Here’s how to better understand cat body language

Have you ever thought that it would be better if your cat could talk, to understand what he really wants when he’s meowing? Many owners of these pets would love for this to happen, wouldn’t they? After all, are they complaining, praising, asking, or what?

Yeah, but what if we said that it is possible to better understand what the feline is trying to say? No, it’s not a meow translator, but better understand the body language of cats. Observing simple signs, it is possible to understand what he means in each situation and provide greater comfort for your friend.

Let’s understand this together? Check it out below and learn more!

Tail movement

Like dogs , a cat’s tail also speaks volumes about its communication. The movement of the tail says a lot about the mood of the felines. Some common moves are:

  • tail in the air, moving smoothly: comfortable and happy;
  • tail down: suspicious;
  • tail with bristly hair: ready to attack;
  • tail wagging very slowly with fixed gaze: keeping attention on something;
  • tail wagging rapidly: is highly irritated.


Kittens’ ears talk too! Yeah, that just shows how expressive they are. The position of the ears can communicate much of the cat’s comfort or otherwise. Some signs are:

  • if they are erect and facing forward: the cat is alert;
  • if they are standing, but facing backwards: it is a somewhat aggressive confidence, it can symbolize a moment of “fight”;
  • if they’re down: he’s scared or, then, he’s probably irritated and might go for aggression;
  • if they are kind of curved and down: cat is relaxed and happy.


Posture is one of the most powerful ways to understand a cat’s body language. And, therefore, we have many questions that can indicate about the emotions of animals. We separate the main points that you can pay attention to.

  • Rubbing the places (and the owner): believe me, this matter of rubbing is beyond affection! As cats are territorial , they do this to leave their scent on you and the places. With that, if they have other animals at home, he is saying to them: “this human is mine!”, with his pheromones. Note that this can be more common, especially if you had contact with other animals that day;
  • lying on his back: he is showing that he is open and trusts you to be in a vulnerable position to gain affection (but of course he can take the opportunity to play and bite, the famous “trap” that cat owners know);
  • lying on his side with outstretched paws: relaxed and confident, a sign that he is not aware of external signs;
  • retracted posture: if it even looks like your cat has shrunk in size from being curled up so much, it could be a sign that he is very scared;
  • when he appears to be “all powerful”: if he looks, on the other hand, bigger than he is, bending his torso to do so, it can be a challenging posture for a rival or frighten him, showing that he is bigger than him. Be especially careful if he has ruffled hair and his nails are showing.


The eyes are the windows to the soul and with felines, this is very true. They communicate many sentimental issues of theirs. And believe me, one of the signs is just the opposite of what common sense believes!

  • fixed look: means confidence and admiration;
  • fixed gaze, but with a more imposing posture: it can mean challenge;
  • semi-dilated pupil (other than due to lighting): it is preparing for an eventual flight or fight;
  • wink: the famous wink is a way of showing affection for the tutor.


One of the ways cats express themselves is also through meows. Their frequency and tonality can be a good way to identify what he means. Some examples are:

  • high-pitched meows: if he’s aligned with a more withdrawn posture, your friend might be scared. You’ll notice that it’s a very cornered posture;
  • meows in front of the food bowl: this goes for both the feeder and places that have food and snacks that he likes. For example, if you keep wet or dry food in a cupboard, he can do this movement in front of the place (especially if you are in the habit of always providing food at the same time);
  • meow and run to lie down on the floor: he is trying to get your attention so that you pet him;

And here we can put one of the most famous and charming vocalizations of your four-legged friends: the famous purr! When he makes that little noise as if he had an engine running (vibrating the throat region. Yes, just put your fingertip in the region and you will feel that sound starts there).

Purring is a sound that puppies usually make to show affection for their mother. With that it is possible that she continues to feed them for a longer time.

Another very common sound, but which is the opposite is the famous “fur”. It sounds like a high-pitched, throat scratching sound. This is a warning sound that he is about to attack. It is usually accompanied by a fighting stance, as we have discussed in this article.

This is very common, for example, when they are in contact with other animals, as a way of marking distance and warning them to retreat before an attack. If you notice this, it’s important to separate them before they start fighting, because the warning won’t always work.

Cats’ body language can be a way of translating what they want to say to us. With this you can understand them better and thus provide more comfort and affection and notice when they show gratitude for us humans.

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