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How to Understand your Cat - Articles Surfing

Did you know that everyday your cat talks to you? Not with spoken words, but through body language, motions and gestures. Just like humans, cats feel happiness, unhappiness, boredom, affection and nervousness. Each of these is expressed by a special kind of body language. Your pet's entire body tells you how she's feeling and how you should react. It is like a game of charades, where your cat is acting out the clues while you decipher the meanings. By understanding these basic signals you can reach a greater understanding of your cat and form a close bond that will last a lifetime.

You can tell much about how your cat is feeling just from observing the facial expressions. With ears alert and high your cat is open to affection and play. As those ears go lower your cat is feeling less secure and when they are close to the head it is time to back off.

The eyes are very interesting and also reveal those inner thoughts. Blinking eyes are a sign of a happy and relaxed cat. When the eyes are very large something is frightening her. However, do not confuse this with eyes wide open and looking directly at you, which means she is giving you her full attention ' typically at feeding time. When the cat appears to stare directly at you she is in a confrontational mode, but when the eyes do not stare and the cat crouches down she is in a receptive mode.

This information actually explains a cat's behaviour when walking into a crowded room. A cat will look around and observe the facial expressions of those in the room. People who like cats will typically be wide-eyed and staring at the cat - confrontational. Those not interested will be glancing at the cat and looking away ' receptive. Which lap do you think the cat will head for?

The other obvious signals come from the cats tail. A cat is actually a self-conscious animal and the tail demonstrates this. A twitching tail indicates the cat not comfortable. It may feel you are saying something about her or because people are looking at her. After twitching the tail starts swinging wildly, which indicates anger and you should leave her alone. The next step is the bushy tail, often accompanied by hisses and those flat ears. Your cat is now in attack mode, and it is definitely time to back down. Of course the other end of the emotion scale sees the cat with the tail raised high. This is the stance many cat owners see when they return home, as the cat is happy to see you and in a good mood.

Here is a summary of these basic signals and how a cat expresses some common emotions:

Happy and Relaxed

  • Ears - Pointing forward and slightly outward.
  • Eyes - Open or half closed (sleepy), with pupils normal size - showing contentment with long, slow blinks.
  • Tail - Curved down, then up at the tip.


  • Ears - Standing straight up and pointing forward.
  • Eyes - Wide open and sparkling.
  • Tail - Standing straight up or raised slightly and curved.

Anxious or Agitated

  • Ears - Twitching
  • Eyes - Wide open, with enlarged pupils.
  • Tail - Held low, possibly between hind legs, or with tip shaking.

On the Offensive (Beware!)

  • Ears - Held flat back against the head.
  • Eyes - Pupils fully dilated, making eyes look totally black.
  • Back - Arched, with fur like a porcupine.
  • Tail - Swishing from side to side, arched, or standing straight up with fur puffed out.

Probably the best thing that could happen to a person who wants a bright and interesting companion would be the adoption of a pet cat. By understanding a few simple body signals from your cat they in turn fulfil a deep need for friendship and this arrangement works flawlessly for millions of people and cats.

Submitted by:

GrandMatrix Team

The team at GrandMatrix provide regular tips to make life easier and solve those everyday problems. There are 100's of members in this family friendly community sharing ideas, playing games, solving puzzles and having fun.




Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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