Although cats sometimes make a lot of noise – howling, meowing, chirping, hissing and purring – feline communication is mostly nonverbal. But did you know that your cat is talking to you all the time, even when he's quiet? Can you understand what he's trying to tell you?
It can be difficult for humans to figure out our cats' emotions, but it's an important part of being a pet owner, as we always need to be doing our best to take care of our furry friends. Once you know what to look for, you'll be able to understand you kitty's language and give him what he needs. The following steps will explain what to watch out for in a cat's body language, as reported by the site Vet Street.
When a cat is content and relaxed, his tail is typically held high or curled slightly forward, and may twitch a little. Wagging is a sign of interest – you'll see it when your pet is getting ready to pounce a bird or a toy.
Source: Pet MD
When your cat is agitated, his tail could move faster and more forcefully. It's easy to pick up that he's not enjoying the situation. When his tail is puffed up and stiff he is actually terrified, and when he wraps it around him, your cat is concerned about the situation.
Source: Pets Magazine
Keep a close eye on your kitty's tail, as it's one of the easiest ways to read his body language.
There is much important information to be taken from a cat's ears. When they are facing forward or leaning slightly to the side, he's relaxed. Pricked forward ears are a sign of interest and excitement.
However, if the ears are twitching quickly, it can be a sign of nervousness and uncertainty. When they are tightly pinned back against his head, your cat is feeling frightened or agitated.
Source: Daily Mail
It's important to look at the pupils here. When his pupils are a normal size, not dilated, then your fluffy pet is likely content. Half-closed eyes are a sign of extreme relaxation and comfort. But if he is feeling aggressive, his eyes may change shape to either dilated or constricted pupils – they will look hard.
If your cat keeps staring at something, like a mouse or another cat, it's his way of getting ready for an attack. But if your kitty has eyes nervously darting around, he is feeling frightened and looking for an escape route.
In relaxation mode your cat's whiskers are relaxed and barely noticeable. When they are stiff or flat against his face, it could mean he's frightened. Look out for the mouth, too.
Source: Cats of Instagram
If he's licking his lips excessively or grooming himself more than usual, chances are he's uneasy about something. An anxious cat will also have trouble eating, sleeping and cuddling.
Source: Web MD
A relaxed kitty will breathe slowly and have his paws folded softly under his body. An agitated cat has tensed muscles and moves in a rigid, stiff way. Shallow breathing and extended claws indicate nervousness.
However, if your cat is frightened, he will either move very slowly or very quickly and his tail will either puff up of he will tuck it under his body in order to cower.
A kitty lying on his back is showing you trust and affection, but this can also sometimes be a sign of defence – assess the situation carefully before getting scratched!
Always pay attention to your furry friend's physical movements and body language. He can tell you more than you know without making a sound. Respect his requests and don't invade his personal space. After all, you'd expect the same from a friend.