Understanding Your Cat’s Body Language

Just like humans, cats have an unspoken way of telling others when they are angry, annoyed, happy or scared. By understanding your cat’s body language, you can create a closer relationship and also avoid those nasty scratches. It is also important to teach children to recognize when kitty is getting annoyed with all the tail and ear pulling.

  1. Your kitty greets you at the door and rubs on your legs. His ears are up and his tail is up. He is happy you’re home and excited to see you.
  2. Kitty is laying on his side, eyes half open, half asleep half away. He is content, but keeping an eye on what’s going on around him.
  3. Ears are down and back, tail is swishing from side to side. Kitty is getting annoyed and if you keep it up, there will probably be blood shed.
  4. Back is arched, tail is fluffed up, ears are flat. Kitty is very angry and you might lose an eye if you get too close. This can also be accompanied by a low growl.
  5. Tail straight up, waving slightly, eyes bright, ears up, whiskers forward. Something very interesting has caught kitty’s attention and he’s willing to see what exactly it is.

Although this is by no means a complete list, it gives you an idea of the basic communications for cat language. They have a variety of “tells” that let you read his or her mood and might vary between cats. The most important thing to do is just observe your cat’s behavior and you will learn to tell what kind of mood he is in.

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2 thoughts on “Understanding Your Cat’s Body Language

  1. My cat does not urinate outside the box, she poops! Not everytime, but on my bed! YUK! I have had to confine her to my bedroom, because she goes in the hallway too. help! How do I gently get her to stop!

  2. Fran,

    Most litter box problems are caused by a medical condition, so the first thing to do is take kitty to the vet to rule out any kind of illness. In the meantime, here are a few things to consider:

    1. Clean the bed with an enzymatic cleaner, such as Urine Off. It will get rid of the smell that brings her back to that spot.

    2. Have you changed litter or the type of litter box recently? It could be that she doesn’t like the new box or litter.

    3. Have you tried using two different boxes? Some cats like to pee in one box and poop in the other.

    4. Are you cleaning the box often enough? Some cats are very picky and need their box cleaned daily or more than once per day.

    5. Have you introduced a new cat, dog or baby to the family? Has anyone left the household? Stress can cause litter box problems, so in this case, maybe a Feliway diffuser would help.

    6. Is there another cat that is causing her to not be able to use the litter box? If another cat or puppy or kid is interrupting her when she’s trying to go, it can cause this also.

    7. You can also try moving her food to that spot. Cats don’t like to have their food near where they eliminate, and I’m sure you wouldn’t like to eat in the bathroom!

    These are just a few suggestions, but I would recommend a vet visit above all else. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

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