Cat Body Language:
How Cats Show What is on Their Minds
Dogs are man's best friend,
and cats consider all humans as "staff".
Mother cats talk a lot to their kittens with very loving sounds, even to human ears. As the kittens mature and develop their good eyesight the mother relies more on her cat body language. Silent cat body language is safer to use in the wild. However, we cats living with humans find it necessary, and more effective, to make vocal sounds rather than rely on our body language. Humans don't understand our cat body language but a loud meow often gets results.
The main cat body language communication device is the tail, followed by the ears, eyes, and whiskers. Here are some of the tail, ears, eyes and whiskers messages:
Greeting Body Language:
Tail straight up high and the end slowly moving left and right:
"Hi! I'm pleased to see you. I'm very contented with the way things are right now. You have been doing a good job for me lately. Do you have a treat for me?"
Readiness Body Language:
Tail whipping rapidly left and right, level at back height. Head and ears moving around surveying area:
"I'm ready for some action. Bring it on! I'm looking for something to smack!"
Stalking Body Language:
Focused attention on prey. Ready to pounce and kill (or more likely, to play).
"That looks like a zebra at the water hole. Think I'll pounce on it!"
Security Survey Body Language:
Ears are very active twisting in all directions: Surveying the surroundings for dangers or whatever.
"Hmmmm, do I hear a gazelle in the grass, or is that the refrigerator door opening?"
Resting and Alert Body Language:
Eyes closed but ears rotating and monitoring for any activity in area. Paw tucked in. (No need for claws right now. All is safe here.):
"Don't mess with me right now!
I'm meditating and doing my purring mantra."
Irritated Body Language:
Facing away with tail flipping rapidly, fully, and thumping floor noisily.
"Hey! I'm not happy with this situation! I don't like this at all! I'm going to ignore you! Get out of my face!"
Disapproval Body Language:
Shaking head momentarily. Often turns and walks away.
"No! Stop it! I don't like that!"
Playful Hunting Body Language:
Ears and whiskers forward; eyes wide open and round:
"That is really interesting! I wonder if I should play with it or eat it?"
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