Tell-Tail Signs: How to Read your Cat’s Body Language

Do you ever wonder what your cat is thinking or what they may be trying to tell you? Perhaps a playful paw could be misinterpreted as aggression. Perhaps, a hiss may be misinterpreted as an act of playfulness. Truth is, our feline friends are communicating to us more often than we think! Below, we will help dissect what our kitties are saying, in order to eliminate confusion, unwanted aggression, and unnecessary confrontation.


According to VetStreet, you can tell a lot about what your cat is feeling by admiring the position of the tail and the rate at which the tail is moving. For example, a happy cat will usually have their tail behind them in a loose manner. The tail will not be stiff or moving rapidly, instead the tail may be high and moving slightly, signifying your kitty is interested. When your cat is distressed or agitated, they may begin to move his tail faster and more forcefully. Your feline may also present stress or skepticism when their tail falls underneath them, is bristled out, or remains stiff. This type of tail that we commonly associate with, “Halloween cats isn’t just your kitty trying to look scary—it’s a sign that she’s actually terrified.


According to PetFinder, you can also tell a lot about your feline’s mood by the location in which their ears are positioned! For example, if your cat is content, playful, and alert, their ears will either be pushed forward or stand straight up! When your cat is irritated, nervous, or anxious, you’ll notice their ears actually turn back. When you see your kitty’s ears like this, he may want to be left alone due to over stimulation. When your cat is scared and on the defense, you will see their ears flat against their head. This is a sign that they are about to act aggressively so it’s best to stay away!


According to PetCube, you can tell a lot about what your kitten is trying to tell you based on eye movements and blinks! For example, a loving gesture from your feline friends is shown when they stare at you and blink slowly! This is one way cats can show you adoration and trust towards their human counterparts! When your kitty is excited from their playtime, their pupils will actually be dilated. However, if pupil dilation is paired with an aggressive tail or frightful ears, pupil dilation is instead a sign of fearfulness. Last, when your beloved is annoyed or irritated, you will notice constricted pupils. This means it’s time to make sure they have all of their essentials and necessities!

Vocal Cues:

According to Pets.WebMD, when your cat is content, you will hear her purr softly in a relaxed manner. However, this may also be a sign of recovery from illness. When your kitty wants to exhibit friendliness, you’ll begin to hear a high-pitch chatter sound. This means that it’s okay to approach and make friends! On the other paw, when your cat does not want to be bothered, you will hear a hissing, growling, or even spitting noise. Lastly, when your loved one feels threatened, you will hear a, “very loud, guttural sound that cats (especially males that have not been neutered) make”.

Exposed Belly:

According to Pets.WebMD, an exposed belly is a hard behavior to interpret. Have you ever seen a kitty on his back and interpret this action as an invitation to rub his belly like a dog? Perhaps once you begin to touch the cat’s belly he claws at you and maybe even hisses! This is because an exposed tummy can either mean contentment and relaxation, or a defensive kitty ready to fight. Pay attention to other signs such as placement of the tail and ears, and how his pupils look to determine if your cat wants to be touched or not!

It’s important to decipher what your feline may be telling you in order to maintain trust, safety, and positive communication between you and your kitty. Cats differ from dogs in many ways and the way they communicate is a critical differentiation that should not be overlooked! If you know of any other ways we can better interpret our feline friends, feel free to comment below!

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