How To Read Cat Communication Signals

pyancey March 13, 2016 0
How To Read Cat Communication Signals

Cat’s are adoring, passionate pets, but they may also be one of the toughest animals to read when it comes to translating their temperaments and body language, particularly when you think about the dog, which is practically an open book by comparison!

However, cats use a whole range of various communication signals, when it comes to communicating with other cats, as well as with people. Cats’ channels of communication include vocal signals, body language, facial expressions and a lot more, and once you can accurately interpret these signals, it will be possible to gain a much better knowledge of your cat’s mood, and the things they are trying to tell you!

If you find yourself continuously flummoxed when it comes to judging your cat’s temperaments and wish to develop a much better understanding of how to interpret their communication signals, this information will help. Keep reading for a brief run-down of the communication signals used by cats, and what they mean.

The Tail

Your cat’s tail can communicate a whole range of signals and emotions, and because this is among the most undoubtedly identifiable regions of the body, the tail makes for a great starting point!

A cat whose tail is held up high and erect implies self-confidence, interest, joy and happiness. If a strange cat walk up to you on the street with their tail in this position, it is safe to believe that they want to say HELLO!

In the event that your cat’s tail is held low and straight, this is a great sign to stay away as the cat is upset or looking for a scrap! It is however, worth bearing in mind that for certain breeds; the natural carriage of their tail is less than others therefore get to know the regular posture for your cat’s tail when judging this.

In the event that the cat has their tail tightly clamped down against their butt, this signifies that the cat is frightened or unsettled.

A tail that is swinging tautly forwards and backwards is a clear warning beacon that the cat is becoming aggressive; you can even notice this tail posture as part of hunting behavior, or play. The quicker the swinging, the more aggravated the cat is! Mild swishing of the tail, however, implies interest. In the event that the tip of the tail is twitching slightly but the tail is relaxed, this is a friendly, satisfied signal.

In the event that the cat’s tail is bushed up like a bottle brush, this signifies that the cat’s fight or flight answers have kicked in, and your cat is attempting to make themselves appear large and threatening as possible, therefore once again, proceed with extreme caution!

The Ears

In the event that the cat’s ears are in a well rested position and pointing forwards, they are either listening to something, or are generally at peace or satisfied. Ears laid flat back against the head implies either worry or perhaps rage; both feelings provides a cue to the cat to protect the delicate ear tissue by making it into as small a target as possible.  If one of the cat’s ears is inside out, they’ve most likely just given it a great wash!

The Fur And Body

A calm, happy cat’s fur will be lying flat and smoothed out, but if your cat’s fur is bushed up, either something has unsettled them, or perhaps they are squaring up for a fight! When a cat is planning to fight or protect themselves, the fur on their body will stand on end, to be able to make the cat appear as large and prominent as possible to any possible threats. They will also frequently arch their backs, and present a side-on view of their body to their opponent, which once again, are all meant to make the cat look bigger.

Eye Contact

In the human world, making eye contact when we are talking is our way of allowing the other party realize that we are paying attention and interested in the things they are saying, and not making eye contact is considered extremely rude! However, for cats to make direct eye contact is the height of bad manners, and implies control and a threat. That is why cats frequently seem to make a beeline for the one person in the room who is either frightened of cats or not particularly interested in them; this person is likely to be the only one which is intentionally avoiding looking at the cat in the hopes of being left alone, but in cat language, this person is exhibiting outstanding manners that needs to be rewarded with the first hello!


Some cats are chattier compared to others, with the Siamese being good examples of a talkative cats! While some cats will seldom meow at all, others may have a distinct language of meows that you will quickly learn how to interpret. Much like new parents soon learn to tell a baby is hungry from an unhappy cry, therefore you too will be able to understand your cat’s meowing for food, and meowing for attention or something else. Cats that are hunting or play-hunting frequently make a trilling sound at the back of their throats, and this is one thing that you won’t usually hear in other circumstances. Growls and hisses are of course clear warnings of rage or defensive aggression, while howling or perhaps yowling which may be part of mating behavior, or used to signify discomfort, danger or unhappiness.

In Conclusion

In your quest to understand cat language and get a deeper understanding about how you can read your cat, it is important to interpret cat’s communication signals in combination with each other, and also, their environment and what exactly is going on to be able to make a precise forecast of their mood. Basically making a judgment about how your cat is feeling or what they are trying to tell you by watching one signal by yourself will often result in drawing the wrong conclusion!

How do you read your cat’s tail? What clues does your cat give you? I’d like to hear your comments.

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