caress when he approaches in search of trust and attention. Give your cat 2 or 3 days after any major change to get used to it and return to normal.
Signs of anxiety
The cat's eyes will be open without blinking, with the pupils dilated in an oval or circular shape.
The ears can move from their relaxed front position in search of information, independently turning each of them. If the cat is very anxious, it can even lower its head back.
He will begin to duck his head, with the whiskers pulled back to look small and harmless, or even move them forward on alert.
As your anxiety increases, the cat will start to shrink, or arch its back preparing to run.
The language of the cat's tail is very important: you can keep it still or slowly move the tip from side to side, which is a symptom of anxiety.
An anxious cat's behavior can be subtle, but when he is scared he leaves no doubt: if he is afraid of something like a loud noise, your cat will not calm down with a caress and it is likely that even his favorite whim will not work. Your body language will indicate that you are terrified, and will only return to normal when you feel safe. Try not to move sharply to reassure him, as he could interpret it as another threat. Instead, if possible eliminate everything that may be scaring you and wait for it to calm down.
If your cat shows this behavior frequently, you should consult your veterinarian to refer you to the appropriate specialist.
Symptoms of fear
The cat's ears will fold back and the head may descend with the gaze directed upwards.
You can run away or, if this is not possible, you will remain standing or squatting very still.
The eyes will be wide open with the pupils fully dilated and the mustaches folded or bristled.
They can hiss or spit at nearby threats, growl or slap.
Some cats stretch their front legs to appear taller or arch their backs and bristle their hair to appear larger.
The tail can remain under the body or move quickly from side to side.
Ear and eye movements
Often a cat can wear various forms of body language to show your feelings. It may be hard to believe, but a cat's ears can contain more than two dozen muscles, allowing them to rotate them in different ways.
The A cat's ears and tail are a vital part of their body language, and proper interpretation can help you better understand your moods and, in some cases, help you stay safe from injury.
Take the time to understand their ways of communication and you can better decipher their mood and needs. In that sense, another good way to measure your cat's mood is to pay attention to the position of his ears. For example, ears forward means that the cat may want to play.
The ears up, however, is a signal that is on alert. If the ears turned, he could feel irritated or overstimulated, it is best to leave him alone.
Ears turned sideways or backward, this cat feels nervous or anxious. Be careful if a cat has ears in that position.
The ears back and flat against the head is a sign that the cat is afraid and defensive. Flat ears against head they can also Indicate an angry or aggressive cat.
The eyes of cats are beautiful and fascinating their eyes can offer all kinds of clues about how you feel about the world around you. The dilated pupils, it is a sign of a surprised, scared or stimulated cat. The slow blinking indicates that your pet feels safe, comfortable and trusts you. The narrowed eyes indicate a relaxed and confident kitten.
Cats can use their meows to manipulate people in order to obtain satisfaction of their needs. The meow of a cat is a device to get attention, to express greetings, approval or demand for food.
Learn the nuances of a cat's vocabulary so you can detect the difference between a supplication for dinner and an urgent cry for help. It is not as simple as you think. For example, when the cat is found purring usually indicates joy And it can also be the search for comfort when you are recovering from an illness.
Acute purring indicates kindness while the whistles are warnings that you stay awayAt least until the cat has calmed down.
The meow It is a very loud sound especially in males who have not been neuteredAbove all, you can hear this particular sound when they feel threatened by other cats. The strong intensity of this sound is also common in those cats that are deaf.
On the other hand, an actively frustrated cat usually focuses on the object of his frustration and will try to reach him. All of his senses are in tune with the objective: eyes wide open, pupils dilated, ears forward and prickly and mustaches with vision of aiming and spreading.
Cats cannot maintain that tension indefinitely, so they can give up and resign themselves to endure frustration or, in chronic cases, enter a state of depression. This can be misinterpreted as calm, so if in doubt, seek help and take it to your veterinarian.
The cat moves his ears to tell you something
– Theears: given its extreme mobility, the cat uses them to express some of the following emotions.
1. Standing upright and in normal movement: tranquility, calm, curiosity about its surroundings.
2. “Flattened” against the head, in a horizontal position and turned to the sides: fear or attitude of defense.
3. Leaning forward but in tension, almost forming an angle: stalking posture, alert, maximum interest in something.
4. Inclined or retracted backwards or sideways: angry, irritable
The cat moves its tail to express its emotions
– The tail:
1. Towards above and straight: happiness, calm.
2. Low, or stuck between the legs: sadness, fear.
3. Upwards but with the tip curved like a hook: friendship although sometimes with some insecurity.
4. Fast movement and blunt tail, when sitting: angry. If you move it gently, with small taps, you are surely happy and eager to play.
5. Upwards but with the hair completely bristly, as "inflated": aggressiveness, feels threatened by something. By bristling all the hair on the tail the cat makes it look bigger, to frighten a potential adversary.
A cat will tell you in several ways that he considers you his friend. Actually yes rubs against you He will be leaving your smell, a smell that only he, other cats and dogs will perceive. You will also see that he approaches you with the tail raised, head slightly crouched, ears forward, Closed mouth Y without looking you straight in the eye, unless you raise your hand with the intention of caressing it, of course 🙂.
Cat body movements tell you if he is happy
- The body:
1. Be rub against a person: it is a way of greeting, knowing that person, sometimes, according to the position, is marking the territory.
