It is crucial to know about your cat’s body language, because misinformation might lead to a scratch or a bite. Your cat may try to tell you they’re overly excited, overstimulated, in pain, or very scared of something.
There are things that we mistake about cats and we tend to look at them as they were dogs. However, the meaning of the body language of a cat is way different than that of a dog. In essence, cats are not dogs, therefore we need to have a different understanding of their body language.
The wagging tail is the biggest example. When cats wag their tail, people tend to think they must be as happy as a dog when they’re wagging their tail. However, it is completely the opposite. Whereas a dog might wag its tail from excitement or happiness.
Cats accumulate a lot of energy, they sleep for a good portion of the day. From that raw cat perspective, that ancestral perspective to gather up energy for the hunt.
When they wake up and they don’t have a release for that energy and then they start getting stimulated in a negative way, they feel overwhelmed. The tail is an indicator that just lets out that energy from them, and so that’s when they start getting agitated.
You will see them flick. Then, if they just don’t get released at that point but receive more stimulation, the cat is coming to a point where it can’t handle it anymore. Now our feline is going from a flick to a wave then, to a full wag and once you see that wag, step away from the cat, give them a toy to play with, or give them space because they are letting you know they are absolutely agitated.
Another thing that lets you know that your cat is agitated or just not liking what you’re doing is when their ears flatten down and maybe flick at the same time, that’s a clear sign of agitation.
When the little ripples go down their back that is also a sign of agitation and displeasure. These are ways to let you know that your cat is verging on overstimulation the more you do that full-bodied pet the more you’re going to start seeing the tail-flick the more you’re going to start seeing the ears flick or flatten down.
In other words, they’re getting ready. Your cat is not making a choice when they’re getting overstimulated their body is making that call for them. When your cat attacks you, is not because she doesn’t like just after petting her, you are actually overstimulating her and her body responds.
Keep an eye for the tail-flick, the ear-flick, and when her eyes start to dilate, it’s time to step away from the cat.
Being on their back
When a dog rolls over on its back, it is in a submissive position but we also see it as an invitation to rub the belly. With cats, it is totally different.
It is kind of dog-like because they are showing you their most vulnerable part. If a cat is in the wild and they come upon a predator they will obviously never turn to their backs.
This means that when they roll over on their back to you that it is a display of trust that means love but that doesn’t mean it is an invitation to rub the belly.
You might think your cat loves it when you rub their belly nad that they hug you, but normally, that cat hug means they are vulnerable to you and don’t rub it.
If you rub you’re going to overstimulate her and you’re also going to invite all four paws to wrap around and which is just being overstimulated so why push it.
General tail body postures
General tail body postures that mean certain things for instance if your cat is walking around in that absolutely mojito cat pose that one that is just purely confident happy and what is the day going to bring me today.
Let’s go find out that tail is up and with a little crook at the end of it what I call the backwards question mark up at the top that lets you know that the cat is confident ready to explore happy to see you in fact once that that little question mark goes up straight.
I’m excited i am now thrilled about what life has to bring me. as the tail starts going down, we start getting a little more not hesitant but a little more on our guard.
Once we get to sort of parallel to the ground we’re exploring and we’re exploring we could be doing it confidently but it’s more of a hmm what’s going on here now as we get down like this we might be getting a little scared something bad might be happening. of course the worst one is tucked all the way under the body and that is i am really scared right now.
Something bad is happening when the tail is up but bottle brushed out any time a cat makes their fur big they make themselves bigger that is fear I am trying to make myself bigger so that this thing that I’m coming in contact with knows that I’m not to be messed around with.
So when you see a cat totally fluff their tail out their body out sometimes even adopting that halloween cat posture which is that sortof us hape to their whole body again they’re making themselves big, and in making themselves big they remind me of that kid on the block, he’d puff his chest out when he meet somebody new just to make sure they knew that he was a big guy. that’s what your cat is doing as well.
cat making himself small
So just as a cat who’s afraid is going to blow themselves up to sort of send the message that they’re not afraid also think of what it looks like when a cat makes itself small. when a cat is threatened with something, a lot of times they will start to go a little bit showing their sides and a little bit compacted.
Why two things: one they can spring up and come at you; the other thing they can do is flip over on their back, and you might think that that’s a submissive gesture it is not a submissive gesture. That cat has the most power in their entire body in their hind legs, so if they go at you with bunny kicking with those hind legs and with those claws they’re going to do some serious damage to whatever they choose to go to.
Pin the ears to the back of their head
another thing that tells you if a cat is feeling threatened is when they pin their ears to the back of their head, their body is telling them to do that because something is coming at them that if they get into a fight they may get their ear ripped so they’re gonna plant it to the side of their head prepping for the fight.
At the very same time it’s not a choice when they do this, it’s in their body they have a sympathetic nervous system if something like fear hits them poof out they goof.
Eyes and ears
Dilated eyes and slit eyes
eyes and ears are also very easy ways to know if your cat is relaxed or on guard about something. and on guard might mean he is hunting something, in that case a lot of your cat’s attention is going to be pointed forward so that’s ears eyes are focusing in, and that’s really key when their eyes turn into little slits they are paying very close attention to what’s right in front of them
as opposed to when their eyes get dilated now i’m looking all over the place. cats have incredible peripheral vision by widening out their pupils they’re also getting a full lay of the land they’re letting in as much light as possible.
in a general just to make sure that everything is cool here i’ve got escape routes but yet i see what’s going on now i get thin in here and i am looking at you buddy i am focused in on you, my whiskers are focused on this way I’m getting as much information as i possibly can
This is where cats turn into the predator, because all of the things that have evolved over the years of the centuries to make cats the superior hunter, that is whiskers. getting the general temperature in the air and focusing on trying to get information that way eyes, ears, everything every hair on their body focused in on their prey.
but if your cat is doing that to your ankle you know your cat gets down low they start to stalk they’re hunting. these are things that are naturally present in cats in the wild when we put them in a home and we start seeing these things whether they’re directed at you or another cat or a child.
it tells you right off the bat your cat has a lot of excess raw cat energy it’s time to play with your cat.
Coming up against something
Another thing that expresses actually confident ownership of territory catmojo that your cat is expressing their mojito selfis scratching or coming up against something.
Remember if a cat comes up to you starts rubbing up against you with their body or their cheeks or the top of their head or even making biscuits on you, these are ways of getting scent on you.
There are scent glands all over a cat’s body including between their paws and they’re just getting it all over you and that means “I own you” / “I love you” in cat language so take that for what it is it’s a compliment even when cats scratch on a surface, yet being destructive it’s also a sign of ownership.
If a cat comes up to you and they start doing this to you it’s not usually scratching but it’s about a little more biscuit making. smurgling is also very much and I love you for different reasons, it’s confident ownership it is confidence in the raw cat with the person that they’re with or the place that they’re at.
What is unconfident body posture when it comes to a person or a thing it’s that backing up and peeing on it that’s when you know things are not confident.