Tips & Tricks: Your Cat’s Body Language

Owners are all familiar with their pet’s behavior like seeing whisking tails, flattened ears and loud meowing. However in these ways pets are trying to express themselves and tell their owners a thing or two.

Ears – Cats can say a lot with their ears. Just by looking at you cat’s ears you can pretty much tell what kind of mood he or she is in. Ears forward mean the cat is relaxed and happy. Your cat is upset if you see the ears spread out side to side or flattened back. Now the time to look for the source of what is upsetting your cat is when his or her ears are really flattened back. That is one upset kitty.

Image Credit:


Cat ’s eyes can reflect their mood. You have your cat’s full attention when their eyes are wide open and they’re looking right at you. It clearly indicates that you have his or her full attention and they’re listening to you. Just don’t confuse this look with a hard stare when the eyes are wide but they’re not blinking. This plain and simply means don’t bother me. Slow blinking of the eyes indicates that the cat is happy but back away if your cat’s pupils become dilated. If a cat starts feeling provoked their pupils will become really big and the eyes will become glassy.


When a cat’s whiskers are forward and relaxed they’re simply content. If you would look at a cat that is hunting you would notice that the whiskers are wide and fanned out and the ears are forward. If you cat happens to be tense, excited and ready to attack their whiskers will be foreword and stretched out.


A cat is getting more and more upset when you see that their tail is moving from side to side and the movement is getting faster and faster. A cat that is relaxed will walk with their tail down and will come forward to greet you with the tail up but not moving. An indication that the cat is unhappy is when the tip of the tail moves. He or she feels threatened when the cat gives a quick whip or swish of their tails.

Image Credit: Moderncat

Body Posture

To know what your cat is thinking take a look at his or her body posture. If they’re going to be on the defensive they’ll arch their back, tail in the air and make themselves look as puffy as possible. This is a cat that is very upset. If on the other hand they make themselves look much smaller then they’re scared of something. In making themselves as small as possible a cat will flatten down and drop their ears.


It’s very important to take notice of what your cat is saying or in other words be aware of the sounds he or she makes. They can be very vocal from soft or loud meows to purrs. When your cat comes to you meowing he or she is trying to tell you something and you have to guess what that is. They also have the ability to wail, growl, and chatter. There is this little friendly chirp they make as greeting. Of course spitting and hissing is a pure sign of upset. Cats will only meow to humans so now you know why you hear all that screeching when cats come upon one another. They are not having a party for sure.


Take the time to look at your cat’s behavior. Their behavior will drastically change if something appears to be wrong. You will know that something is very wrong if your cat suddenly starts to poop outside of their box or more vocalizing or perhaps showing unprovoked aggression. One of the sure signs that your cat is really happy is when they are kneading with their front paws as if making dough.

Don't miss out!
Subscribe To Newsletter

Receive top cat news, competitions, tips and more!

Invalid email address
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

33 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks: Your Cat’s Body Language

  1. simon7banks says:

    Two suggestions. First, tail twitching often happens when the cat is hunting – or play hunting. Upset? Tense, maybe, but tense/excited.

    Secondly, I query this thing about cats only meowing to humans. The meow must have come from somewhere – maybe from kitten noises, just as a dog’s bark is pup behaviour in their wolf ancestors. I’ve observed two cats playing a game in which one hid, the other searched for it and the first one jumped out at it. The second one, searching, meowed and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t interested in me at that point.

    • Marc-André says:

      You’ve got some good points there!

      It’s generally assumed that cats don’t meow at anyone but their mother or us humans but I too see more and more meow cat interactions. My two often prrt at each other, especially if they are sleeping apart and can’t see each other.

  2. JUNO's VIEW says:

    Loved this post. It helped reaffirm some of my own thoughts about specific behaviours of my own cats. I never quite know where I pick these ideas up from, so if they are intuitive it’s good to have them confirmed in posts such as this.

  3. Pingback: Cat’s Body Language | Jeanne Foguth's Blog

  4. felicityglogan says:

    This is very helpful to me since we are currently giving a home to my mother’s cats who were not very used to us. However the female is kneading me, or wherever she sits, so that’s a sign she has adapted. The male gives an occasional little “chirp” as you call it, so he’s obviously relating to us too.

    • Marc-André says:

      I’ve seen the same! But coming from a scientific point of view this is still generally believed as true only in interactions with humans and their mother cat. Maybe we need to run our own trial group 😀

  5. helentastic67 says:

    Jamima will settle in on my lap and I can always tell she’s happy because she emits silent but deadly farts……………it’s a very good thing she’s cute. Mutter. Mutter. Mutter.

  6. samanthamurdochblog says:

    I’ve seen/ read lots if articles etc that say cats don’t meow at each cats will “brrp!” at each other but my Siamese definitely meowed at my black cat the other day- just opened her mouth and “wahhhhed” straight at her …what did she want?!

Why not meow a comment to fellow readers?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.