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Learn to Speak Cat


Cats don’t like it when you stare at them. It’s intimidating; no one likes to be stared at! A better form of communication with your cat is to copy what he does with his eyes. Most cats blink slowly when they are relaxed.

When a cat stares at something, whether it’s a bird or a toy, it is often ready to attack. So, blinking reassures them that you are not a threat. When you slowly blink at your cat, he will blink back at you. Blinking is just one form of cat communication.

Decoding Your Cat’s Body Language

Speaking cat entails observation and understanding body language. A cat’s ears and tail say a lot about their moods. Cat’s ears are quite amazing; there are over 20 muscles in those tiny ears, and they can make them move in all sorts of directions. They can swerve forward, backward, up, and down.

Straight up, slightly pointed forward ears are signs of a happy cat. If you pet her and her eyes close, you have a very content kitty.

Twitching ears, just like twitching people, are a sign of being nervous. A soft coo from you will ease the situation. If the twitching persists and the ears move from front to back, it’s a good idea to back off. And if their ears are flat against their heads, stay far away. Flat ears mean she is about to attack. It’s also a form of self defense; keeping her ears close to her head protects them.

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If you ever see a cat with one ear in the forward position and one in the back, these opposite movements means ambivalence. Gently reassure her and speak softly. Blinking is good too.

What Does a Cat’s Tail Tell Us?

If your cat’s tail violently moves back and forth in a swishing motion, she is agitated. This is a good time to toss her a toy that she can pounce on or leave the room until she quiets down.

If her tail is held high and is slightly quivering, your cat is happy to see you. A raised tail with a soft curve in it means he is alert and happy.

If your cat’s tail is low and puffed up, he is fearful. Any time your cat bristles his fur, he is doing so to appear bigger to scare enemies away.

What observations have you made about your cat?

Click here to learn how to speak dog!

Michele C. Hollow writes the popular pet and wildlife blog Pet News and Views. She works as a freelance journalist for a number of national print and online publications. She is also the author of The Everything Guide to Working with Animals.

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