Is your cat happy? Is your cat ready to attack? Is your cat moody? Get answers. Learn cat body language!
The purpose of this article is to clearly explain cat body language, including how cats indicate their mood and intentions with their tails, eyes, and whiskers.
Learning from Cat Ears and Cat Tails
Cat body language speaks loudly. You can understand your cat’s mood by watching his body language. For example, a happy cat will hold his ears high while his tail will be tall and straight. His ears might be slightly swiveled to the side, or his tail might be high but bent over at the tip towards his back.
Cats show moods with their tails in other ways. A cat’s tail that is carried horizontally typically means that the cat is feeling average. Nothing special is happening. A drooping tail indicates unhappiness or poor health. And lastly, a bottle-brush or puffy looking tail tells you that your cat is ready to attack or is very frightened.
A mother cat will usually allow her young kittens to play with her tail. However, when she gets tired of this she will thrash it wildly, which teaches them to leave it alone. Therefore, a thrashing tail is cat body language that shows your cat is about to lose her temper and attack soon, while a slowly wagging tail simply demonstrates her alertness.
Other Cat Body Language
Fear or anxiousness in cats is often displayed by lip-licking and possibly purring.
Rapid blinking can show anxiety in some situation but it can also be a sign that a cat has friendly intentions and does not pose a threat to another cat. Half-closed eyes or slow blinking is generally a display of contentment.
Some cat owners believe that blinking at their cat, if the blink is returned, is the feline equivalent of giving and receiving a little kiss. Like humans, large pupils (dilation) indicate interest, while smaller pupils mean that your cat isn’t very alert or attentive.
When your cat’s whiskers are pushed forward and they look very bushy, this cat body language is a display of anticipation and interest. Whiskers will often be pulled back when a cat is about to be fed, or when he catches a prey animal. When your cat comes face to face with another cat, he will draw his cat’s whiskers back tightly against his face. This helps to more clearly show sharp his teeth are for the confrontation.
Many people believe that cat yawning is a casual behavior. It isn’t rude or dismissive. Instead, it is really just an indication of being passive and content. When cats are very active they will not yawn. However, depending on the level of activity and how much they are worn out, they might yawn a lot. This is a basic cat body language indication of fatigue, much like human yawning.
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