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The Mysterious Body Language of Cats

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  • 9 June 2017
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  • Pet Wants

Even though cats are often regarded as quite mysterious, they actually communicate how they’re feeling in a variety of different ways including vocalizations, facial expressions and body postures. And for cat owners, knowing exactly what your cat is trying to tell you is a great way to build even deeper bonds with your pet.

Blinking
If you have a cat, you’ve undoubtedly noticed it greeting you or other people who come to your home with fluttering blinks. When a cat slowly blinks at a human or another cat, it’s displaying affection. By closing its eyes for even a brief second, a cat is showing how much trust it feels. Now that you know what cats are saying when they blink in this way, you can return the compliment the next time you notice your cat blinking at you.

Tail Held Stiff
When cats are depicted on Halloween decorations, it’s usually in a very recognizable tail high pose. While the depiction of black cats around Halloween has unfortunately caused problems for black cats in general, this pose does carry a very specific meaning. When a cat simply holds its tail up, it means the cat feels confident. But when a cat’s pose takes the position of an upright bottle-brush, it’s almost always a sign that the cat feels threatened. You can confirm that’s the case by looking for other signs like unsheathed claws, upright hair and an arched back. The best thing to do when a cat is in this position is to give it plenty of space. And if you ever notice that a cat has its tail tucked down, it’s probably feeling anxious or insecure.

Showing Tummy
Dogs are very well known for showing off their tummies when they’re in the mood to get rubbed. The problem with this behavior being so well known is people assume cats are signaling the same desire when they show their stomach. The reason it’s a problem is cats may have no interest in you petting their stomach. Instead, a cat may simply feel relaxed. And what’s more surprising is cats can take this position as a defensive gesture of being ready to fight. That’s why reaching for a cat in this pose can result in being met with sharp teeth and extended claws!

By paying attention to your cat’s body language and looking for clues, you’ll be able to help ensure that the two of you are on the same page.

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