What is your cat saying to you?

What is your cat saying to you?

Cats have often been accused of being cryptic and unpredictable. They are often portrayed as mysterious creatures, which are great plot points for novels and TV shows, but the mystery surrounding cats fade away, once you learn the feline language.


The Meow…

The meow is the most innocuous of all cat sounds. It can be a ‘hey whaddup’ or a mildly complaining ‘where you been all day’ or a demanding ‘give me dinner’. It can also be a command like ‘get me that bird from the sky’ or simply the announcement of arrival. Sometimes cats tend to go around the house, loudly meowing. It can be them getting familiar with their surroundings or searching for a mouse. In some cases, loud meows may also mean that you need to clean the litter box sooner.

The Purr…

Purring is usually a sign of happiness. If your kitty is pleased with your petting, he or she will reward you loud purrs and sometimes a few head rubs. However, purring can also be a sign of a sick/injured cat. If you find a stray which is purring loudly, seemingly to get your attention, you may want to check it for a wound and take it to the vet.

The Hiss…

No prizes for guessing, hissing isn’t the sound of friendship. A cat often hisses if it senses danger and/or is cornered. If your cat is hissing at you, it’s best to leave him alone for a while. Trying to pet him now may result in scratches. If your cat is hissing and you don’t know why or at what, you should search your house and check if another animal has sneaked into your house. Cats are highly intuitive and they can sense things that aren’t right in front of you. Your cat may also hiss at the vet sometimes, because, well, who likes injections!

The yowling

Your cat will yowl or howl when they need your help. Like if they are stuck on a tree trunk or inside the bathroom or something clearly horrible has happened, like poo stuck to their backside. But if your cat is unneutered and is yowling at night, then brace yourself for weeks of sleepless nights. Because your cat wants to mate and is looking for a partner. In such a situation, you can try and soothe your cat, preferably with some catnip, wait a few weeks for the yowling to stop and then get him or her spayed. And that will be the end of the mating call yowling.

Learning their body language

Your cat may not vocalise their thoughts all the time. But they are communicating with you through their movements and postures. It is important for you to understand your cat’s body language.

  • Eyes

When your cat blinks at you, it is regarded as a sign of affection. Frequent blinking suggests that your cat loves you back. Hurrah!

Big eyes (dilated pupils)
It may mean that your cat is a little anxious, or just playful. It is safe to pet your cat now.

Small eyes (constricted pupils)
This means that your cat is in an aggressive mood. It may be because he is looking at birds outside the window, or may get into a fight with your other pet or simply in an aggressive mood. You can pet your cat now, but exercise caution.

This means that your cat is in an aggressive mood. It may be because he is looking at birds outside the window, or may get into a fight with your other pet or simply in an aggressive mood. You can pet your cat now, but exercise caution.

  • Ears

Alert, possibly in a playful mood. Throw a toy towards him.

Backwards/ flat
Your cat is angry or frightened. It’s best to leave the cat alone now and give him a place to hide.

  • Tail

    An erect tail means that your cat may be alert but mostly content. This may also be a good time to pet your cat.

    Drooped/tucked between legs
    Your cat is scared, insecure. It’s best to give him a comfortable place to hide.

    Lashing back & forth
    That is an angry cat and you may wanna get away.

      • Body

      Arched back, fur standing
      Your cat is angry and may start hissing soon. Don’t wave your hand in its face now, obviously.

      Arched back, fur flat
      Your cat is ready to be petted and wants your affection. Keep em’ hands working!

      Lying on back and growling
      Get away from this cat. Your cat is upset and may swat at anything that comes in its way.

      Cats also perform actions like ‘kneading’, when they press their paws against a soft surface as if they are kneading to make a dough. This usually happens if your cat was taken away from the mom as a kitten and wasn’t weaned properly. This gesture shows that your cat trusts you and is happy.

      The Head Bonk

      You may find your cat frequently climbing your bed and bonking its head against your head. Consider yourself very lucky because you have been chosen for this special bonding ritual. This time-honoured tradition implies that your cat is exchanging your scent with theirs, and claiming you as their own. This is a sacred feline ritual and if you have been honoured with a head bonk, give yourself a pat on the back. You make a good cat slave.

      The Rubbing

      When your cat rubs yourself against you, it means that he is claiming you as his own. When your cat rubs itself against tables, chairs, beds, couches, doors and other such things in your immediate surrounding, it means that he is marking his territory. Basically, the cat is reigning king in the house now. The tables, chairs and everything that you own, belong to him. And you are his humble slave. There, there, he loves you too.

      Now you see, your cat has been saying quite a lot to you. It’s time you paid some attention.


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