Let’s face it; we humans speak more with our body than with our mouth. People can lie about the truth with their mouth but never with their eyes.
The body is a very powerful organ with its own sets of languages and if you can master this subtle language, you’ll find yourself communicating with people on a subconscious level.
Aside from being very beautiful, cats are very intuitive creatures. Though they could never learn to speak, they express their feelings and emotions constantly using various body languages and sounds just as we do. And if you can learn this simple language, you’ll find yourself connecting with your feline friend in ways you’ve never thought possible. This guide provides you with the most common body languages of cats and what each meant.
Cats use their ears to express themselves by bending it in various positions. When the ears are slightly bent forward, the cat is particularly telling you that it is happy and feeling playful and curious at the same time. Most times, this gesture is spotted when the cat is given a new toy or seen a new thing or a playful part of you. When the ears are pinned back and flat, your cat is certainly very angry at something or maybe at you. This gesture is most often followed by hissing or growling. Sometimes, this gesture can also suggest fear.
When cats are alerted, they keep their ears straight and upright. Animals in the wild do this instinctively so they could hear more and ascertain if a coming sound meant danger or not, so when your cats ears are held straight and up with its eyes glazed and focused at a particular direction, know its hearing sounds your ears cannot perceive and trying to ascertain if it meant danger or not. Its next line of action will tell of its conclusion.
All animals speak with their eyes. The cat is no different. Like humans when your cat stares at you before slowly blinking its eyes, it simply means the cat adores you. Humans are even fond of this slow blinking of the eyes especially when flirting with someone they admire.
If however, your cat looks at you with a slit, constricted pupils, it’s definitely angry with you over something. This look is often given in the absence of an expected treat.
Dilated pupils are often a sign of wonder and childlike curiosity. Just like kids, when cats get excited their pupils dilate and become larger telling you it is happy and ready to play. This sort of body language can often be observed when the cat is happily playing with or attacking a toy.
Sometimes dilated pupils can also mean defensiveness or aggression especially when the look is accompanied by hissing or growling sounds.
Cat tail signs and what they meant
The tail signs of cat are one of the most communicative in the animal kingdom. Unlike the dogs whose major communication through the tail involves wagging to show excitement, the cat has a number of different tail sign to communicate different feelings and emotions. We are going to analyze each of these tail signs to offer you a better understanding of what your cat has been trying to tell you all this while.
Wagging of the tail
It takes a few scratches for lots of cat owners to know that tail wagging is a sign of frustration in the feline the family rather than excitement as common with other pets.
When your cat wags its tail, it probably isn’t happy about something and you will do well to avoid petting them at that instance as it can lead to a few scratches.
Puffed up tail
Seeing a kitten with a puffed up tail can be very amusing and hilarious but it is anything but that. When your kitten puffs up its tails, it most often is frightened of something and if followed by a hissing sound then it is preparing for attack.
Twitching of the tail
Cats twitch their tails when they are ready or excited to play. Tail twitching is quite similar to tail wagging but often involves lots of flicks of the tail at its tip.
Tucked away tail
Running with tails in-between ones legs has always been an idiom for submission and anxiety. Most animals submit to a superior by tucking their tails.
Curved tail is often a sign of curiosity in cat. When cats have their tail curved like the question mark sign, it means they are ready to explore. So if you’ve been looking for a good time to expose your cat to a new toy or activity, whenever the tail is curved might be a good time.
When cats have their tails curled up all around them or around other cats in embrace, they are mostly communicating happiness, and satisfaction.
The body language of cats and what they mean
Aside the ears, eyes and the tail, cats also express themselves using their whole body. By lying in different positions, walking differently or twisting the shapes of their limbs, our feline friend speaks in volumes!
Here we’ll analyze the WHOLE body language of cats and what each means. Cats lying on their back with the belly exposed
The cat’s belly is one of the most vulnerable and protected parts of the cat. When your cat lies close to you on its back with the belly exposed its simply communicating a level of trust and confidence in your friendship.
