Cat Whispering – Mastering the Language of Cat

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Horse whispering… dog whispering… so…what about cat whispering? Any cat whisperers out there? Can anyone speak "Cat"?

Cats are complicated animals, and communicating with them can be a challenge. Cat whispering hasn't gained the popularity and success that dog and horse whispering have, but there are ways to communicate with Kitty. You can read your cat's body language to understand her feelings, and you can send her positive messages to let her know she's loved and appreciated. Here are some tips on how to understand what your cat wants and to help you to better understand and communicate with your cat. Who knows…you may become the next "Cat Whisperer"!

Cat Communication

Cats show their expressions with intricate changes of their body from head to tail. For example, here are some signs of cat communication:

  • A happy, relaxed cat will have her ears upright in their normal position with her whiskers fanned out straight from her face. Her eyes may blink or wink a lot. Her tail will be either upright or relaxed, and she may purr.
  • An angry or aggressive cat will make direct eye contact and lower her body close to the ground, ready to attack. She will have constricted pupils with her ears flat and pulled back against her head. Her hair on her back and tail may stand up. The tail will swish or thump the ground, and she will probably hiss and growl.
  • A frightened cat has dilated pupils, and her whiskers may be pulled back. Her ears will be pulled downward and may twitch; the hair on her back and tail may stand up (piloerection).
  • An annoyed cat usually hisses at its source of irritation, flattens her ears against her head, and flicks the tip of her tail. A sick cat may have half-closed eyes with exposed third eyelids (nictitating membranes – they come up over the lower inside portion of the cat's eyes).
  • The sick cat may hunch her back, tuck her tail between her legs, and have droopy ears and whiskers. Sick cats often purr to comfort themselves.

    By watching your cats behavior, you can better communicate or understand what he or she is saying. As every cat lover knows, cats are complex animals. This is merely the basic body language of a cat, but every cat is different and has her own quirks. Observation and bonding are important to learn the specific ways your cat expresses her emotions.

    Cat Feelings

    What about cat feelings? Cats have unusual habits that also reveal their feelings. If you're petting your cat and she appears to be wagging her tail, she's not giving you the same message that the family dog would be giving you with his tail. Kitty is telling you she's had enough, and if you continue to pet her, she may bite you. If Kitty was sitting in the window watching a bird and her tail was flicking and thumping, you would know she wanted to attack the bird. The same applies to your hand.

    On the contrary, if you're petting your cat and she's kneading your leg with her paws, she's showing you love and appreciation. This kneading action begins when Kitty is a nursing kitten. She kneads on her mother's breast while she eats. Cats continue kneading as adults, kneading their bedding, their owners, a stuffed animal…. anything that makes them happy.

    Cat Rubbing and Marking

    What is a cat saying when doing the cat rubbing or cat marking behaviors? Cats also show their appreciation by rubbing their scent glands on people or objects. These scent glands, which produce chemicals called pheromones, are located on the forehead, near the mouth, around the paw pads, at the tip of the tail, and around the anus. Whatever a cat rubs her head or face on, she is happily claiming as hers, and she is showing appreciation.

    Cat marking from the rear end (such as urine spraying) is a behavior reserved for times of anxiety, for aggressive territory marking, and as a sexual enticement. Intact cats (especially males) are more likely to urine mark. Marking with the glands around the paw pads is done during scratching. This is a very common way for a cat to claim territory, both visually with scratch marks and with the scent of pheromones. Scratching also provides an emotional outlet for cats and a way to stretch after a long nap.

    Cat Napping and Cat Playtime

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