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  • Kristyn Frohock

How Your Cat Speaks to You

It is a common belief that cats are aloof and have no interest in human companionship. I believe this occurs due to signals lost in translation. Your cat is trying to communicate but sometimes we miss the message. Here are some resources to refer to when trying to understand your feline friend.

Body Language

Feline body language is very subtle and takes some practice to recognize. My favorite poster to help you recognize what your cat's body language is by Lili Chin:

Anxious Body Language

Recognizing the signs your cat is stressed or anxious can help prevent bites and scratches. Acknowledging how your cat is feeling in a particular situation, and by removing the stressful trigger or providing space, can help grow your relationship with your cat. Your cat will learn to trust you to respond to the messages they are sending. Dr. Sophia Yin was able to put together a great poster to recognize these stressful signals.

A Word on "Tail Wagging"

Cats do not wag their tails when they are happy. It is a common misconception due to people believing a dog wagging their tail is happy (not always the case either). What most often is seen is a cat's tail thumping. This thumping actually means the cat is getting stimulated or agitated. If you go over to pet a cat with a thumping tail be ready for the consequences which could include hissing, scratching, or biting. Below is a great poster for identifying what your cat's tail is saying about their emotional state. Additionally, you will see information about the subtle signals of the cat's face.

Practice watching your cat and try to pick out some of the signals found here on the posters. You'll start to see your cat is trying to communicate with you more often than you think!

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