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How does your cat talk to you?

Cats have lots of ways of communicating - how many of them do you already know?
Gerry Molloy
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Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 1:57 pm

How does your cat talk to you?

Postby Gerry Molloy » Sat May 02, 2015 3:15 pm

According to the Humane Society, your cat is communicating with you - but in different ways - all the time; the question is you you really understand what she/he is saying or how they are really feeling?

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/ca ... ation.html

Chirps and trills
These are how a mother cat tells her kittens to follow her. Aimed at you, it probably means your cat wants you to follow him, usually to his food bowl. If you have more than one cat, you'll often hear them converse with each other this way.

Purring
Easy one - a sign of contentment (usually). Cats purr whenever they're happy, even while they’re eating. Sometimes, however, a cat may purr when she's anxious or sick, using her purr to comfort herself, like a child sucking his thumb.

Growling, hissing or spitting
Another easy one - your cat who is annoyed, frightened, angry or aggressive. Give him/her space.

A yowl or howl (they sound like loud, drawn-out meows)
Your cat is in some kind of distress—stuck in a closet, looking for you or in pain.
In unneutered and unspayed cats, these sounds are part of mating behavior.
If your cat is elderly, he may be suffering from a cognitive disorder (dementia) and may howl because he's disoriented.

Chattering, chittering or twittering
These are the noises your cat makes when she's sitting in the window watching birds or squirrels.

Body language: Your cat speaks with his whole body
Does your cat arch her back up to meet your hand when you pet her? This means she's enjoying this contact with you.
Does she shrink away under your slightest touch? Save the petting for later: She's not interested right now.

Pay attention to your cat's eyes, ears, body and tail—they're all telling the story. Here are some basic (though sometimes contradictory) clues:

Ears
Forward: alert, interested or happy
Backward, sideways, flat ("airplane ears"): irritable, angry or frightened
Swiveling: attentive and listening to every little sound.

Eyes
Pupils constricted: offensively aggressive, but possibly content
Pupils dilated (large): nervous or submissive (if somewhat dilated), defensively aggressive (if fully dilated), but possibly playful.

Tail
Erect, fur flat: alert, inquisitive or happy
Fur standing on end: angry or frightened
Held very low or tucked between legs: insecure or anxious
Thrashing back and forth: agitated. The faster the tail, the angrier the cat
Straight up, quivering: excited, really happy. If your cat hasn't been neutered or spayed, he or she could be getting ready to spray something.

Body
Back arched, fur standing on end: frightened or angry
Back arched, fur flat: welcoming your touch
Lying on back, purring: very relaxed
Lying on back, growling: upset and ready to strike

Rubbing
When your cat rubs his chin and body against you, he's telling you he loves you, right? Well, sort of. What he's really doing is marking his territory. You'll notice that he also rubs the chair, the door, his toys, everything in sight. He's telling everyone that this is his stuff, including you. But he does love you, too.

Kneading
This is sometimes called "making biscuits," because the cat works her paws on a soft surface as if it she's kneading bread dough. It's a holdover from kittenhood, when a nursing kitten massaged her mother's teats to make milk flow. Your cat does this when she is really happy.

A Key to Your Cat's Moods
Wondering if your cat is happy, meditating or having a bad day? Here's are some tips:

Content: 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.

Playful: Ears forward, tail up, whiskers forward and pupils somewhat dilated—playing is hunting behavior; your cat may stalk her prey (a toy, a housemate or you), then crouch down with her rear end slightly raised. A little wiggle of the butt, then…pounce! Your cat will grab her prey, bite it, wrestle it the floor and kick it with her hind feet: Her toy is now dead.

Irritated or over-stimulated: Pupils dilated, ears turned back and tail twitching or waving—your cat may growl or put his teeth on you as a warning to cease and desist. Intense play can quickly turn into overstimulation in some cats, resulting in biting and scratching.

Nervous or anxious: Ears sideways or back, pupils dilated and tail low or tucked between legs—your cat may slink through the house close to the floor, looking for somewhere to hide. He may turn his face to the wall to shut the world out.

Frightened or startled: Think Halloween cat—ears back and flat against her head, whiskers back, back arched, fur standing on end and tail erect or low. She may yowl, growl, hiss and spit.

Defensive: Crouched, ears flattened, whiskers back, tail between his legs or wrapped around his body, and pupils dilated—he may meow loudly, growl, hiss and spit.

Angry, aggressive: Ears back, pupils very constricted, and her tail may be up or down with the fur standing on end—an aggressive cat will stare down another cat and growl or yowl until the other cat gives way. Cats don't really want to fight; they prefer standoffs, but this can progress to fighting if one of the cats doesn't back down.

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/ca ... ation.html

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