Decoding the state of our cat’s minds is not always easy, but it is often sufficient to observe them guessing that they are passing through their heads. Sure, some codes aren’t misleading, and knowing how to recognize them can help meet the needs of animals and sometimes avoid scratches and bites! There are some things you need to know to understand the cat’s language.
The oral language of the cat
The language of the cat presents a wide range of meows and vocalizations, without forgetting the purr which can also have several meanings. In the first place, meows seem to be a language intended for communication with humans, since cats rarely meow among themselves. Thus, the famous “meow” and its variations are addressed to masters: it can be a request, a call, a greeting, a complaint, tears…
Meows can vary enormously in tone and intensity, we thus distinguish soft meows expressing satisfaction, longer, and insistent meows often expressing a request for food or an outing, meows of anger, fear…
Hissing and growling are also used by the cat if he feels threatened or very upset. A cat that “spits” is a sign of defensive aggression. Cats can also howl or loud cries between themselves in the event of a fight or competition, while the cry of pain, fright, or surprise is involuntary, intense, and high-pitched. Finally, the cat may produce a kind of playful cooing that signifies a friendly hello.
Cat body language
The cat’s postures and attitudes reflect its emotions, moods, and intentions. This form of non-verbal communication can involve the whole body and/or certain parts, most often the ears, the tail, the eyes, the back… The cat uses different tail and ear positions to cat behavior: a tail high indicates that he is happy, and a tail held low, on the contrary, shows that he is scared or angry.
A wagging tail is a sign of negative or positive excitement; it is then necessary to observe the ears to decipher the whole: ears carried straight and forward show interest, while ears lying down mean that the cat is annoyed or upset. Similarly, wide open and dilated eyes can show a state of alert, fascination, or nervousness, while half-closed eyes or winks reflect well-being and satisfaction. The non-verbal language of the cat can obviously be associated with oral language: in a posture of threat, attack, or defense, the bristling hair, can spit or whistle to reinforce the message.
Signs of affection
The signs of affection and attachment of the cat to its master are diverse and sometimes disconcerting: such is the case of biting, which means – as long as it does not hurt – that it feels love for you! The cat may also show its affection by rubbing its forehead against yours, licking you, snuggling up to you, and of course, purring. Rolling onto your back and showing your stomach is another sign of confidence and relaxation.
If it happens that your cat “claws” you when he cuddles you, it is not to hurt but on the contrary, it is a well-being reflex: he “kneads” you like a kitten would her mother during breastfeeding. It also happens that cats rub their mouth and their teeth on the nose or the face of their master, which constitutes a mark of affection and attachment since he seeks to impregnate you with his scent! It is for this same reason that it comes to rub against your legs, a sign of welcome and happiness.
Beware of misinterpretations!
As said above, a cat rolling on its back shows that it is relaxed, but it is not necessarily an invitation to cuddle! Indeed, most cats do not like to let their belly be touched because it is a sensitive and vulnerable area. Except in rare cases of very “cool” and very trusting cats, rubbing the belly of an atom is likely to result in a scratch or a bite, even if its intention is not to hurt you.
Keep in mind that your cat is a small feline that has retained many of its instincts, and anthropomorphism can lead to misinterpretations. When you’re not sure of his mood, or you see him in full relaxation, it’s not always the best time to approach him even with good intentions. Finally, learning to observe all the signals (ears, eyes, tail, body, sounds emitted, etc.) is essential to have a finer understanding of the message and remove ambiguities.
How do understand a cat’s body language?
Paying attention to your cat’s health means knowing how to recognize the signs that he is satisfied, or, conversely, the signs of problems. In order to better interpret its behavior and reactions, it is crucial to understand how to interpret a cat’s body language. What should you do? Which methods were used? explain.
How do identify cat emotions by tail gesture?
To identify the signs of a happy cat, just watch its tail. Then it’s high. Being too upright indicates fear or frustration. If he hit her from right to left, he’d be pissed. The tail between the legs can cause stress and even fear.
Cat’s ears and eyes: Understand his body language
In a cat’s body language, its eyes help to better identify its emotions. A slow blink indicates that the cat is relaxed. If you close your eyes when you talk to him, it is not disrespect or negligence. He trusted you because he was defenseless. Joyful and alert cats have dilated pupils and wide eyes. As for the ear, its movements are soothing if it is not high. Leaning forward, expressing interest. Turned back and flat ears create a sense of danger and the need for self-protection.