Good question! It has been shown that cats do, indeed have their ways of speaking to you. All you have to do is to learn cat. In the past, people thought that cats were just cats, arrogant and independent. Like their brothers and sisters in the wild, it was thought that they hunted, bathed themselves and slept; then they would wake and start this process all over again. A cat would only grace us with their company when they wanted something, like food. They were good for hunting and killing mice, but not much more .
Pretty dull existence, huh? However, experts have found that all cats do not have just one cookie-cutter personality. Like dogs, they each have their own personality, their needs and desires, and each communicates what is going through their heads differently. Recently, those who have studied the cat-human communication have found that there is a “language” used by cats. If you watch and listen to your cat, the bond your bond with him will become even tighter than before. These examples are just general ways that a cat might communicate. more
Purring as a way of cat communication
First, I want to make it clear that when a cat purrs, it does not always mean they are contented. While, it’s true that this is sometimes the case , there are times when purring means something altogether different. When your cat purrs, watch him. Look at his stance. Are his muscles tense? Is his hair standing on end? Are his eyes dilated and ears back? Most likely, this is a sign of anger and sometimes anger will be accompanied by purring. Another reason for communication by purring is that he is sick and is trying to heal himself. Several year ago, I was seriously ill. I had two cats and, each taking turns, they would lay beside, purring to comfort me.
It’s all in the tail
Other ways of cat-speak is in the tail. That’s right, I said tail. Have you ever noticed how your cat’s tail moves? That is him trying to speak to you (and to other cats). Different ways of cat-communication are, as they say, all in the tail. Cats quite often use their tails to tell you what they want. If it’s erect and the fur is laying down flat and still, he’s happy, alert, and/or inquisitive. He is comfortable in his territory. If the fur on the tail is bushy, he is angry or afraid. Like a dog, if the tail is held low and between the legs, he is anxious or insecure. If it is thrashing to and fro, he is agitated; leave him alone. The more agitated he gets, the more chances that he will scratch or bite you, or both. If the tail is straight up and quivering, it be one of two things; either he is excited or, if he/she is not neutered/spayed, the cat is likely spraying. more
Watch the eyes. The cat uses them to communicate a host of feelings. These are a few ways you can know what your he is trying to tell you. If pupils aren’t dilated, it is normally a sign of contentment. If the pupils become dilated, it can mean that he is angry or terrified. Keep your “eye” on the tail for further clues.
There are a few things you need to know about the body communication. If it’s arched with fur standing on end, he may be scared or angry, but if it is arched and the fur is flat, he is telling you that he wants a pet from you. Laying on his back means he is relaxed. It is also a sign of trust, especially when he allows you to rub his belly. If he is hunched down, with his hind haunches quivering, look out. He might be getting ready to strike, in either anger or play. Again, watch that tail.
There are, of course, many other ways your cat speaks to you, and we will cover them in later posts.
For more information on communication between you and you cat, please visit: Man’s Other Best Friend
Our thanks go out to: Cat Chat, Catster and New York Magazine
DISCLAIMER: I am not a cat behaviorist, vet, or an expert of any kind. Therefore, I can only claim that the statements made in this blog are based on my personal New Nresearch and my 20 years of experience as a cat guardian only.
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