How To Understand Your Cat’s Body Language and Sounds

May 01, 2017

Cats are mysterious creatures. One day they sit in your lap every time you sit down and the next day you need to schedule an appointment to see them. But, those human-like traits are what we love about our refined felines. And just like the people in our lives, we can tune into cats’ moods simply by observing their body language and sounds.  

Six Ways Your Cat Speaks To You With Their Body Language

  1. Raises head and then lowers it: someone is getting too close
  2. Closes eyes almost shut, turns ears to the side and starts purring: feeling pleasure
  3. Raises ears, turns them back and contracts pupils: warning to be careful
  4. Pupils widen in spite of the light: startled by something
  5. Points ears and opens eyes wide: ready to play
  6. Lays ears flat back, closes eyes halfway and turns head away: no intention to hurt their companion and they expect the same consideration

Cat Talk 101
Did you know that the closer a cat is to their human, the more they’ll use their voice? And, as you get to know your cat, you'll get better at understanding their language — just like a parent can decipher a hungry cry from a dirty diaper cry. Fascinating Fact: English behavioral scientist Dr. Michael Fox has noted 16 different sounds within a cat‘s language. But don’t worry, he’s made it easy for us and divided them into three groups: 

  1. Talkative Sounds: A joyful "meow" or a delighted purr signals that your cat feels comfortable and is content with themselves, the world and their human. Only in some situations, such as a visit to the vet, will cats purr because they feel helpless and want to comfort themselves.
  2. Calling Sounds: This means that your cat is demanding something, such as, "Open the door!" or "Feed me!"
  3. Excited Sounds: A vigorous "krrr" (when they are afraid), a hiss "ch-ch-krrr" or a shrill screeching are all warnings that they are about to fight.

For less “krrrs” and more “joyful meows” at the vet and at home, try incorporating a daily FELINE GREENIES™ Dental Treat for tartar reduction and GREENIES™ PILL POCKETS™ Treats for making medicine time easier.