All about cat language

As we do not use the same language as our cat, sometimes its behavior confuses us. We sometimes think that he is being disobedient or stubborn when his behavior is perfectly normal for a cat.

However, by better understanding how cats communicate and for example, why they meowit is possible to live with them in perfect harmony.


Know your cat to understand it better

The cat is a solitary animal

He likes to have moments of solitude to sleep or prowl. He is a predator prefer to hunt at night, an instinct that will not disappear even if you feed it regularly. Vyour cat must be able to express its behavior and his natural instincts. Let him spend time alone if he chooses.

If your house is very busy, plan places of refuge where he can go to hide. Cats like enclosed places (cardboard box or bed available commercially) where they can take refuge to sleep.

sleeping cat

A hunter’s instinct

Don’t be surprised how much time your cat spends resting. His instinct encourages him to conserve his energy to go out hunting at night.. The cat also likes to sleep high up and, if it is afraid, will try to take refuge as high as possible. Provide, if possible, a high-placed hiding place for your cat, or better still, a cat tree.

The cat is playful

Let your cat hunt. Her “prey” will not necessarily be a bird or a real mouse but could be a cat toy. Toys on the end of a fishing rod, for example, are great for creating playful interaction between you and your cat.

You’ll sometimes let him win so that he can act out his natural hunting behavior. If you occasionally let him catch the toy that serves as prey, he will be very proud. The game is very important for a cat and if you let him satisfy his hunting skills inside the house you will limit the number of “gifts” he will bring you from outside.

playing cat

Your cat wants you to be proud of him

Cats don’t bring you decapitated birds or mice to scare or annoy you, they do it because they are proud of what they have caught and want to show it to you. If you pretend not to see it or if you scold him, he’ll think you don’t like the prey and will try to bring you something better next time.

And let’s not forget that a few years ago, cats were used as rodent hunters to protect farms (grain…). Bringing back their prey was probably also a way to show their usefulness!

hunting cat

Cats communicate in many ways

Smell is a very important means of communication for them. They leave messages in various ways:

  • doing their claws
  • by jets of urine
  • rubbing their scent glands
  • meowing

When your cat rubs against a wall, piece of furniture or door, it is marking its territory. When he rubs on your leg he communicates with you by telling you “you are mine”.

While doing his claws, he additionally leaves a visual message while sharpening his claws. A cat should make its claws short and sharp – its purpose is not to bore you or damage your furniture.

Make sure your cat has a place in the house where he can and is encouraged to scratch. You will find posts with scratching posts or simple scratching posts in our cat tree collection. There are several types of scratching posts. Choose one that your cat likes. But give him a scratching post, it’s the best way to prevent him from damaging your furniture and your relationship from turning into a confrontation.

By learning to better understand your cat, you will create a stronger bond between him and you and will know what he wants to tell you. Your cat is really talking to you – so watch and listen!

Your cat’s language

Just like humans, cats have well-defined physical expressions. You will therefore learn how to understand your kitten even better.

do you know that your cat only meows with humans? Indeed, it is a language that cats have developed especially to communicate with us.

meowing cat

You can tell your cat’s mood by looking at its face as well as its ears and eyes. The cat changes the expression of its face through the position of its ears and its sensitive hairs as well as by the constriction and the dilation of its pupils.

Here is some examples to be able to define the mood of your cat :

  1. Your cat raises its head and moves it backwards at the same time. The person in front of him bothers him too much.
  2. Your cat half closes its eyes and tilts its ears slightly to the side : he savors.
  3. Your cat pricks up its ears, turns them back and its pupils narrow. It is an alarm signal. You need to deal with him carefully.
  4. Your cat’s pupils are dilated despite the clarity. He is frightened.
  5. Your cat pricks up its ears and opens its eyes wide. He wants to play.
  6. Your cat lays its ears down, half closes the
    eyes and turns the head slightly to the side : he makes it clear that he does not
    wants nothing to do with the person in front of him and expects this
    last the same.


A person who loves her cat understands her language for that reason alone – like a mother her baby. The more a cat is attached to humans, the more intensively it uses its voice, it meows.

The English behaviorist Michael Fox identified 16 different sounds that occur regularly in cat language and grouped them into three categories.

cat meows

The tone of the chat: We find there a mewing of pleasure and a purr of well-being. They signal that the cat feels good and that he is happy with himself, the world and the people around him. In certain situations, such as at the vet, cats also purr, but in distress, to calm themselves down.

The tone of the call : the cat wants something (for example “Open the door!” or “Where’s my food?”).

The irritated tone: an energetic “Krrr” (when scared) or a growling “Ch-Ch-Krrr” (when fighting) to screeches.

Decode cat body language

Meows aren’t the only way your cat or kitten communicates with you. His body language is just as expressive.


It is first of all through pheromones, scent markers, that the kitten expresses its relationship. By rubbing against your legs, it tags you as its owner and at the same time draws your attention to mealtime.


If the tail is at rest, so is the kitten; if trained, he is attentive, watchful and interested. Its disappearance is a sign of fear or submission. Tail wagging is more difficult to interpret. A slight fan from the tip of the tail conveys a certain excitement, while a wider flap signals to the human petting it that enough is enough!

The attack

A kitten that will attack bears a strong resemblance to its feline cousins : legs picked up ready for the assault, ears lying down, hairs bristling, spitting and growling must impress the adversary. The jump on the prey will be prepared by a raised leg and three others fully extended.

cat ready to attack

The discomfort

A particularly loud purr welcome your caresses? Ask yourself if your cat is not sick: his eyes are then half-closed and he seems crushed by the misery of the world.

And you, how do you talk to your cat?

It is by the name that you give him that you say the most things to your cat. This name must be short (no more than two syllables), not lead to prejudice against it (“Claw”) and, above all, not resemble that of a human around you!

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