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Feline body language

Do you understand what your cat is saying to you?  Cats use body language to communicate to other animals how they’re feeling – with a bit of careful observation we can understand them too!


Cats use their tails in several ways to express their mood.  It’s worth getting to know all of these. Certified

• Tail up with tip curled over back  – Relaxed and happy to be approached.
• Tail down –  Frightened, under threat of attack.
• Tail thrashing rapidly from side to side  –  Don’t confuse this with a dog’s wagging tail! It indicates that the cat is angry and may pounce or attack imminently. Avoid approaching.
• Tail moving slowly back and forth  – Uncertain, deciding what to do in a particular situation.
• Huge fluffy tail – Reaction to a sudden attack or noise, or sometimes just play-fighting (among kittens) The cat is trying to make himself appear larger to potential enemies!


Cats’ ears are very sensitive – and very mobile.  The position of the ears means a lot!

• Ears forward – Relaxed, content, playful. Happy to be approached.
• Ears straight up – Alert, watching intently.
• Ears turned back – Feeling irritated; best to leave him alone.
• Ears turned sideways or back – Scared or anxious about something; don’t interfere.
• Ears back and flat against head –  Feeling defensive, angry or aggressive. Quite likely to pounce or attack. Avoid!


We know how beautiful a cat’s eyes are – they also express many feelings.  Look closely!

• Dilated pupils – A cat’s pupils may dilate when a cat is surprised, scared or stimulated.
• Constricted pupils – Constricted pupils could mean your cat is tense or possibly feeling aggressive. But also take into account the lighting –  bright light = contracted pupils
• Stare – A long unblinking stare may be a sign of aggression –  take care!
• Slow Blinking – This indicates a happy, relaxed cat. Give   him a fuss.

It’s worth getting to know all of the above expressions of feline body language.  When you’re able to interpret your cat’s moods, you’ll have a better understanding of how to interact with him, leading to a mutually beneficial relationship.  What could be better for both of you?


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