Understanding a cat’s emotions can be trickier than understanding a dog’s. While it’s easy to spot when a dog is happy with their wagging tail, open mouth, and bright eyes, cats express happiness differently, making it harder for those unfamiliar with their behavior. We all want to make our cats happy, but cats, more often …
As a cat owner, it is imperative to understand your cat. Because they can’t speak, you’ll have to pick up on non-verbal cues like body language, meows, and behaviors. But what does meow mean in cat?
Find out things like ‘why is my cat making weird noises’ with this quick breakdown of your pet’s most common behaviors and what they could be trying to tell you.
Cat Meowing Meaning: What Do Cat Meows Mean?
Did you know that cats can recognize their owner’s voice? So, why wouldn’t you want to identify what they say when they speak too? Siamese cats love to meow a lot, so if you have one, or any other cat breed, here are a few ways to decode why your cat is making weird noises.
Typically, kittens and their parents meow at each other to communicate needs that require tending to. However, once these kittens age, you’ll notice that they start to meow less until barely at all to their parents.
However, you’ve probably noticed that your cat meows back at you quite often, haven’t you? This is because they aren’t tiny babies anymore but still want their parents (you) to know about their needs.
These specific meows are typically mid-length, while shorter or multiple meows are just your cat’s cheery greeting. Drawn-out meows at night or even yowling when you go to bed are reserved for more serious messages like ‘Hey! My bowl is empty!’.
If a cat is purring at you, you’ve basically already won them over. Cats typically purr when you stroke them to show they are happy and relaxed.
However, purring accompanied by tense body language may actually be cat pain sounds. This might especially be true if you find your cat purring and then biting you to warn you that you’ve crossed a line when petting or showing too much affection for their liking.
Another way your pet will communicate with you is by the absence of noise. If your cat doesn’t purr when you pet them, it might be time to look deeper. There are a few reasons for this, but some could be serious.
What Do Cats Say With Their Body Language?
A big part of understanding cats includes reading non-verbal signs. Not knowing their cues could have a sweet moment change in an instant, like when your cat licks and then bites you from (seemingly) nowhere. Here’s how to understand cats’ body language.
Your Cat Feels Sad
Believe it or not, cats can get depressed, which results in them sleeping all day or sleeping more – especially in winter. Another symptom is your pet going a long time without eating or eating less than usual.
Their body language will also change. If your pet is sad, they’ll tell you by meowing less, tucking their ears and tail, and possibly having their hairs stand on end.
There are a few reasons your pet may be depressed, like grieving a loss or an illness. If you notice a sad change in your pet, be extra patient with them as this difficult time passes and have them examined by a vet.
Your Cat Feels Happy
Do cats smile? Yes, in their own way, but it’s not always clear to us, like when a human smiles. Thankfully, your pet has more than one way to show they’re happy.
Typical signs that your pet is happy with its environment is that your cat yawns or lays on its back to show you they are being non-threatening and trust you. Other cats, like lap cat breeds, will jump on you and demand snuggles instead.
Your Cat Feels Playful
Cats aren’t that much different from dogs. A playful cat will let you know they’re ready for fun by wagging their tail while laying or even chasing their tails. This is one of the reasons why cats like string — it resembles a tail.
And while they enjoy playing independently, they also enjoy spending time with their owner. This is a good way for you to bond and show affection.
Your Cat Feels Affectionate
Depending on your cat’s breed, your cat could love affection. Thankfully, they’ll often tell you when they want affection by sitting on you, laying on your chest, or cuddling next to you and sleeping on your legs at night.
Another way your pet may try to ask for attention is when your cat stares at you lovingly. This is usually also accompanied by affectionate gestures like them licking your nose or sometimes even headbutting you.
Your Cat Feels Angry or Stressed
There are ways to train a cat not to bite when you are playing or interacting with them, but it helps to read their body language to nip these actions in the bud too. If you notice your cat arching their back or shaking their tail, it is a good sign that they’re fuming about something.
If your pet shows any of these behaviors, it may mean they are angry about something and need a time out from whatever is causing the frustration.
Your Cat Feels Anxious or Scared
Another reason why your cat bites you may be that they’re only anxious or scared. This usually happens with a major lifestyle change, like moving house or a new addition to the family. If you notice your cat shaking or kneading and biting blankets, this could also be a sign of strain.
If your cat follows you everywhere, it is a good indication of a cat with separation anxiety. If this is the case, you may also observe them acting out in other ways, like biting your feet or not keeping away from plants as a cry for attention.
Your Cat Feels Unwell
Sometimes spotting signs of illness may be evident, like your pet keeping one eye closed or licking a particular spot. But not always.
Occasionally you might notice your pet exhibiting a few odd behaviors, like your cat staring at walls. No, your cat can not see ghosts. They might simply be showing signs of Hyperesthesia or even old age.
Of course, this isn’t the only indicator of your cat feeling unwell. Still, if these are accompanied by actions like your cat shaking their head, disorientation, or sticking their tongue out, it’s best to direct them to professionals.
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