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How Cats Communicate pt. 2

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Last month, we talked about how to speak to your cat. We would like to discuss communication in depth. So, the question is: How does your cat speak to you? This is an excellent question! Let’s talk.

Experts have shown cats have their ways of speaking to you. All you have to do is to learn cat. In the past, people thought cats were just cats, arrogant and independent. Like their brothers and sisters in the wild, it was thought that they hunted, bathed themselves and slept; then they would wake and start this process all over again. A cat would only grace us with their company when they wanted something… like food. They were good for hunting and killing mice, but not much more. Pretty dull existence, huh? However, experts have found that all cats do not have just one cookie-cutter personality. Like dogs, they each have their own personality, their needs and desires, and each communicates what is going through their heads differently.
Those who have studied the cat-human communication have found that there is a “language” used by cats. If you watch and listen to your cat, your bond with him will become even tighter than before. These examples are just general ways that a cat might communicate. More communication facts
Purring as a way of cat communication
First, I want to make it clear that when a cat purrs, it does not always mean they are content. While this is sometimes the case, purring can mean something altogether different. When your cat purrs, watch him. Look at his stance. Are his muscles tense? Is his fur standing on end? Are his eyes dilated and ears back? Most likely, these are signs of anger and sometimes purring will accompany anger.
Another reason for communication by purring is that he is sick and is trying to heal himself. Several years ago, I was seriously ill. I had two cats and, each taking turns, they would lie beside, purring to comfort me.
It’s all in the tail
Other ways of cat-speak are in the tail. That’s right, I said tail. Have you ever noticed how your cat’s tail moves? That is him trying to speak to you (and to other cats). Different ways of cat-communication are, as they say, all in the tail. If the tail is erect and the fur is laying down flat, he’s happy, alert, and/or inquisitive. He is comfortable in his territory. If the fur on the tail is bushy, he is angry or afraid. Like a dog, if they hold the tail low and between the legs, he is anxious or insecure. If it is thrashing to and fro, he is agitated; leave him alone. The more agitated he gets, the more chances that he will scratch or bite you, or both. If the tail is straight up and quivering, it be one of two things; either he is excited or, if he/she is not neutered/spayed, the cat is likely spraying.
Watch the eyes. The cat uses them to communicate a host of feelings. These are a few ways you can know what he is trying to tell you. If the pupils aren’t dilated, it is normally a sign of contentment. If the they become dilated, it can mean he is angry or terrified. Keep your “eye” on the tail for further clues.
There are a few things you need to know about the body communication. If the back is arched with fur standing on end, he may be scared or angry, but if it is arched and the fur is flat, he is telling you he wants a pet from you. Laying on his back means he is relaxed and trusts you, especially when he allows you to rub his belly. If he is sitting square on his haunches, with his hind end up and quivering, look out. He might be getting ready to strike, in either anger or play. Again, watch that tail (and the claws!)
For more information on communication between you and your cat, please visit: Man’s Other Best Friend
Our thanks go out to: Humane Society, and Catster

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