Many owners, like me, speak to their cats. The only problem is that there is a language barrier. I learned quickly how to read the expressions on my cat Sid’s face. Usually, it was “mom tighten those screw” or “ oh, no I’m not eating this again.” There are ways you can learn to communicate with your cat because cats do their share of vocalizing and it all means something.
Usually, their meows express greeting to their owners or demanding their meals. On occasion, there can be meows that express things like surprise or dislike. You can tell by the look on their faces. When there is more than one cat you can hear them conversing with each other by the use of certain chirps or trills. You’ll always know when your cat is happy because they’ll be purring however, there can be times when your cat might not be feeling too well and the purring is a way of comforting themselves so always check to be sure that everything is just fine.
Cat Body Language
Your cat speaks to you with his or her entire body so always pay attention to what they’re trying to tell you. When their ears are forward they’re alert to their surroundings and are interested in something or just happy going about their routine. If you see those ears flat, sideways or backward your cat might be angry about something or irritable or perhaps something has frightened him or her. It is the cat’s ears that are always listening and are picking up even the smallest sound and then reacting to that so be aware of what your cat is telling you with his or her ears.
I have always thought cats have the most expressive eyes. Their eyes can also tell you a lot. If something has made them aggressive their pupils will be constricted. If the pupils are dilated they most likely are submissive, can be playful or perhaps a bit nervous. I know that as you can see in the photo my cat Sid had these huge expressive eyes when sitting by me and I believe that he could have been a bit nervous because my husband or rather his beloved Papa had recently died and I could tell he was speaking volumes to me – Mama when is Papa coming home only how do you tell a cat that isn’t going to happen. So do be aware of their eye expression.
Their tails often have many things to say. I have had my legs swished by a big fluffy tail to let me know it’s time for food or to get me moving and follow along because something is up. If that tail gets tucked between the legs then your cat might be anxious about something and when that tail is standing straight up and quivering your cat is very happy unless it’s a he who has not been neutered or spayed in which case they’re ready to spray something particularly to mark their territory. My cat Sid, as I have always said, came fixed when adopted and when he was happy or happily excited by something his big fluffy tail was up and quivering like a flag on a flag pole in a gentle wind.
So day in and day out your cat or cats are speaking to you, you just have to pick up their body language and the signals they are giving you. I can tell you that head butting against your body is a sure sign your cat loves you and is thankful you are such a wonderful owner. There are cats that will use their paws like humans use their hands to tap for attention. You can wind up in amusing situations like when I have been busily writing on my PC and suddenly my cat puts his big paw on my arm. It’s like, excuse me, how am I supposed to write if you hold your paw on my arm? It simply means stop writing and pay attention to me. If he stays put, no problem, I can pat him and play with him a bit and when he has enough he just leaves but if he starts dancing about then I know I have to put aside what I have been doing and I have to follow him and find out what’s up.
So there are many different ways to speak cat and the more you become aware of them the happier and more grateful your cat will be.
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I live in Riga, Latvia. I was born in N.Y.C. Love to write articles and poetry. Instruct people in the English language. Live in the suburbs with my husband Martin and my wonderful cat Sid. I love rock and roll, cooking, reading, poetry and traveling.