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Communicating Behaviour - "Cat Talk"

When cats meow it signifies feelings like anger, affection, discomfort, contentment, desire, hunger, questioning etc. Cats will often initiate communication, and start a little conversation with you, using sounds, movements and visual cues! Tisha used to let out soft little squeaks before she started purring and eventually would drool. Pashu would talk, demand and "prrrrt" a lot ...

Keeping your cat's distinct personality in mind, here some ways that will help you know what feelings your cat is displaying via body movements.

Affectionate

  • rubbing its whiskers against your leg
  • nibbling on your arm
  • licking (kissing)
  • gazes at you with slow blinks and glowing eyes

Content

  • tail high
  • tail tip slowly moving
  • purring (may demonstrate pain as well)
  • slanted eyes
  • kneading with front paws on your lap or arm

Happy

  • ears perked forward & whiskers relaxed
  • fully erect tail with tip stiffly vertical

Love

  • tail held erect with entire length quivering
  • tagging you as his/hers butts head against you
  • rubs body against your legs

Trusting

  • direct eye contact

Alert & expectant, assertive

  • ears forward

Curious

  • perked ears

Excited, frisky

  • dilated pupils

Inviting play or attention

  • a little pat with the paw (claws in)

Ready for action, to pounce

  • hind legs bent

Afraid

  • tail held low with hairs standing on end

Angry

  • wagging tail sideways
  • ears flattened (laid back) with whiskers forward & pupils small

Annoyed

  • sharply twitching tail

Beware

  • tail held straight out with hairs standing on end

Dissatisfied

  • tail drooping

Frightened

  • ears and whiskers flat & pupils large

Hostile

  • arching its back with fur raised

Pain

  • purring (demonstrates contentment as well)

Stalking

  • crouched low with tail straight behind

Worried

  • tail tucked between legs

Read the CatWatch article: Chat With Your Cat: What You Can Learn by Understanding Her Body Language

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