Nearly every pet owner wishes they had the ability to communicate with their furry friends. It would be so nice to know what their cat’s purring means and what they are thinking about. Animals can’t really communicate to people by speaking, so instead they use other ways to communicate with them, like sounds or body language. You can tell a lot about what your pet is trying to point out by the position of their body.
Cats are known to be very expressive if you know what exactly to focus on in their body language, and because of how expressive they are, it’s simple for cat owners to know their feline’s need. From the way they twitch their ear to the way they move their tails; all these little details are a form of communication. Learn more about how cats use body language in Wilmington, DE to communicate.
Relaxed and Happy
When your cat is feeling relaxed and happy, they might look chill or have sleepy eyes. The feeling results in their muscles relaxing. Their head may be moving and turning to check out their surroundings. When your cat seems relaxed and comfortable, they might want some snuggling or petting.
- Eyes: When a cat is content or relaxed, their pupils would be at their typical normal size. You might notice their eyelids looking somewhat closed halfway, as if they are about to doze off. They wouldn’t be paranoid or be at watch.
- Body: When they are lying down, they might be on their side, showing their belly. This sign can seem simple, but it shows that they feel safe.
- Tail: A happy and relaxed cat will allow their tail to lie flat and extended. The tail would be still for some time, and the fur would lie flat against it.
When your cat is excited and wants to play, they’ll show a lot of energy, similar to a dog. They might start playing around with their favorite toy or stalk you around the house as if they are trying to encourage you to play with them.
- Body: Cats love to play games that involve stalking. Similar to their wild ancestors, you might see the cat crouch with their hind end raised as if they’re ready to pounce on prey. Pouncing is also another sign that your cat is feeling playful.
- Ears: When your cat is playful, their ears show a lot of signs. They would be up and will point forward. You might assume that they look especially alert.
- Tail: Some cats will keep their tails down while they are getting ready to pounce. You might also notice their tails raised and flicking around back and forth. Occasionally, a young cat or a kitten might even chase their own tail, just like dogs.
- Eye: Your cat’s eye will dilate and might even have a wide wild look in their eyes. You will note them watching you or their favorite toy intently while playing.
Scared, Frightened or Worried
A scared cat might start to seem similar to those cats we see on Halloween shows when their back is arched, and their tails are raised. Your feline might be extremely terrified and find a hiding spot, refusing to come out. They may hiss or act in a defensive fashion. These signs and body language might show once they are scared.
- Eyes: A frightened cat might be extremely paranoid and watchful. Their pupils will be dilated, and their eyes will be open.
- Tail: You might notice that their tail would be raised and held up as well as rigid once they are scared. They might also wrap their tail around them to protect themselves from being grabbed or bitten.
- Ears: Your cats may flick their ears back and forth rapidly so they can pay attention and monitor any sound around them. They might lie flat against their head or draw their ears down, so they point sideways.
- Body: The most common body position your cat would display when they are frightened is to arch their back and let their fur stand on end. You would notice they are tense and could respond quickly by attacking.
The first sign you would notice once your cat has an illness is that their body language would often change. Their eyes might look a bit dull or glassy, and their ears will drop to the sides of their head not having the strength to be active. You may notice your cat lying in a crouched position with their head and ears down. If they are in pain, they might lie in a position where they are trying to avoid feeling the pain or to avoid making it worse.
More Physical Actions of Cat Body Language
Cats have several other things they do to communicate with their owners, some include:
Cats are known to rub themselves against objects, including people. It’s simply a sign of appreciation and affection, but it’s also a message to other cats. This is a way to distribute their scent and mark their territory, similar to leaving scratch marks.
Some cats will flex their paws up or down either on your lap or on a pillow. This is called kneading. It is a behavior they carried once they are born. Kittens knead on their mother whenever they feed on their mother’s milk, and they associate it with comfort.
The Sounds of Cat Body Language
Cats don’t just meow to each other, they only meow to humans to get their attention. Your cat might meow for their daily needs, like whenever they want to be petted or whenever they are hungry. Purring is a sign of comfort, relaxation, and contentment. If you hear your cat yowling or making other unfamiliar noises, it might be a sign of pain or an illness.
Meowing isn’t the only sound your cat makes, others include:
- Constant meowing: This meowing is the point of absurdity and could mean that they are ill or experiencing pain and might need to visit their regular veterinarian.
- Growl: Growling is a common sound that cats make whenever they feel threatened or when another animal is in their space.
- Chirp: A cat that chirps is trying to get the owner’s attention and is frustrated by being ignored.
- Purr: Purring is often solely associated with utter pleasure and is also a form of self-soothing. A cat that is lethargic or reclusive and is routinely purring could be a sign that they are in pain.
- Yowl: A low yowl is a noise that cats make whenever they are down or sad. Your cat is expressing despair, afraid or upset.
Cats can show their emotions through their body language. By observing their quirks and habits, you’ll get better at interpreting these body positions and tending to their needs.
If you have any questions regarding your cat’s body language or overall health, call us at (302) 762-2694.