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How to Read Your Cat's Body Language

How to Read Your Cat's Body Language

How are you getting along with your cat? If you’re struggling to communicate, perhaps you’re not reading their body language effectively. Take a look at your feline now and read the signs.

Read Your cat's emotions

A Happy cat...

happy cat
Sitting or lying down, eyes half-closed, pupils narrowed, tail mostly still, ears forward, and purring—a really happy cat will often knead on a soft surface.

A frisky cat...

The whiskers and ears will be forward, the tail raised with large pupils. Your cat is ready to hunt and pounce in a playful manner.

A testy cat...

Ears will be turned back with their tail twitching or ‘wagging’. But they are not happy like a dog; the faster the ‘wag’ the more irritable your cat. Your cat might growl or even give a soft ‘bite’ as a warning to stop playing. They can be over-stimulated and become annoyed.


A worried cat...

The tail will be low or even between their legs with ears sideways or back and pupils large. They may ‘pussyfoot’ around the room, hugging the floor, looking to hide. Your cat might even face the wall to shut out the situation.

A scared cat...

Ears and whiskers are back and flat against their head, back arched, fur standing on end, and tail can be either standing up or low. Your cat may vocalise their fear in howls, growls or even spit and hiss.

Other things to look out for

Look into your cat’s eyes (but be cautious of holding the gaze for too long: this is aggressive behaviour).

If they hold your gaze they are feeling aggressive towards you...



If they coyly look away, then back, then away again, they are happy and respectful of you.... 

Do the same back to them and remember not to hold the gaze.


If your cat is rubbing their body against as you as you read this...

...he or she is marking their territory and making sure any visitors know everything belongs to them. And that means you too.



If your cat is kneading you like a piece of dough, they’re in a kitten trance 

When a nursing kitten wants milk, they massage their mother’s teats to encourage the flow. Your cat doesn’t want milk, they’re just regressing into a happy place. With you. 


Still curious? Check out the WebMD cat website to find out more about your feline friend.

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