Did you know that your cat has a unique personality, just like we humans do? If you didn’t then it’s not too late to start observing your cat’s style, behavior, body language… well, in fact, anything that could help you understand your furry pet better, and develop a stronger foundation of communication, love, and respect with your kitty.
Let’s start with what does communication mean for your cat. To quote Wikipedia, Cat communication is the transfer of information by one or more cats that has an effect on the current or future behavior of another animal, including humans. Cats use a range of communication modalities including vocal, visual, tactile and olfactory.
Have you ever wondered, how you and your cat manage to communicate with each other every single day, in spite of speaking different languages? It’s amazing don’t you think, how you develop such a strong bond with each other, that makes you want to share everything with your little buddy, well almost everything!
If you’re someone who can’t imagine life without your cat, it would make sense for you to understand what your cat’s body language really means.
Know your cat better:
You must have noticed that cat’s use a variety of signals like body posture, sounds, and expressions to convey their message and avoid unwelcome interactions. According to Pets WebMD, if you learn to decipher the various feline postures, you would be helping yourself to better understand your cat, and deepen the bonds of affection, and also avoid any misunderstandings and possibly aggressive behavior.
Key signals you should learn to read:
According to The Humane Society of the United States, right from the look in your cat’s eyes, to the tone of their purring, the movement of their ears, showing of teeth, to the movement of their tail, can let you in on their feelings and intentions.
Let’s look into some basics of kitty sounds here:
- The Meow: Kitten’s meow when they want their mother’s attention. Adult cats may meow at us for the same reasons.
- The Purr: Cats usually purr when they are content or when they want to comfort themselves. Read more on what behaviorist Marilyn Krieger says about Purring.
- The Trill: The trill is somewhere between a meow and a purr, and is used by cats as a greeting.
- The Growl: “Don’t growl!” Yeah, something you might tell another human, who’s in a bad mood, right? Well, similarly, cats growl to let others know that it’s time to back off.
- The Chatter: A chatter is more a sound that is used to communicate frustration or excitement.
- The Hiss: This sound is more to express that they are afraid or angry. It’s a sound you may have noticed when you visit a friend’s cat for the first time and try to pat it.
- The Yowl: Yowl is used by female cats in heat, to attract a tomcat, or by cats that are about to get into a fight.
- The Burble: This noise is a hybrid between a purr, a meow, and a growl. It’s not used specifically to express just one emotion. It could be used as a sign of gratefulness, or just another attention making a sound.
For more on Cat sounds, have a look at this video.
If you start observing your cat’s body language, you’ll realize very quickly that cats speak with their whole body. For example, have you noticed how your cat arches his back when you pet him? It means that your cat is enjoying this contact. The expressions in their eyes, the tail movement, all add up to what they want to communicate.
Here’s a peek into all those kitty movements you should know about.
If you can learn to understand your kitty’s cat signals, you’re on your way to building a stronger communication foundation with your fluffy friend for years to come!