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Cat Speak

We all love our furry little friends to no end. From their meowing to their friendly playing and biting, we cherish it all. However, do we really understand them? Cats may have a different language of their own, but they have several ways in which they communicate to us exactly what they want and what they’re feeling. It’s not too hard to decipher, so let’s give it a go. Here’s your quick guide to understanding your kitty cat, from the perspective of an actual cat parent.

Tail

The tail is one of the best indicators of your cat’s mood. The ‘tail up’ position, in which the tail is held vertically in the air & perpendicular to the ground, generally signals a friendly approach. Ears are normally pricked up and whiskers are relaxed.

The tail held out, moving from one side to the other indicates excitement or aggression, as does a ‘puffed out’ one in which all the hairs are raised to make the cat appear bigger.

Tucking in the tail between the legs indicates submissiveness, nervousness or fear.

Other Indicators of Mood

Erect ears, rotated out with small/narrow pupils also signal anger or aggression, whereas ears held down against the head with large dilated pupils signal fear. When your cat is cheerful, pupils will be normal-sized and ears will be relaxed and facing forward in the normal position.

Showing Affection

Cats might not let you hold them on your lap and let you squish them into a bear hug, but they have their own ways of showing affection. When they’re licking you, they’re actually giving you little kitty kisses. They will also rub themselves against you to show you affection. Ever been head butted by your cat? He’s trying to show you he likes you! They head-butt you with their foreheads and chins to show you they love you!

Don’t Touch Me

More often than not, cats live up to their name and don’t like to be bothered. When your cat has curled up in to a tight little ball on your bad, as cute as he or she looks, don’t bother them. This is called balling up and at this moment your cat is trying to be as small and invisible as possible. You will also notice this when your cat is scared, such as when you’re taking him/her to the vet.

Kneading Dough

This one made me the most curious of them all. I’m sure at some point you’ve observed your cat kneading his/her paws against something soft, like a blanket, similar to someone working dough. This behavior comes from when they were nursing. As kittens, they knead their mother with their paws to stimulate the flow of milk. Hence this behavior is associated with happy memories and feeling like a kitten again – so if you’re at the receiving end of it, consider it a compliment!

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