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Cat Communication

Your furry friend, like all animals, have their unique way of communicating, their own cat language, but cracking the code of these interactions can be tricky for human family members. So, how do cats communicate?

If your cat is trying to get your attention, they’ll often meow, or employ non-verbal communication, such as silently staring at you, pawing at your leg, knocking your coffee cup off the kitchen table, or scratching the couch, but this only scratches the surface of how cats communicate.

Continue reading too crack the code of cat’s communication:

Body posture & tail position:

A cat’s body posture and tail can tell you a lot about what they are trying to say, for example, if your cat is laying with their stomach exposed, rolling over or stretched out this can mean they are content and relaxed and are often giving a greeting behaviour but as tempting as it is, this is not always an invitation to tickle their belly! However, this position could also be seen in threatened cats along with fully extended claws and teeth indicating they're ready to fight.

If you’re petting your cat and you notice the tip of their tail start to twitch, this could indicate annoyance or something irritating them could mean your cat is getting overstimulated and wants you to back off, so if you see the tail twitch you should accept their request and back off.

If you see your cat scent marking by rubbing their glands in their cheeks, forehead, chin and at the base of the tail onto you or objects this could mean they are claiming what is theirs and marking their territory with the odour in their glands.

If your cat has a ‘bottle brush tail (when their tail fluffs out looking larger than usual), this posture signals defensiveness, your cat is ready to fight. It is also a way for them to appear larger to the perceived threat, if you see your cat like this it might be best to stay away as they will be ready to attack.

If your cat is roaming around with their tail pointing upwards your cat is happy, wants to be approached and interaction is welcomed., You could give your cat a snuggle if you see them walking around like this.

Facial Expressions:

Although cats can’t physically smile, their facial expressions can tell you a lot about how they are feeling but remember It's important to look at the cat's behaviour as a whole rather than focusing on just one area to understand how your cat is feeling.

Ears:

If you notice your cats’ ears are facing forward this could mean your cat is expressing interest, suggesting they are content or happy. On the other hand, if you notice your cat’s ear's are facing sideways this could mean they are more aroused, alert or distressed, the more your cat’s ears move backwards or sidewards the more distressed they may be. This leads onto backward ears with a hiss or swipe, the cat feels threatened or doesn't like what you're doing.

Eyes:

I’m sure all cat owners have noticed changes in their cat’s eyes, but what does this mean? If you notice your cat has dilated pupils this indicates arousal, this could be from fear, interest, or excitement. Dilated pupils can also occur in low light conditions. If you notice your cat doing a slow blink this is a sign that you are not a threat, if you slow blink at your cat it can put them at ease as you are showing they can trust you. If you notice your cat has narrow, split pupils your cat is feeling aroused by pleasure, anger or fear.

Vocalisation:

Cats communicate with us, and each other in a variety of ways: yowling, hissing and more, but did you know meowing is reserved for just us humans? Kittens often meow at their mothers, but naturally, cats do not meow in adulthood. Cats have learnt meowing gets a reaction from us, which is why they continue to do it. Have you noticed different types of meows? Well, this is what they could mean:

Chirping: Mother cats do this to call their kittens, but adult cats can sometimes do this towards humans as a sign of affection.

Hissing: A warning to tell you to give your cat some space as it is feeling threatened and vulnerable.

Purring: Consider your cats body language when purring to get a better idea on how they're feeling. If relaxed, then the cat is likely happy or content. Cats can also purr if they're anxious, worried or in pain.

You can use the infographics linked below for more information on how to understand your cat and their communication. We have many cats at the centre who are full of personality and looking to relax in a home of their own. You can view cats who are currently waiting HERE, Or you could treat one of the animals whilst they are waiting for their forever home by visiting our Amazon Wishlist.