Cats are very sensitive and individual animals. Therefore the basis of a friendship with your pet is your understanding of its behaviour. When does your kitty expect attention and how does she show you that she wants to be left alone? We give you a first insight into the cat language. With these instructions you will quickly learn what you have to pay attention to in everyday life with your pet.

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The tail as a signpost through the emotional world of your cat

The tail is of central importance for understanding the current condition of your house cat. From a distance you can see how your cat is feeling right now. When you come home and your cat is waiting for you, the tail is erect and the tip slightly bent. The high tail is an unmistakable sign that the cat feels safe, is curious and maybe even wants to cuddle you. A horizontal tail stretched backwards is a declaration of love, just like the typical cat hump. This is a sign that you are recognised as a friend.

If the cat then still lies on its back, you can’t overlook that it expects you to stroke it. An excited tail movement, on the other hand, is not a sign of joyful excitement like a dog, but a sign of nervousness and restlessness. If only the tip of the tail swings back and forth, the cat is in the cautionary position. The situation is different if the cat has to clarify the order of precedence in the relationship with other cats of the same species. Then your cat puts her tail straight as a candle and the tail hairs stand up. Thus the tail looks bushy and imposing. So the competition can be impressed. In this situation you should stay away from the quadrupeds and let them clarify the hierarchy. If it shows tail slanted downwards, the cat is ready to attack. If, on the other hand, one of the two pulls in its tail, it is a sign of inferiority.

Since the different body signals of the house cat give only an overall picture, the sign language of the tail posture can be supplemented with further forms of body expression.

Sensitive reaction to the environment: the cat ears

Your kitty’s ears register every sound. If your house cat is on the alert, the ears are pointed upwards. If the auricles move forward and to the side, the cat is highly concentrated and wants to localise a sound. In this state your cat does not want to be disturbed. However, if the ears lie flat when having a quarrel with a fellow cat, the cat wants to protect its ears. In combination with the drawn-in tail the laid-on ears signal the submission of the weaker cat.

Cat language by glances

Your cat lies on the sofa and her eyes follow you across the room. Such a situation is familiar to many cat lovers. Your cat is watching you attentively and maybe she is signalling you by other body signals that you are allowed to sit with her? If the cat blinks at you slowly, it comes very close to a human smile. You can answer her blinking with pleasure. But make sure that you speak lovingly to your cat, don’t stare at her too long. Direct eye contact puts pressure on your cat, because staring with a narrow pupil is considered a gesture of dominance in cat language and is intended to intimidate the other to avoid a fight.

The facial expressions of your cat

The expression repertoire of your cat is not as sophisticated as the facial expressions of humans, but you can read the current state of mind in her face. A relaxed upper lip, half-closed eyes and whiskers that stick out slightly indicate that the cat feels comfortable and everything is fine. If the whiskers spread, however, so that the impression is created that the cat has thick cheeks, then she is excited. Not only the whiskers, but also the ears are receptive in this situation and the cat reacts very sensitively to any change in its environment. On the other hand, if the whiskers are close to the face and the lips are drawn together to a narrow line, then your cat is afraid or is suspicious. The more pointed the face looks, the more emotional your cat reacts. Also pay attention to her eyes, they shine brightly and observe her environment constantly.


Loving cooing and angry screeching: the sounds of a cat

The contented purring of a cat is the proverbial sign that a house cat feels comfortable. The kittens learn this sound from their mother, who purrs to calm them down. From the sixth day of life on, the kittens themselves react with a soft purring sound when they are happy and content. But this is by far not the only vocal utterance in the cat language. The spectrum ranges from a purring to a dangerous growl, hissing or a screeching scream. Growling noises are made by cats when they are angry or excited. If your kitty makes growling noises, this can also be a warning. Leave her alone in this case and do not try to calm her down. Often an attack announces itself with a hissing. A bite of your angry kitty in hand or calf can be very unpleasant. If a cat In this case she is in pain or is in an emergency situation from which she cannot free herself alone. In this situation, approach your cat calmly and slowly and signal that you want to help. Even if she is suffering, the cat can quickly extend her claws to protect herself.

However, if you have left your cat alone for too long, she will greet you with a reproachful mum. In such a situation, many kitties become a diva and ignore you to show you that you have broken their rules. On the other hand, if two cats literally coo, this is a form of whispering love that can also be given to you.

Learn to listen to the cat language and you will quickly understand what your kitty has in store for you. Mostly the cat express with a small change in pitch when their mood changes or you are not showing the desired behavior.

If you have left your cat alone too long, it will greet you with a reproachful mew. Many cats become divas in such a situation and ignore you at first to show you that you have broken their rules. On the other hand, if two cats are cooing at each other, this is a form of love whispering that can also be granted to you.

Learn to listen to the cat’s language and you will quickly understand what your cat expects from you. Usually the house cat expresses itself with a small change of the pitch if its mood changes or if you do not show the desired behaviour.

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We hope you enjoyed our May Cats Drink Milk article. We also hope that you learned a bit more and we would appreciate if you would share this article with other cat owners. Also read our article, Behavior Analysis for your Cat Training

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If you want to learn more about Cats and Dogs together, have a look at How to get dog and cat used to each other.

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