Cats are like humans when it comes to revealing their inner state. They use their body language just like us to show what they feel. Many people think that cats are difficult to understand as compared to dogs that they have an ‘attitude’ problem. This is not the case at all. Cats and dogs are totally different species. While both are domesticated, they possess different characteristics and traits.
Aspiring cat owners always get bugged with the question that what if they are not able to take care of their cat because they don’t understand what the cat is trying to convey. Well, you can’t understand a thing before you experience something like cat-ownership in the first hand. The cat owners you see today who seem to have a happy relationship with their cats were once like you. They probably didn’t have any clue on where things were going. When you live with a cat, you get to understand different things. It is normal to feel overwhelmed.
But, to make things a little easier for you, we have brought this definitive guide where we talk about the body language of cat. We hope that this brief guide will help you in getting started with understanding cat behavior.
Let’s get started.
Context comes first
Cats forecast what they are feeling and their intentions by pointing their body in the direction they are going to. So, it is important to thoroughly examine the key bost language indicators, which are the eyes, ears, body, and tail. Unlike dogs, cats show more physical cues, and their meaning can vary based on the context. For instance, a tail that is lifted vertically high in the air is one of the most reliable signs of a confident cat. You can tell a lot about the cat just by looking at its tail. A high tail is also a sign of aggression, indicating their willingness to attack. This is usually when they see a strange cat.
Thus, it is important to learn the body language of cat to understand it better. Cats are highly affectionate and need a lot of attention. Understanding their behavior and body language will help you in taking good care of them. Let’s discuss cat behavior based on the context.
A relaxed cat
A cat should be relaxed all the time. This tells that they are taken good care of. Cats feel comfortable, content, and relaxed in familiar environments. Look for the following signs to determine whether they are relaxed or not:
- Their body is nice and relaxed with no tension
- They are stretched out, lying on their front with paws tucked underneath them, or curled up into a ball
- Their ears are relaxed and not alert in an upright and forward position
- Their eyes are half-closed or blink softly
- They may appear to smile with relaxed whiskers
A happy cat
You can easily recognize a happy cat. Their happiness is determined by their surroundings, companions, and food. The following are the signs of a happy cat.
- When you stroke a cat, they may gently purr and close its eyes in contentment
- Their tail will be still and whiskers relaxed. If standing, their tail will be slightly curled
- They may sleep with eyes closed or half-open – like they are daydreaming
- Their paws tucked underneath their body
- Lying on their back or side with legs spread outwards
- When sitting, it will be upright and relaxed
An angry cat
If your cat is acting aggressively, you should avoid provoking your cat. The cat may show anger in so many ways. They include:
- Eyes will be hard and focused with narrowed pupils. Some have unblinking eyes
- Tense ears flat back against their head
- Stiff whiskers away from their face
- Try to look threatening and large with fur erect, in a crouching position, or stiff on legs
- They will act differently from usual – growling, spitting, hissing, or silent
- Their tail held out straight and stiff or curled under and around their body
An anxious cat
Cats are sensitive creatures, particularly to change. If you have moved to a new place, it will take your cat some time to adjust and settle. Since they are territorial, they can easily get anxious when a change occurs. They can also feel anxious if your behavior towards the cat has changed. The signs of an anxious cat include:
- It will not blink the eyes with dilated pupils
- The tail might be moving slowly, side to side at the tip, or still
- Their back might arch, indicating that they are ready to run
- Ther head will start to lower, and whiskers pulled back
- They will try to appear small and non-threatening
- Their ears may swivel around independently from each other to scan for more information
Try to catch on to these small details. It will help you in understanding the body language of cat.