Cat Talk and Body Language Communication


How Cats Say What Is On Their Minds

Cats don't have a lot to say, but when we do talk we want to be understood. We don't waste our breath chatting with other cats, humans, or ever to dogs. When we talk to you humans, we expect you to listen and respond immediately. That is just the way we cats think the world should operate: Cats make demands and humans obey. However, cats are disappointed a lot.

Each of our sounds is sending a message about what we want, don't want, like, or dislike. We expect that humans should have learned by now what we want by each sound. After all, cats have been living with humans for at least 5,000 years.

Law of Cat Motion

A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really good reason to change direction.

Mostly we cats just want food, comfort, or entertainment. Generally the higher the pitch and volume of our voices, the higher the immediacy and emotional level associated with our messages. The sound can be long and drawn out, or it can be short and crisp. Human research has proved that cats can understand up to 100 human words and make 20 different sounds. How many cat words or sounds from your kitty can you understand?

Some of our most common cat-talk sounds are these:

A short quiet "meow" done nearby and repeated endlessly: "I want you to give me something." (Usually food.) Or "I want you to do something." (Usually let me out or in a closed door.) Or "I'm bored and want you to pay attention to me." There is always a good reason for our meows. We cats only misbehave when humans ignore us.

The pitiful look directly in the eyes, along with a little weak "meow", can get great results.  Here I am with my look that nearly always works to get me a loving scratching and my special kitty treat.

Cat asking for treat.

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Another good tactic cats use is Murrrup kind of a throaty chirping sound ending high pitched. This is usually done with tail straight up and sometimes done with simultaneous purring. This is a pleasant sound of approval and acceptance. If humans get one of these when their kitty enters the room he or she is saying, "I'm very pleased to see you!" Such a pleasant greeting invites an ear scratching and loving soft words of praise.

Cat tail up body language greeting.

"Hello! I'm happy to see you! What do you have for me?"

The domestic cat is the only cat species that can hold its tail vertically while walking. It is a body language sign that everything is OK with them.

A loud and long blood-curdling yowl. Sounds as if the cat is being tortured but don't worry. The sound is just an expression of extreme displeasure over the present situation. Cats know this high pitch and loud sound gets results so they put everything they have into making it sound agonizing. It usually gets the desired results even in the most impossible situations. (Like when the bedroom door is closed, and the humans are doing their private stuff and kitty is locked out!)

Cat yowling. "If this doesn't get your attention I can get even louder and keep it up all night long!" 

Feline Physics Law

Law of Cat Inertia A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force - such as the opening of cat food.

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© Copyright 2009 by Lawrence Rodrigues
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