Good To Know

Have you ever caught your cat tilting their head to the side and staring at you, or have they ever flicked their tail when they brushed by you? If so, you’ve most likely wondered what they were trying to tell you.

Cats are very expressive creatures, and they can get their point across both verbally and with body language.

I’ve learned a lot about my cats’ verbal cues like meowing, hissing, and growling. But, their body language took me a little longer. I’ve picked up on seven important facts that you need to know. I’ll share them with you next so you can understand your feline friend better.

1. A Cat Uses Their Entire Body to Convey Relaxation

When your cat relaxes, you’ll be able to tell by glancing at their bodies. They’ll have fluid and loose body movements, and they’ll breathe at a steady and slow rate. If your cat is like mine, they’ll fold their feet in front of them.

Other cats stretch their feet way out or slouch over to the side. Their ears and whiskers will rest in a neutral position, and their pupils will be a slit. Your cat can blink slowly or have relaxed eyelids. These are all signs your cat is fully relaxed and not actively monitoring for threats.

2. A Cat’s Tail Gives Several Keys to Their Mood

If you need keys to your cat’s body language, look at their tail. A fully erect tail is a good sign that your cat is greeting you. It can also be an indication that your cat is hungry.

For a seated cat, irritation means a flicking tail. Any cat that wags their tail in sweeping motions is aggressive and ready to fight.

Small wags though can mean your cat is indecisive. My cats like to wrap their tails around their bodies, and this means that they’re content.

Finally, a puffed tail is a sign of fear.

3. A Cat’s Eyes are Very Expressive

Did you know that cats use their eyes for a host of communications and they’re a very powerful tool? Chances are, your cat has done the iconic slow blink in your direction. This is how your cats reassure one another and you.

If your cat gives you an unblinking, continuous stare, they can be trying to intimidate you. They usually do it for territorial reasons.

During a standoff, the aggressor’s pupils will narrow, so they have better depth perception. The cat that’s in a defensive position will have dilated pupils because this gives them a better peripheral vision.

4. A Cat’s Purr Signals Contentment

When a cat reaches around one week old, they can start to purr. This lets the mother cat know that the kitten is getting milk.

Many people believe that when an adult cat purrs, they remember this first relationship with their mother. A purr signals to you that your cat is in a social and friendly mood.

If a cat gets injured, they can purr as a means to self-soothe, or they can purr to get your attention. The purring frequency can change from cat to cat. Some cats avidly purr while others rarely do it.

5. Your Cat Uses Body Language to Display Affection

The people who claim cats aren’t affectionate simply don’t know how to read their body language.

My cat loves to come and rub up against me when I’m standing in the kitchen or relaxing on the couch, and this is an affectionate behavior. When they hold their tail up with a small curve at the end, this means they’re happy to see you.

Chin rubbing and head butts are a great sign that your cat loves you because they’re rubbing their scent glands on you to make you smell like them. Cats also knead when they’re affectionate and content.

6. Cats Have Several Signs of Overstimulation

When a cat gets overstimulated by their environment, they may lash out and scratch or bite you if you come too close. Fortunately, they have several warning signs that you should leave them alone.

These signs include things like tail lashing, flattened ears, fidgeting, retracted lips, hissing, growing, or warning nips that don’t break the skin. If your cat is doing this, leave them alone to calm down.

7. Cat’s Ears Can Tell You Who Started a Fight

When two cats get into a standoff, look at their ears. This will give you a key sign of which one is defending and which one is the aggressor.

The cat that’s defending will plaster their ears flat to their head to protect them. The aggressor will also have their ears flat, but they’ll have a slight twist so you can see the tips from the front.

Bottom Line

Your cat will give off several cues to their feelings using their body language. These seven facts can help you understand your cat better, and this can lead to a happier cat overall.

Have you ever caught your cat tilting their head to the side and staring at you, or have they ever flicked their tail when they brushed by you? If so, you’ve most likely wondered what they were trying to tell you.

Cats are very expressive creatures, and they can get their point across both verbally and with body language.

I’ve learned a lot about my cats’ verbal cues like meowing, hissing, and growling. But, their body language took me a little longer. I’ve picked up on seven important facts that you need to know. I’ll share them with you next so you can understand your feline friend better.

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