Kitty communication can be quite mysterious. Our cats can seem quirky and confusing at times, but their physical mannerisms can be the key to uncovering what our feline friends are trying to tell us. If you raised an eyebrow after reading that last sentence, you’re in luck. We’re going to shine some light on the question every cat owner has considered a time or two: “What is my cat trying to tell me?”
Cats communicate mostly through body language, although they do punctuate their messages from time to time with verbal cues like meowing, hissing, growling, and chirping. These noises are often fairly straightforward when it comes to what your cat is saying. Your cat’s non-verbal body language is subtler and can be a bit more complicated to translate.
Don’t overlook your kitty’s body language. When you understand what your cat is telling you, you can provide a happier existence for you and your kitty. You will begin to notice when your cat feels nervous, anxious, or upset. Deciphering these clues can help you reduce stressors and provide a more comfortable environment for your beloved kitty!
Eyes: What Do Her Eyes Say?
Cats have undeniably gorgeous eyes. Paying attention to your cat’s eyes can give you insight into your cat’s mood and thoughts. When it comes to your kitty’s eyes, it’s all about the pupils, eye contact, and shape.
If your cat is comfy and confident, her pupils will not be dilated. Her eyes will be relaxed and even partially closed. A relaxed cat will hold eye contact for a while and slowly blink in a calm manner. You’ll find your cat probably does this after a tasty meal or when she’s super sleepy. Your cat’s relaxed eyes say, “Thanks for keeping me safe and satisfied.”
When your cat feels nervous or excited, her pupils will dilate. A rush of adrenaline causes arousal and wide-open pupils. This suggests your cat is ready to play, pounce, or even attack. This is especially accurate if this is paired with your cat staring at prey like a bird or moth.
When your cat feels scared, she’ll avoid eye contact, and she might look around for a way to escape.
Your cat’s eyes will also convey messages about her thoughts. Wide eyes mean your cat is surprised or anticipating surprise.
Tails: A Tale of Your Kitty’s Tail
Don’t you love your kitty’s tail? Cat tails are so expressive. But do you know what your kitty’s tail is saying? Your cat’s expressive tail can tell you a lot about her temperament and emotional state.
What does my cat’s tail position mean?
- A hook or question mark: “It’s time to have some fun and play.”
- Straight up: “I’m feeling quite friendly.”
- A low-hanging tail: “Don’t mess with me. I’m feeling grumpy.”
- A puffed-up tail: “Beware: I’m very, very mad.”
The way your cat moves her tail also communicates what she’s thinking. When your cat flicks her tail, she’s intrigued and interested in what she’s looking at and ready to possibly pounce on it. Strong movements and wags of the tail can mean your cat is uncomfortable or upset. You may want to get her out of the uncomfortable situation.
Does your cat swirl around your legs and let her tail wrap around you? You should feel privileged. Cats wrap their tails around their favorite things when they’re feeling affectionate.
Ears: Listen Carefully
Your cat’s ears aren’t just for listening or ignoring you. They’re also an indicator of your kitty’s inner workings. Ears that point forward or slightly to the side mean your cat is cozy. Forward-facing pointy ears also suggest your cat is amped or excited.
Twitching ears are a sign of anxiety or uneasiness. When your cat slicks her ears directly back against her head, she’s saying she is afraid or extremely upset.
Posture: What Does Your Cat’s Body Position Mean?
Your cat’s body is one her of her most powerful tools to get your attention and make demands. From knocking your coffee over to laying on your important papers, cats know how to work their humans with their bodies. While these habits may seem coincidental, most the time they point to one thing: your cat is desperate for a little love and attention.
When your cat head butts you, she’s letting you know that she could use a few head pets. When she rolls over on her back and wriggles, she’s saying that she trusts you to keep her safe. If your cat is feeling feisty, she may lay on her back ready to play. Some kitties will do this when playing with a feline sibling.
If your cat arches up and puffs up, you probably know that she’s not a happy camper, so watch out and try to remove whatever is upsetting her. If your cat feels scared and trapped, she’ll likely get low and make her body small.
Your kitty’s communication may be quite different than ours, but it can be oh-so-telling. So, watch that tail and body, those eyes, ears, and take note of what your furry friend may be saying.
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— Meow for now —