Understanding Cat Language

We love cats, but sometimes they can seem so hard to understand! One minute you’re cuddling and petting them, sharing a nice moment, and the next they’re batting you away or giving you a quick bite. How do we know when enough cuddling is enough before our cat gets fed up with us? Easy, pay attention to its body language! Whether you’re listening to your cat’s noises or watching how its body changes in different situations, you are able to get a pretty good idea of what your cat is currently feeling.


You can learn a lot about what a cat is trying to tell you by paying attention to the various noises it makes. For different situations and moods, cats make different noises, and knowing which sounds means what can help both you and your cat build a stronger communicative bond!

“Meow” is used for a number of reasons, sometimes just because the cat wants to hear itself talk. When your cat meows it could simply be saying hello or could also be commanding you to do something like “feed me.” A meow can also serve as an objection or an announcement.

Chirps and trills are a cat’s way of telling you to follow them. Usually this will happen when a cat gets hungry or knows that it’s feeding time and they want you to walk to their bowl to fill it up.

Purring, as we all know, means a cat is happy, content and comfortable!

Growling or hissing is a cat’s way of saying “leave me alone.” It’s either angry, frightened, annoyed or aggressive.

Body Language

Not only do cats communicate with us vocally, but they also communicate with us through their body language. Just like with humans, you can get a pretty good insight as to what a cat is thinking and feeling by watching its body.

Ears: If a cat’s ears are forward, it means it is alert, interested or happy. If they appear backwards or flat, it is angry, frightened, or irritable. If its ear are swiveling, this is a sign that the cat is very attentive.

Tail: A cat is happy if its tail is erect and the fur is flat. Oppositely, a cat is angry or frightened if the fur is standing on end. If the tail is thrashing back and forth, the cat is agitated and should be left alone.

Body: A cat found lying on its back, belly up and purring is a very relaxed one! However, if it’s lying on its back and growling, the cat is upset and will take action soon. An arched back with flat fur means that a cat wants to be pet, but an arched back with fur standing on end means stay away.

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