How well can you read your cat?

Cats really are some of my favourite animals. They’re highly unpredictable, entertaining, curious and (potentially) affectionate, and since we have six cats of our own (two inside, four outside), I’ve come to learn that cats are very complex creatures.

A little while ago my mom brought home an informational paper from our local Ruffin’s Pet Centre. Detailing different ways in which cats communicate with us through body language, I wanted to share this knowledge with anyone else who owns a cat.

  • If a cat is interested, it will likely hold eye contact with you while holding its tail level with its body
  • If a cat is friendly, it will likely hold eye contact with you and hold its tail almost straight upwards
  • If a cat is attentive, it will likely sit on its bum with its tail curled around them
  • If a cat is relaxed, it will likely lay on its side with its head up and its legs outstretched
  • If a cat is trusting, it will likely show its belly to you while laying on its back – but this doesn’t mean it necessarily wants a belly rub
  • If a cat is relaxed and friendly, it will likely mimic the body language of being attentive but will blink
  • If a cat is content, it will likely curl up and begin kneading
  • If a cat is conflicted or cautious, it will likely have one of its front paws lifted
  • If a cat is excited it will likely drag its front claws down the length of something
  • If a cat is scent marking, it will likely rub its face/head against an object
  • If a cat is predatory, it will likely be low to the ground and moving slowly
  • If a cat is frightened, it will likely curl up and pin its ears backwards
  • If a cat is threatened, it will likely hiss or swat at someone or something
  • If a cat is terrified, it will hunch its back while standing and have its tail almost straight upwards
  • If a cat is irritated, it will likely flick its tail erratically

I think this information goes to show just how complex cats can be, but if we can have a better understanding of what exactly they’re feeling, chances are we will be able to build a better relationship with them.

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