Cat Language


"Simon" read his story "The Adventures of Simon"

Knowing some cat language is much more fun than learning a foreign human language. This is what makes cat watching fun and enjoyable. Learning and understanding your Siamese’s cat language involves both body language and vocal cat sounds. Through body language and demeanor your cat is a skilled communicator. Some of the cat’s body language and vocalization is clear. It’s up to us to learn how to interpret it by checking out their actions, or non-actions, their position and their eyes, whiskers and tail. 

Understanding the way cats communicate will help you form a better relationship with your cat. Your Siamese is so beautiful and pleasing to the eye and hand, but now you can understand what your kitties are communicating to each other and to you. Even better you can join in on the conversation. Having a multiple cat home, I can often understand the communication of cat to cat, by looking at the expression of their body language. Especially that of the face and ears. 

Happy Cat Language

Is easy to recognize. It’s the perfect state for the best quality time between you and your cat. 

• When sitting, your cat will be relaxed and upright, with ears pointed up and forward, but relaxed, sometimes swiveling gently towards familiar sounds like your family’s voices.

• When lying down, they may have their paws tucked neatly underneath them, or be lying stretched out on their side or even on their back, with legs spread outwards, which shows they are incredibly happy.

• They may snooze with their eyes closed or half open or look heavy-lidded – like they are daydreaming at times! If they blink very slowly, try blinking slowly back to show you’re relaxed too – this mimicking behavior is a wonderful way to bond with your cat.

• Whiskers will be relaxed and their tail still – or held high with a slight curl if they’re standing to say hello to you.

• If you stroke your cat, their eyes may close in contentment and they will gently purr.

Relaxed Cat Language

This is how your cat should spend most of their time – relaxed, content, and comfortable with their familiar surroundings. 

• They may be stretched out, curled up into a ball, or lying on their front with paws neatly tucked underneath them.

• Their eyes might be blinking softly, or half closed.

• Their ears will be relaxed, held casually upright and forward – although they could swivel around independently if your cat is listening to things around them.

• Their whiskers will be relaxed, and away from the sides of their face. 

• Their body is nice and relaxed, without tension. 

 Focused Cat Language

Cats from birth are designed to be an excellent hunter and stalker, and to catch their prey with ease, they can focus their attention 100% on their target. 

If your cat is concentrating on a small, moving object, or on something new in their immediate area, you’ll notice that their body language will change as they try to work out how to best respond to it.

• Their eyes will be open with pupils narrowed.

• Their ears and whiskers will be pricked forward, with their body angled towards the focus of their attention.

• Their body might be low to the ground as they stalk, with hind legs coiled under their body.

• Your cat’s tail language will show focus by being held out low behind them. The end of their tail, along with their hindquarters, might be twitching as they get ready to pounce. 

Anxious Cat Language

Cats can be extremely sensitive, especially to change. It can take some time for cats to settle after unexpected changes, so learning to read the symptoms of anxious cat behavior can help you help your cat back to a relaxed state. The sooner you identify this in your cat’s body language, the sooner you can offer a comforting stroke when they approach you for comfort, and some attention. Give your cat 2-3 days after any tremendous change to become accustomed to it, and to return to normal.

• Your cat's eyes will be open and not blinking, with pupils dilated into an oval or circle.

• Their ears might move from their relaxed forward position to scan for more information, swiveling around independently from each other. If they are very anxious, they may even flatten back to their head.

• Their head will begin to lower, with whiskers pulled back to the side to appear small and non-threatening – or even be swept forward on alert.

• As anxiety intensifies, your cat might start to cower, or their back might arch to prepare to run.

• Cat tail language is particularly significant here – their tail might be still or moving slowly side to side at the tip, which is a sign of nervousness. If you see this distinct cat tail sign, make sure to offer some comfort.

Fearful Cat Language

When your cat is afraid, it should be easy to spot. If they’re frightened by something such as loud noises, your cat won’t be reassured by a stroke, even their favorite treat might not do the trick. Their body language is expressing to you that they’re frightened, and it will only return to normal when they feel safe. Try not to move quickly to try and comfort them, as you could be another threat. Instead, remove anything that could be causing their fear if you can, and wait for them to calm down. 

• Your cat’s ears will be flattened back against their head, which might be lowered with gaze angled upwards.

• They may run away or stand or crouch very still if this isn’t possible.

• Their eyes will be open very wide, with pupils fully dilated and whiskers flattened or bristling.

• They may hiss or spit at close threats, growl or strike with claws out.

• Some cats will straighten their front legs to make themselves look taller or arch their backs and fluff themselves up to look bigger.

• Their tail may be held under their body or be slashing vigorously from side to side.

Angry Cat Language 

If your cat displays angry behavior, you’ll need to tread very carefully. Always avoid provoking an angry cat - don't stare or shout at them, or make sudden movements, and avoid trying to touch or comfort them as they may interpret this as an added threat and lash out. Instead, retreat slowly, remove any threats if it's safe to do so and give your cat time and space to calm down.

• An angry cat will be rigid, with tail held out stiff and straight or curled around and under their body.

• They will act very differently from usual – they could be silent, hissing, spitting or growling.

• They will try to look large and threatening, with fur erect, stiff front legs, or crouching in a threatening manner.

• Their ears will be tense, and flat back against their head, and whiskers will be stiff away from their face.

• Their eyes will be hard and focused. Their pupils may be narrowed, although some cats might have round, unblinking eyes.

Relieved Cat Language

When an angry, scared or frustrated cat feels reassured that the perceived threat has gone, they will start to act relieved. Just as it’s important that you recognize when they are feeling angry or scared, knowing how to tell when your cat is relieved is key to helping them feel like their normal, relaxed selves again.

• A cat’s whole body can show relief – some cats even make a full-body stretch to release tension!

• Their eyes, ears, head, body and tail will all visibly relax.

• Whiskers will return to a calm, position away from the face, and their head will lower.

• Some may yawn, turn away and half-close their eyes, or even have a good wash.

25 Hacks That Every Cat Owner Absolutely Needs To Know.

Cat Body Language 

Cat Sounds

Why Cats Purr

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