Cats communicate with humans in a variety of ways. Some of those are verbal: they meow, purr, hiss, and growl. Even when simply meowing, there are a variety of tones and desires communicated. Things get still more subtle when non-verbal communication is considered. Cats are notorious for their slyness and desire to have their minds read. A few tips about posturings and positions can help people to better understand their cats’ desires.
Understanding the Language of Eyes
Cats are known to sit, staring in deep thought. They can appear to be occupied for lengthy periods of time while in this stagnant state. When the pupils are normal, or not dilated, the cat is relaxed. A cat at ease may make contact with the eyes, holding the gaze until blinking softly or glancing away nonchalantly. A cat also communicates with the shape of the eye. Their eyes open wide if the cat is surprised, or become narrowed if trouble is forthcoming. The pupils dilate with the onset of adrenaline; this means the cat is ready to attack, pounce, or dominate.
The Ears Telegraph the Mind
A cat’s ears may be pointed or rounded, but either way, they are antennae capable of moving independently. Cats can hear sounds from great distances away. More than that, a cat within three feet of a sound’s origin can pinpoint its precise location nearly instantly. These amazing instruments point at the location in which the cat is interested. They also telegraph the state of mind. Ears flattened, either to the sides or behind, indicate fear, nervousness, or irritation. This is a state of fight or flight. Ears flattened tight against the head indicate a more aggressive or dangerous emotion.
Cats tails are constantly moving and can be a good indication of their current state of emotions. A tail arched like a question mark or hooked into a curved shape indicates a feline looking for fun. A tail standing straight up is the sign of a friendly cat. Perhaps the best-known indicator of a cat’s emotions is the tail standing puffed out with the fur on end. This is the mark of a cat that is fearful or furious and trying to make itself look bigger, more dominant. A happy, content cat often curls its tail about the things it loves, such as a fellow feline or a human’s leg.
Cats are independent, loyal, and very laid back, making them wonderful pets. Understanding your cat’s language is your duty as a responsible owner and will help you to bond with your feline friend.