Most cats are mysterious and moody by nature, that’s why we love them, right? But sometimes we just want to know what they’re thinking and feeling without having to ask!
Here are a few basic cat behaviours and what they most likely mean, according to feline behaviour and training specialist, Melissa J. Sigala.
When a cat is content or happy, his body language is calm and laid back: a raised tail with a little curve at the tip, and eyes that blink slowly and lovingly at you. Content cats may deign to give you a little massage with their paws, or maybe even groom you as they would a kitten!
Scared cats will flick back their ears, growl, hiss or hide. Have you ever seen a “Halloween cat” one with a hunched back facing off against an antagonist sideways? That’s a definite sign of fear, and he’s trying to look as intimidating as possible! In contrast, a cat may scrunch himself up to look as tiny and un-intimidating as possible, if he’s trying to defend himself with a submissive stance.
Related: 5 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained
When your cat thumps or twitches his tail in a fast, agitated manner, it’s a sure sign that something or someone is annoying him. Ears turned sideways are another sign of agitation, as are prolonged and loud vocalizations.
Does your cat sometimes scratch or bite shoes, blankets, clothes, etc.? Anxious cats will chew on inanimate objects as well as groom themselves in excess as a way of relieving stress.
Have you ever seen an angry cat? This mood is hard to mistake since the cat’s aggression is on clear display: bared teeth, growling, constricted pupils, and lunging. In this instance, it’s best to steer clear until your fur baby’s mood has calmed down!
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At the other end of the spectrum lies (literally!) the affectionate cat. When your kitty is ready to show you the love, expect it to come in the form of slow eye blinks, head butting, and even a lick or two. And if your cat lies down next to you with his back toward you, it’s the ultimate sign of affection as it shows he trusts you enough to “turn his back on you”!
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