by Dayna Genio
Did you know cats use body language as their main form of communication? Here’s 4 things to look out for to better understand how your feline friend is feeling.
Dogs often wag their tails when they’re happy, so it must be the same for cats, right? Not quite! Your cat’s tail might raise and do a light sway to indicate interest or happiness, but once it lowers and picks up speed, back off. Or, try to figure out what might be bothering them.
Cats’ pupils change size in response to light like humans do, but unlike us, their pupils expand or constrict depending on their mood as well. So, if your cat is staring at you with tiny slits for pupils, and then they get real big real fast, you may have done something to tick them off. On the other hand, if your cat’s pupils suddenly double in size, they may just be scared or feeling aroused.
Figuratively. Cats are natural predators, so their ears act as “sonar scanners” to detect prey. When they’re feeling extra attentive, your cat’s ears might perk up and get closer together. But, if you ever notice their sonar scanners begin to twist, it’s not because they wanted to show you what the back of their ears look like; cats twist their ears out of agitation. Beware!
These “sensory hairs” help your cat balance and position themselves, but can work as a sort of manual for their emotions as well. A relaxed cat’s whiskers will hang away from their face. When their whiskers are pointed forward, it means your cat is feeling alert, and may have seen a laser pointer or stuffed mouse that needs hunting. On the contrary, a cat with it’s whiskers flat against it’s face is often frightened and trying to make themselves appear smaller.
Cats use sounds to communicate with other cats and their human counterparts. But, they rarely ever “meow” to each other. The “meow” is a kitten behavior directed towards their moms. If your adult cat is meowing, it’s definitely directed at you, and its purpose can range from a greeting to a demand for food. While the message may not be the clearest, at least the intended recipient is!
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