Your cat might not speak your language, but you can learn to speak theirs. By understanding how to read the signs and signals your cat is sending you through their body language, you will have better insight into how they are feeling.
Similar to babies’ coos and cries, meowing can send a variety of signals. It might be a greeting (“Hi! Missed you…”), an objection (“Don’t touch!”), an announcement (“Look, I brought you a dead mouse!”), or even a direct order (“Feed me now” or “Put me down.”). Just as babies coo to themselves, sometimes cats will just walk around and make noise for something to do.
Eyes are windows to the soul
If pupils turn to pinpricks, your cat may be feeling aggressive—then again, the light might just be too bright. If pupils become dilated and large, your cat may be feeling nervous or submissive. If eyes are fully dilated, the cat may be feeling defensive and aggressive. Then again, huge pupils may mean your cat is ready to play!
A whale of a tail
Tails can tell you a lot about attitude. Erect tails with flat fur means your cat is alert, happy, or curious. Fur standing on end means the cat is scared or angry. A tucked tail means nervousness or insecurity, and thrashing back and forth is a sign of agitation; the faster the tail flicks, the angrier they likely are.
Back to basic cat facts
Arched backs with fur standing on end means your cat is scared or angry, whereas arched backs with flat fur means your cat is welcoming and ready to be touched. If your cat is lying on their back and purring, they’re extremely relaxed. However, if she’s lying on her back but growling, step away—she’s upset and likely ready to strike.
If your cat’s behavior is ever a puzzle, we’d love to help. In addition to providing cat vaccinations, cat spaying, cat neutering, and a full suite of veterinary services, LazyPaw Animal Hospitals also employs educated animal experts who understand the ins and outs of feline behavior. Though no one can ever fully crack the mystery of the feline mind, we do our best to understand our furry friends and give them the best possible veterinary care.