Body Language in Cats, Today we are going to look at some behaviors of these lovely animals and see why they are actually quite complicated and quite subtle in their behaviors, much more so than social species such as ourselves and dogs.
So, let’s have a look at Body Language in Cats and see what you think is going on.
When a cat comes towards you with their tail up, usually pointing at the top, it’s a sign of a greeting in cats.
This is a lovely behavior to say that, usually, they’re greeting you when they’re coming to the home or they’re soliciting attention. The best thing to do with these behaviors is to acknowledge their greeting and you should give them a bit of fuss like a head rub, for example.
When cats are rubbing round ourselves or other objects in the environment, usually corners of things, they’re often using parts of their body like their cheeks and up here and their sides – they’re actually depositing scent.
While this looks like a really cautious behavior, where they’re sort of smooching these areas, it is in fact scent-marking. We often see these behaviors, particularly when we first arrive home for example, when they’re rubbing around our legs.
It is a greeting behavior as well, but primarily because we smell a bit funny where we’ve been out and they’re trying to make us smell more familiar. The slow blink is one of my favorite behaviors – this is where you slow blink at a cat, so really slowly closing your eyes and then perfect cat etiquette, just turning your head slowly to the side.
This is showing the cat that you’re nice and relaxed in their presence and that you’re not threatening at all. And if you’re really lucky, the cat will slow blink you back.
When cats have got their ears flattened – either to the side or back – this can be a sign of stress that they’re quite frightened.
What’s really important for cats that are feeling stressed and frightened is to give them a place to hide and the opportunity to get up high.
You know when you return home and the cat throws itself on its side and shows you its belly?
Often, many people misinterpret this behavior and think it wants its tummy rubbed.
Now, unfortunately, those people that will have tried this behavior will unfortunately get a grab around the hand and maybe the cat will bite them as well. That’s because what this cat is really doing is showing a greeting behavior and also that it feels relaxed in your presence. It trusts you and it’s almost an abuse of that trust to go and stroke their tummy. What the cat would rather you do is just to give them a slight head rub and that’s it.
Lip-licking can occur for a variety of different reasons, for example, if they’ve just had something to eat, then you’ll notice them doing a really big lick.
However it can also be a sign of nausea – and in this particular cat, it’s a sign of stress. So when cats are stressed, it’s really important to give them a place to hide and the opportunity to get up high.
Purring is one of those behaviors that are familiar to all cat owners. It often shows a cat that’s content, often soliciting attention, but sometimes it can actually be a sign that the cat is in pain.
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these behaviors and found them interesting. Hopefully, when you go home today you’ll look at your cat in a whole new light and hopefully it’ll improve your relationship with them as well.