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Your Cat’s Body Language

What does a cat’s body language mean? How do you read a cat’s body language and mood? Cats communicate with people and with each other in many unique ways.

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A cat’s body language can be subtle, which means it’s not always clear how they feel. To understand your cat’s psychology, pay attention to your pet’s eyes, tail, mouth, and posture. Use this guide to help you recognize important body language signals.

The wild ancestor of the domestic cat was a solitary creature. Unlike dogs or horses, they were not wrapped or herd animals and preferred to hunt alone. Through many years of domestication, the cat learned to live with both humans and other animals. This adaptation has resulted in different racial and similar behavior.

Breed behavior

Some breeds are vocal, active, and intensely interested in everything that happens in their domain. The Siamese, the Abyssinian, the Cornish Rex, and the Japanese Bobtail are good examples. Persians, Scottish Folds, American Shorthairs, and British Shorthairs on the other hand are quiet, calm, and not very adventurous.

Some characteristics specifically associated with cats:

cat body language

Hunting instincts. In terms of normal behavior, cats are true carnivores and never lose their hunting instinct. Because they don’t have to catch their food, they have turned this hunting instinct into a form of play.

Hierarchical roles. Cats also have a social hierarchy that is ruled by one alpha-cat. Once established, the subordinate cats will accept the conditions of the top cat. This applies to multi-cat households as well as to cat colonies.

Sex characteristics. Outside a house, males will normally avoid other males and mark their territory with urine spray if they remain unchanged. Female cats will usually get along easily, sometimes they will take care of each other and share their tasks in the nursery.

Communicating with sound

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Inside the house and outside, cats react in different ways. Their voice is a finely tuned means of communication.

Purring is the most common voice of the cat and is a clear sign of satisfaction.

High-pitched, high-intensity tones are the calling card of a cat in distress. Cats in pain or cats during the mating ritual will make these sounds.

Growling, moaning, hissing and the “spit” sounds are all distress cries that cats can use when fighting.

Vowel sounds create a sense of urgency that is heard as begging, complaining, and bewilderment. These are all variations on the traditional “meow”.

Understanding your cat’s body language

When we say we understand a cat’s body language, we mean what they say when they use their WHOLE BODY to communicate. Because it’s not enough for kittens to tell us what they think by using their tail, ears, or a variety of sounds. They need another way to communicate what they think.

Cat body language

Your cat’s body language and facial expressions easily indicate her mood:

Quiet and happy. The body is in a relaxed position, the pupils are normal for the prevailing light, the ears are carried normally.

Angry. The ears will roll back and the pupils of the eyes will be disturbed small slits. Some angry cats will bend their body or walk very upright as on their toes.

Scared. The ears will lie flat and the pupils of the eyes will be dilated. The body will assume a crouching position.

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Hunting. The body will be in a semi-squat position with the ears pushed forward and the eyes will be very intense.

Ecstasy. This is usually due to being loved and stroked. The eyes will be half-closed and the ears will be in their normal position with the body relaxed.

cat body language

The importance of the smell

The most common way of communicating through smell is through urine marking, anal secretions, and skin secretions.

Unaltered men and even women in season will spray to mark the perimeter of their domain and announce sexual tendency.

Cats circling each other try to get a scent of the anal secretions to determine whether that feline is friend or foe.

cat body language

Cats transmit their scent to humans using gland secretions from the facial area or olfactory glands in the tail when they rub against your legs.

Read Also: Tips For Introducing Cats

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