Cats are a conundrum. They want attention, but you better not smother them. They like to play, but will also scratch without warning. Plus, unlike canines, felines don’t take too kindly to commands. It’s been proven that they can definitely learn commands but following someone else’s rules doesn’t really go with their whole…thing. Which means it’s up to us to interpret their bizarre cat body language, behavior and vocalizations to understand what is going on inside their cute little cat heads!
At first, this is daunting. But, hopefully after sifting through the many ways in which cats communicate through body language, you’ll have a better understanding of what your pet wants, needs and feels in certain moments. This can be especially helpful to those of us with super shy cats. Being able to pinpoint when a cat who is typically fearful actually begins to feel comfortable and confident can completely change the way you interact with her. The goal, after all, is to have the best relationship possible with our pets.
Before we dive in, it’s important to note that context plays a huge role in decoding cat body language. Just like dog body language, context could mean the difference between “I’m ready to fight,” and “I’m ready to nap.” Dr. Marci Koski, a certified feline behavior and training consultant who founded Feline Behavior Solutions, advises always factoring in context when considering a cat’s behavior. Context includes - but isn’t limited to - where your cat is, who else is around, when your cat last ate, and what activities are happening in close proximity.
Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about cat communications.