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Understanding your cat's body language

By The To 08:10

It’s easy to understand your cat when you can decode the signs!

It may take some practice, but knowing what your cat's body language means can help you to get to know them better. When should you play together? Are they feeling scared by your visitors? Observe their ears, eyes, whiskers and stance and you’ll learn to understand your best friend!

 

Your cat’s body language: Ears, eyes, whiskers

Language of the ears

Did you know that a cat’s ears are an excellent barometer of a their mood, and easily readable, even for beginners.

 

Forward: Ears pointing to the top of their head, facing forward means they’re alert, interested or happy. If something happens, they're ready to jump up.

 

Flattened: If your cat's ears are flattened, it means that they are irritable, or nervous. They are nervous and may be ready to attack.

Language of the eyes

In humans, eyes express plenty of different feelings and emotions. In cats too!

 

Dilated pupils: These are signs of anxiety, submissiveness or nervousness. Nevertheless, if you notice that your cat's pupils are always dilated, you should consult a veterinarian.

 

Constricted pupils: When your cat's pupils are smaller than usual, it means that they're angry.

 

Did you know that looking a cat into the eyes is a sign of aggression? If you want to "seduce" a cat and have them come to you, turn your eyes away and blink.

Languages of the whiskers

Cat's whiskers are to help them with their senses, but act as useful mood indicators as well.

 

Forward: When they are faced forward, fanned out, it means that your cat is startled or excited. This is he same as other body hair on your cat.

 

Flat: When they are suddenly spread against your cat’s face, it could be a sign that they’re scared.

 

 

Happy, angry, or worried?

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has created a poster to help you understand your cat’s body language at a quick glance.

 

You might think you know when your cat is happy, but it is not always that obvious whether they are relaxed or worried. A worried cat may crouch with their limbs and tail tucked underneath them, pupils dilated, or they may hide completely.

 

RSPCA Understanding Cat Behaviour

A happy cat, however, is more like to lie down comfortably, expose their stomach, and appear naturally relaxed.

 

They say that warning signs of an angry or very unhappy cat include: a flat body, flat ears, dilated pupils, tail and limbs held close to the body. Another sign is an arched back, or a body that is flattened but with the head drawn back and teeth bared.

 

If your cat is showing signs of aggressive behaviour, it may be a problem that needs investigating. You can find out more here.

 

Infographic: RSPCA

Do you know any more facts about your cat’s body language?

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