2. Lying on your back: fully trust you. In this position the cat is totally "helpless" but does not feel any fear towards you. Surely you are encouraged to play with him.
3. Arched loin, extremities close together and in tension accompanying that posture, fully bristled hair: defensive aggressiveness.
It is important to know that the cat uses all parts of its body simultaneously combining facial expressions, movements of the back, the tail, the whiskers, the eyes, etc. So interpreting properly and in every situation all the signals that you send us as a whole, can be complex and requires dedication. On another occasion we will discuss communication through the sound signals.
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Signs of fear / insecurity
When a cat feels fear, he can choose to flee or attack. You have to keep in mind that you will always try to run away, but if you feel cornered you can get hurt. So, you'll see that it has the dilated pupils, ruffled back and tail hair, open mouth -Teaching teeth-, nails removed, Y ears back or forward. In addition, he will stare at his "opponent," growl and snort.
Signs of illness
If your hairy is sick, he probably has the half-open eyes for the whole day. You will see decayed, as if it were "off". Will have the tail down, and, depending on the problem, you can have the more or less open mouth. In any case, if you notice that you are not well, it will be necessary to visit the veterinarian to examine it.
We hope we have helped you understand your cat's body language. With time you will see how it is even easier for you 😉.
The body language of cats: The face, the mirror of the soul
This well-known expression is also applicable in the case of cats, since Feline language uses especially the head, eyes and ears. The position of the head is the first thing that can give us information. When they tip it or lift it towards us, they usually express that they have confidence in us or that they want to be caressed, while a crouched head indicates anger, fear or submission.
However, the raised head may also indicate that it is aggressive. To distinguish if our cat is angry or affectionate, we can look at his ears. Cats that feel they need to defend themselves throw their ears back, and make them quite stiff. If, in addition, he is scared, your cat will bend the ears a little more. In fact, crouched ears are also a sign of submission.
The truth is that the amount of things that cats can express with their mobile ears is incredible. Actually, they move so much to allow them to hear better, but they also serve as an essential element of their body language. The ears of a cat who feels relaxed and happy will be up and will move whenever he hears a noise. They can also be an indicator of your desire to play: When you play with him, you will surely perceive how he leans them forward slightly.
Of course, we cannot forget another of the essential elements of the body language of cats: The eyes! If our cat has its eyes open, it means that it is alert and happy, which is actually its natural state. When the pupils are dilated, it means that you are about to attack (either in aggressive or playful mode), but it can also mean that you are scared.
The truth is that we must be careful with eye contact, since if we look our pet straight in the eyes it is very possible that he feels threatened.
Have you ever wondered why cats always seem to approach that person who doesn't like felines? The answer to this fun question is in eye contact: They tend to be the ones that pay less attention to the cat! Our little animal will not feel threatened by eye contact and, if he decides to socialize with someone, he will be the one who looks at him the least.
Finally, and although they are not the most used elements in the body language of cats, mustaches can also give us information. The whiskers of a happy cat are usually straight, and if something interests them especially, they are pushed forward a little. If your cat is scared or sick, mustaches may lie back.
The body language of cats: And the tail too!
The tail of cats is an essential element for their communication. It is amazing how many different feelings they can express through this appendix so necessary for them. After the head and all its elements, the tail is the most important thing when communicating with our cat, so we will have to learn to "read it".
When our cat feels happy, the tail points up. Surely he comes to meet you with a stiff tail when you get home, or when you are going to feed him! If, in addition, the tail is rigid, it is that the cat is even happier, and if the tip is bent, that there is something that interests him. If the tail is low and more or less straight, it is because it is upset or scared.
If the tail is low, it can mean several things. If you move it from one side to another, it is better that you leave your cat alone, because you could take the odd bite. If you move it gently or slightly, it means that you feel like playing or that you are interested in something.
And, of course, we all know what it means for the tail to be stiff or bristly: Or it is angry or scared!
The body language of cats: The importance of attitude
In addition to head, eyes, ears and tail, our cat's body also gives us information, as well as its meowing and purring. As we well know, when our cat rubs against us it means that he has confidence and wants affection, and it can also mean that he wants to leave his smell or get something he is looking for, since it is also a mark of territoriality.
The posture of your body also changes according to your mood. Your body will be relaxed if you are calm and happy, more crouched and dwarfed if you are scared, and more arched if you are aggressive. Remember that it is normal for the cat to be scared as well as aggressive, since he feels he must defend himself.
Myths and legends about the body language of cats
As in all areas of study, there are certain "general knowledge" that are not exactly true, either because they originate from erroneous or misunderstood premises or because subsequent studies have been conducted that refute them. Purring is the most obvious case: before we thought it only expressed that the cat felt comfortable and happy, however, now we know that sometimes cats purr to express fear or pain, and to calm down.
Another of the legends about the language of cats that have been recently demystified is that if they turn on their backs they want us to scratch their bellies. How many bites have we taken as we reach out to that "hot zone"? In general, cats do not like to have their bellies touched, even if they are sometimes left. What it really means to be on your back is that you feel calm and have confidence.
Now that you already know so much about him cat body language, surely you can communicate with your pet perfectly. Remember also that each cat has its own personality, and it is possible that yours has particular ways of communicating with you.