How to understand cat gestures


As soon as you understand the basics of your cat's behavior, you can quickly interpret how it feels. If you are trying to understand your cat's behavior, our guide will explain everything you need to know to speak the language of cats!

This is how your cat will spend most of his waking hours and is a fundamental part of the feline language: relaxed, happy and comfortable in a family environment. You should look as if you were satisfied to see life go by.

Neutral signs

If you are lying down, you may be stretched, curled up in a ball, or resting with your head raised and legs neatly gathered under your body.

Your eyes will blink softly or be half closed.

The ears will relax, keeping carelessly in an upright and forward position, although they will turn sideways independently if the cat hears something around it.

Also the whiskers relax, moving away from the cheeks, giving the feeling of a smile.

The body maintains an elegant and relaxed posture, without any tension that suggests that it is about to take action.

It may seem funny and fluffy, but since its birth your cat is designed to be an excellent hunter: it can easily stalk and capture its prey, and is able to concentrate 100% on its target. If your cat concentrates on a small object that moves, or something new around it, you will notice that its body language changes as it tries to decide which is the best response to that stimulus.

Attention signs

The eyes open and the pupils contract.

The ears and mustaches are directed forward, with the body tilted toward the center of your attention.

The body will crouch when stalking, with the hind legs folded under the body.

The language of your cat's tail will show attention by staying low behind it. The tip of the tail, as well as the hindquarters, can move jerkily as it prepares to attack.

If the object of his attention is you, for example, if he is trying to get food or pampering, he could rub himself against you with his tail upright, but don't be fooled: stay focused on his goal!

A happy cat is easy to recognize: you will understand his body language easily. This is the state in which you would prefer that your cat spend most of the time, since it is the perfect state to enjoy a good time together.

Symptoms of happiness

If you are sitting, you will be relaxed and upright, with your ears facing up and forward but relaxed, sometimes orienting you gently towards familiar sounds, such as the voices of your family.

If you are lying down, you may have your legs collected under your body, or stretch on your side or even on your back with your legs extended outward, indicating that you are completely happy.

You can sleep with your eyes closed or semi-open, or seem to weigh your eyelids, almost as if you were daydreaming sometimes. If it blinks very slowly, try to blink too slowly to show that you are relaxed: this imitation behavior is a fantastic way to strengthen the bond with your cat.

The whiskers will relax and the tail will remain still (or vertical with a slight curvature if it is greeting you).

If you caress it, you can close your eyes with satisfaction and begin to purr softly ..

Cats are very sensitive, especially to changes. It may take some time for cats to adapt to unexpected changes, so learning to recognize their anxiety symptoms will help you relax. The sooner you recognize your cat's body language signs, the sooner you can give him a reassuring caress when he approaches in search of trust and attention. Give your cat 2 or 3 days after any major change to get used to it and return to normal.

Anxiety signs

The cat's eyes will be open without blinking, with the pupils dilated in an oval or circular shape.

The ears can move from their relaxed front position in search of information, independently turning each of them. If the cat is very anxious, it can even lower its head back.

He will begin to duck his head, with the whiskers pulled back to look small and harmless, or even move them forward on alert.

As your anxiety increases, the cat will start to shrink, or arch its back preparing to run.

The language of the cat's tail is very important: you can keep it still or slowly move the tip from side to side, which is a symptom of anxiety.

An anxious cat's behavior can be subtle, but when he is scared he leaves no doubt: if he is afraid of something like a loud noise, your cat will not calm down with a caress and it is likely that even his favorite whim will not work. Your body language will indicate that you are terrified, and will only return to normal when you feel safe. Try not to move sharply to reassure him, as he could interpret it as another threat. Instead, if possible eliminate everything that may be scaring you and wait for it to calm down.

If your cat shows this behavior frequently, you should consult your veterinarian to refer you to the appropriate specialist.

Symptoms of fear

The cat's ears will fold back and the head may descend with the gaze directed upwards.

You can run away or, if this is not possible, you will remain standing or squatting very still.

The eyes will be wide open with the pupils fully dilated and the mustaches folded or bristled.

They can hiss or spit at nearby threats, growl or slap.

Some cats stretch their front legs to appear taller or arch their backs and bristle their hair to appear larger.

The tail can remain under the body or move quickly from side to side.

Cats tail

The tail is a part of the body that can tell us a lot about how our friend is in the mood: if he has it up and slowly moves it from side to side, it is because he is happy, however, if he has it low it is because he has lost interest But there is more: If you have it low and also tapping on the ground, or move only the tip of your tail, it is because you feel tense or uncomfortable.

Cat eyes

If your cat is requesting pampering, you will see that he has slightly narrowed eyes, but if he has them wide open, with his eyes fixed and also has bristly hair and / or shows teeth, I recommend that you leave it alone in the room with the door open as it feels very angry and could hurt you.

On the other hand, if you have them open with your ears in a relaxed position, it's because you are simply observing what is around him.

We hope we have helped you understand your hairy gestures 🙂.