You don’t need to possess Dr. Doolittle’s ability to communicate with animals to figure out what your cat is trying to tell you. Our feline friends tell us a lot through their whiskers, posture, tail, ears, and more. By becoming familiar with the physical cues they give and what they indicate, you can decode their body language. Here’s a quick guide from the Bark Avenue team to help!
Signs of an alert, happy cat
A happy cat seeking attention is often easy to identify, but inappropriate petting can change your cat’s mood quickly. When your feline friend is curious and interested in interaction, you’ll notice the following:
- She will hold her head high.
- Her tail will be level with her back, or high in the air with a slight curl at the tip.
- Her whiskers will be held level with the sides of her mouth.
- She will hold her ears high on her head, facing forward.
Happy cats often meow to seek attention, or they purr contentedly, occasionally offering a trill or chirp to garner petting and praise.
Signs of an afraid cat
Cats who are afraid can become aggressive, at which point, it’s easy to identify her mood. Prior to her lashing out, you may notice the following fearful indicators in your cat:
- Whiskers flat against her face
- Dilated pupils
- Lowered ears that are turned out
- A crouched body position that’s slightly arched, ready for a quick getaway or attack
- Her tail curled around her body
If the object of your cat’s fear moves closer, she will likely arch her back, raise her hair, and growl, hiss, and swat. At this point, you should back away and allow your cat to calm down.
Signs of an anxious cat
An anxious cat will remain still to better evaluate the situation without attracting attention.
- Her eyes will widen, and her pupils dilate as she remains alert for danger.
- Her ears will begin to turn out to the side, shifting lower on the head, or begin to twitch.
- She will hold her tail low to the ground and may flick it rapidly back and forth as her anxiety mounts.
- When standing, her back will be lower than her front, as she slinks away from a troubling situation.
If you’re “feline” stumped about your cat’s behavior, let us help. Contact us at the location most convenient to you for assistance.