Thursday, February 18, 2010

Know Your Cat - How to Read Your Cat's Body Language

Meow! That is the sound you hear when you meet your cat walking down the hallway. It will move with his head and tail held high, looking directly at your eyes and emitting a faint sound summoning you to follow wherever it goes. That is your cat? Right? The fluffy little animal, whose behavior seems quite odd at times, and leaves you baffling with a variety of questions.

Have you ever thought that your cat is an aloof creature to you? I have!  But I soon found out that it is was only because I did not understand my cat! Your cat is always trying to communicate to you through its gestures and body language, so to know your cat more, you need to know more about the cat’s body language. The sweeping of the tail or rubbing of the cheeks, pricking of the ears or purring under breath - each has a significance of its own. Your cat will often rub its cheeks against you or against the cheeks of another cat. Through this action, your cat actually tries to pick up or leave scent markers so that it can again create a future physical contact.  Pretty cool, huh?

Importance of tail movement

The tail is the most important part of your cat’s body; it will indicate a variety of actions and reactions. The tail often denotes its mood and intention. If your cat is sweeping its tail in broad gestures, then it symbolizes annoyance or impatience at your excessive petting. If you continue to cuddle the cat might result in growling softly or giving you a “bat” with its paws. A rapid sweeping of tail back and forth, right from the center shows an extreme agitation in your cat.

If you find your cat turning its body fully sideways and extending its bristled tail upwards, then be sure that your cat is heralding a conflict with the fellow cats. When your cat is busy trapping a prey, you will find it to be more cautious, involved in subtle movements and inflating its tummy while all the time intently aiming at the prey. Often you will find your cat lowering its tail to tuck it between her legs, which show her complete obedience. A raised tail also indicates that your cat wants to be friendly, and a twitching of the tail will confirm its anticipation to be with you after the whole day of outing.

Movement of other body parts

Along with the tail, the cat’s full body gestures speak volumes about his/her mood and behavior. Bent legs denote defending of self, while outstretched legs will denote self-confidence and self-assurance. If your cat’s ears are back and the body low, it will impart its shame or remorse; pricked ears will denote interest in the happenings around it. If you find your cat with the head completely lowered then it will show boredom and sneaking subtly with its head lowered on the ground should make you aware of full-fledged assault on the victim ahead.  I'm sure you have seen your cat do many of these actions before!

Knowledge about these kitty-cat behaviors will definitely strengthen the bond between you and your cat.

My cat, Chandler!  Want to see more of his crazy cat antics?  Check out


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