Cats language is largely made of body language, physical contact, sounds, and scents, like most animals. Without words, cats still manage to show affection, tell you what they want, and warn off whoever annoys them.
So, how do cats communicate with humans? How do cats communicate with other cats? Mostly, the way cats communicate with each other and the way cats communicate with humans is similar.
Felines show affection by licking and rubbing heads together, and sometimes cats bite playfully because their mother groomed them when they were kittens, so in their minds, grooming is associated with affection.
Using touch to show affection is a common feline behavior, like sitting on a human’s lap and sleeping very close to another cat, for example. Or shoving their muzzles into your hand or leg.
Relaxation: Cats knead when they’re relaxed and content. They also blink slowly. Some cats may roll on their backs, exposing their vulnerable belly. Their tails move lazily sideways.
Tension: A frightened cat’s ears flatter, its body tenses, and fur may stand on edge. When a cat is very stressed, they may drool.
Aggression: nails unfolded and visible, ready to attack. The cat arches its back to appear larger. The paw may be raised, ready for attack, nails unfolded and visible.
Happiness and confidence: Tail up. Sometimes, the tail may be held high and stiff but trembling as a sign of love and happiness. It means, ‘I’m crazy about you!’
indecision: The tip of the tail swinging slightly from side to side
Playfulness, excitement: Tip of tail flipping sideways faster. With kittens, sometimes the hairs on the tail are raised.
You can learn a lot by a cat’s stare. You can see anger or love and happiness just by looking in their eyes. Cats have very expressive eyes.
In my mind, I see only you, me, and a can of tuna. Slowly and gracefully, your fingers tighten around the can opener that shines a tantalizing silver in the moonlight. (A bit of feline poetry never hurt anyone).
How do cats communicate with their tails?
Playfulness: a curved or twitching tail.
Anger: the tails slaps sideways fast.
Fear: tail tucked between the hind legs.
Happiness: tail up high and straight.
I’m crazy about you: tail up, stiff and slightly trembling.
Cats communicate through sounds
Anger and fear: Cats hiss and growl when feeling threatened. There’s also the famous feline battle mew that sounds like a scream, and the angry moaning, snarling, and spitting.
Stalking prey: Cats chirp when watching birds.
You can get electrocuted on this cable. As a concerned citizen, I find it my duty to inform you your behavior is irresponsible and alarming. Suppose you come over so we can talk about this in a civilized manner?
Calm and content: Cats purr when calm, but they also purr sometimes in painful situation, maybe in order to calm themselves.
Cats mew in order to receive attention, get food or a cuddle, welcome their beloved human servant home, or complain.
Cats communicate through scent
Cats rub themselves against objects and their favorite humans in order to leave their scent and let other creatures know this is their personal property. You cat rubbing against you is claiming you as his own.
Cats also mark their territory by spraying.
Cats language is easy on the words, high on expression, body language, physical contact, and scents.
Cats language is more honest than human language, because humans can lie, but most cats don’t control their body language well enough to pretend. Although this can happen, it’s not as usual as lying among humans.
Cats language is somehow limited. It can’t tell a story or location. But to make up for the missing details, feline communication is high on emotions. You can see what they’re feeling. Feline language is short and direct.
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