Do cats communicate with humans? Yes, they do. Otherwise, we would not be able to live under the same roof with them. It takes more than reading an article to understand cat behavior. It is because they have different personalities. In this article, we are going to look at cat communication with humans as well as body language.
How do cats communicate with humans?
Cats use vocalization to communicate with us through vocalization. Cat behaviorists suggest that cats only meow when communicating with humans and use body language to communicate with other cats. Well, when you hear your cat meowing, she is probably talking to you. However, for you to determine what your cat is trying to tell you, consider the content and the pitch of the vocalization.
Also, your cat will only communicate with you when she needs something from you. We are going to discuss some of the reasons why your cat may meow at you as we explore cat communication with humans.
7 Reasons why cats communicate with humans
As we have mentioned above, a cat will only communicate with you when she needs something. Well, you must observe your cat keenly to understand cat communication with humans. Below are some of the reasons why she might meow at you.
- To greet you
- To remind you they are hungry
- Attention seeking behavior
- They are sick
- Emphasize the urgency of their needs
- Fear and aggression
- Excitement & Stimulation
To greet you
Once your cat settles in your house, she is going to adapt to seeing you every day. She will greet you using a short casual meow when she sees you. It is likely to happen in the morning when you wake up or when you get back from work.
She will use a short meow when saying hello to you. Sometimes she might meow repeatedly to show excitement. She might also do this when she sees you approaching her bowl or when she is happy to see you. Observe her body language as she will also display her excitement as well.
To remind you to feed him
Cats are quite expressive and she will let you know when she is hungry. Let me state that you need to feed your cat more than thrice. Cats feed small amounts of food several times through the day. Also, your cat will adapt to a schedule which you feed her.
However, if you delay feeding time, your cat will give you a mid-pitched meow. She might do so when you come home from work and it is already past dinnertime. And this can turn out to be quite annoying because she won’t stop until you feed her.
Therefore, you must be keen to avoid turning it into a chronic behavior problem. Teach your cat how to sit and stay as he waits for the food.
Attention seeking behavior
Sometimes, your cat will meow to simply seek your attention. She has no reason to be meowing but she will do so in front of you. Well, you should curb attention-seeking behavior by ignoring your cat completely. She might also challenge you to a staring contest. You should not give in, no matter how much she meows.
Establish a schedule with your cat immediately you bring her home. This should include a feeding and petting schedule. It will help you ensure that your cat’s needs are met on time. Therefore, it is going to be easy for you to detect when she meows for attention.
Do not look at her or offer her the attention she seeks. Instead, ignore this behavior until she calms down. Avoid petting her when she is in this state.
A sick cat
Other times, your cat might be trying to tell you that she is sick. As we have mentioned earlier, cats will only vocalize to communicate with us. Therefore, if she seems to make noise for no reason, it could be that she is not feeling well. Female cats are especially prone to developing urinary tract infections for example.
There are several illnesses that may leave your kitty meowing through the night. Consider taking her to the vet for a checkup. Your cat should be silent for most of the times. So if you are having trouble falling asleep, your kitty is probably sick. Your vet will provide a conclusive diagnosis as well as treatment.
A sick cat will use a low pitched meow that will be consistent through the day.
Emphasize the urgency of their needs
Now, as we said, your cat will be expressive whenever she needs something. Should you delay offering him what she wants, she is going to complain. They do so using a long-drawn-out meow, and she will nag you until you deliver.
Once again, establishing and sticking to a schedule is going to help you feed and meet all the other needs of your cat. Another reason why a cat may give you this kind of meow is when she wants to get into another room. She will stand at the door and meow loudly to let you know that she needs to go out. Note that ignoring him may not be effective enough to make him stop nagging.
Also, when your cat is bored she can also start this nagging behavior. If so, get a few toys for your cat to keep her excited and occupied during the day. When she has her toys with her, she will barely get bored. Keeping in mind that your cat will sleep for almost 16 hours a day. This means that she will have about 8 hours to be awake. Make sure that she is occupied and well-fed during that time.
Fear and aggression
Cats also vocalize when they are feeling afraid or aggressive. For instance, when a cat is in a situation she is not sure off, it is normal for her to meow in a low pitch. The same case goes for when your cat when she feels threatened. Obviously, she will respond with fight or flight reflex.
When a cat is hissing or growling, it means that she is angry and ready to attack. Some cats will also spit as a result of anger. In his state, your cat can pounce on the threat or target. Stay away from him until she calms down. Also, eliminate the element of fear and aggression.
If your cat sits by the window while watching the outside, you may notice such vocalizations more often. She might be triggered by other cats or dogs from the outside. Once again, when a cat is hissing and spitting, I suggest that you leave her alone. If you are running a multi-cat home and two cats are about to fight, you will also hear some growling and hissing. Separate the tow in different rooms until they settle up.
An excited cat may meow multiple times. It could be that you are playing with your kitty or you just arrived home after a long day. Upon seeing you, she may vocalize before she gets to settle.
As we mentioned earlier, cats have about two forms of communication; vocalization and body language. To determine what she is trying to tell you, you must examine both of them.
Cat communication with humans-Body language
You will be able to tell quite a lot about your cat when you observe her body language. Also, you will know what your cat is feeling or her intentions. Without further delay, let us look at the main cat body language.
Your cat’s ears are probably her most sensitive body parts. Well, the ear positioning will shift with a shift in the atmosphere and environment. For instance, when your cat is peacefully resting and relaxed, she will have normal forward-facing ears. On the other hand, when she is startled, you will notice a quick shift in the ear positioning.
A fearful cat will have her ears facing sideways. She means to protect them should she get into a fight. Also, note that cats have a sensitive sense of hearing. When there is a noise nearby, your cat is going to pick it from afar. You may notice her ears standing straight up. It means that she is alert and keen on what is going on.
An aggressive cat, on the other hand, will have her ears flattened on her head. The ears will face backward and it means trouble. Whenever your cat has her ears in this position, be wary of any other pets causing agitation. An angry cat will also prepare to pounce on the aggressor. The more she flattens her ears on her head, the angrier she is getting.
Your cat will also talk to you using her eyes. Observe her eyes to tell what she is feeling. You will be able to tell whether she is happy, angry or scared. Also, cats use their eyes to display their affection towards their human owners.
For instance, when she looks at you while slowly blinking at you, it means she trusts you. This is usually referred to as a cat kiss. It is how she displays her affection towards you. This might happen when you are petting him or when she is relaxed.
When a cat is excited or stimulated, she may have dilated pupils. The same case goes for when your cat is scared. On the other hand, an aggressive or angry cat will constrict her eyes. She will direct her attention toward the element causing her fear and anxiety.
If you want to tell what your cat is feeling, pay attention to her eyes.
In combination with the and ear talk, cats also communicate using their tails. In fact, observing her tail is going to be the easiest way to tell when she is happy or annoyed. Well, let us discuss cat tail talk as we explore cat communication with humans.
So what does it mean when your cat starts to swish her tail? Or when she is carrying it down? These tail movements should let you in what your cat feels or when she wants something. For instance, when she is moving or thumping her tail on the ground rapidly, she could be getting agitated. When she does so when you are petting her, let him be until he settles down.
On the other hand, when she is swishing her tail slowly, she is most curious or getting agitated. Once again, let her settle down. You should, however, be concerned when your cat carries her tail down. It means that she is afraid or threatened by something. Some cats do carry their tails down at all times, especially the Persian breed.
When your cat is relaxed or happy, she might have her tail all the way up, probably with a question mark like curl at the top.
There are multiple studies that focus on cat communication with humans. Once you understand how cats communicate, you will be able to make a strong bond with your cat.