If this pose is actually followed with a hissing sound or a growl, you may want to avoid the temptation of reaching out and scratching its belly as they are most often agitated and ready to strike.
An arched back is often a sign that your cat wants you to cuddle or pet them. This is an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss to make your cat feel loved and welcomed at all times. If you can’t cuddle with it at the moment, you can simply reach out and scratch the sides of its ears.
If the arched back is combined with bristled hairs, your cat is probably frightened of or angry at something.
Rubbing its body against you
Most times when a cat rubs its cheek against the owners, they believe the cat is showing them affection
and they may be right. Cats rub their cheeks against a person as a sign of affection. The truth however is,
the cat may actually be marking out its territory.
The cheeks of cats contain glands which produces special hormones for marking out its territory. So the next time your kitten rubs its cheeks against you, it’s either loving you or claiming you for itself.
If your wants to knead on your lap, it’s actually a good sign of contentment and happiness and they kneads only on people that they feel are special to them.
Butt wiggling is not a show of excitement as often portrayed in animated series. Most times when your cat wiggles its butt, it’s getting ready to pounce on something or stalking its prey.
When your cat speaks: cat vocalization and what each sound means
Cats have various ways of vocalizing their feelings. If all cats’ sound sounds similar to you then you’ve probably not being paying much attention to your cats and you may want to start listening to them henceforth.
If however, you’ve noticed the distinction between each meows, purrs and the several other sounds cats makes then its time you learn what each represents and then connect with them on a deeper level.
Meows and their meanings
Cat meows are the most common sounds cat makes when they want to communicate with one another or with their human friends. The meows come in different pitch and drags with each having different meanings.
The short, high pitched meows most often communicate a friendly gesture and greeting. Unlike dogs jumping on you when you’ve been gone for long to show that they’ve missed you, the cat will let out a series of short, high pitched meows to tell you it’s glad you are back.
Low or drawn out meows most times is used to communicate dissatisfaction or a lack of interest in a particular play or place and when the cat let out soft pleading meows, know it is really hungry and will like to be fed immediately.
Somewhere in-between a meow and a purr, cats make the trilling sound to get your attention. Most times
this sound is accompanied by cute eyes to make them irresistible.
Cats are hunters. Sometimes they make chirping sounds like crickets to lure their unassuming prey.
Yowling is one of the most irritating sounds cat makes. The yowling sound actually is a call for mating and cats make this sound when they are in heat and will like to mate.
Hissing and growling
The hissing and growling sounds are especially reserved for when the cat is frightened, irritated or angry. If you don’t suspect your cat has been injured when it hissed or growled, you may want to stay out of its way as it is most likely ready to attack or defend itself.
When your cat meows in such a way that the sound is barely audible, it might be very hungry or exhausting. If you’ve been playing for a long time when you hear this low meow, you may want to stop for a while and let the cat have its rest or feed it if you feel the soundless meow may be due to hunger.
The purring sound is one of the most beautiful sounds cat makes and for all it’s worth, it signifies your cat’s sweet affection for you.
If the purr, however, comes as a low moan or out of the ordinary, it may be that your little friend is in pains and you may want to check with a vet.
How to communicate with your cat
Understanding your cat and its body language is amazing but what is even more interesting is getting them to understand you. Unlike dogs which can easily understand and obey simple commands, cats are not very interested in what you have to say.
This does not mean they cannot understand the human voice. They do. In fact, studies have shown that cats like dogs are capable of interpreting human languages.
That’s why a soothing, reassuring tone can sometimes convince an otherwise shy cat to trust you or motivate them to cuddle with you. The fact that your cat acts like it doesn’t understand you doesn’t mean you should speak to it in any tone you desire.
You should learn to communicate with them as dog owners would a dog. Use a soothing voice to reassure them and a sharp and commanding voice to disapprove of particularly bad behavior.