If you have watched two cats playing with each other, then you must understand that they do communicate with each other. Cats, as we all know, are very emotional creatures. Well, if you are running a multi-cat home, it is essential to watch out for when cats are talking to each other.
It is obvious that they will not use English to communicate. Rather, they may use verbal and non-verbal means of communication. In addition, they will use their hormones to send messages to each other. Even though you are not part of their communication, it is important for you to understand how cats communicate with each other.
As we have outlined above, there are three main methods in which cats talk to each other. We are going to discuss these methods as well as things to look out for.
At this point, it is important to note that most cats will vocalize to communicate with their human parents as compared to their counterparts. However, when they do, they are mostly trying to drive a point. When you see cats talking to each other using vocalization, you should beware. Different vocalizations will signify different messages.
This will vary based on the pitch, intense and also volume of the vocalization. It might signify their emotional as well as physical condition.
The loud meow from your cat to another might signify fear or even anxiety. This is actually quite common when you bring a new cat home. Before he can be accepted in the home, he might suffer from anxiety and fear.
Well, in a way, the cat is probably trying to tell the others that he is kind of scared. Well, in case you brought a bigger cat home, your small kitty may do the same. Usually, he is not going to appreciate the fact that you brought another one home.
An intense meow, on the other hand, will signify that your cat is fine and confident. Using the above example, your cat might actually be friendly towards the new cat. He will meow intensely a way to let the other one know that it is okay to come close. The other cat will also understand that your cat is okay and content even as you bring home new cat friends.
How does this work?
It is complicated to understand cats talking to each other. However, upon thorough research, scholars have determined that kittens will tend to meow more than adult cats. This is because kittens are usually trying to communicate their needs to their mothers.
For instance, when they are hungry, they will meow until the mother allows him to feed. This is the same way they will try to communicate with you at home. Whether he is hungry or wants to be let out, it is common for kittens to vocalize.
However, once they are all grown, it is going to be a bit difficult to have them meowing all the time.
In addition to the above, some cats will also purr, howl or growl. This is usually related to the emotional condition of the kitties. For instance, when he purrs, he is most likely content. Mothers will also purr in efforts to soothe their kittens.
In the case you have your kitty howling and growling towards another, he might be showing aggression. Well, this means that you should stay out of it and let them settle their differences. I am sure if you have multiple cats, you have experience catfights in the household. Usually, one is trying to show the other that he is the boss around.
While we have already outlined some of the most common forms of communication between cats through vocalization, we cannot forget to mention that they meow to greet each other. However, this might be accompanied by other body languages.
Cats talking to each other via Body Language
While we view meowing and vocalization as the main gateway for cat communication, body language speaks volumes. They will use body language in order to speak to each other or even express themselves. For instance, when your kitty meets another, they will greet each other. This is usually through touching each other’s noses or rubbing against each other. It is a friendly gesture among the feline family.
Now, when a cat wants to show affection and love for the other, he will lick the top of his head. They learn this from their mothers in kittenhood. The mother will lick kittens in order to groom as well as ensure that the kittens feel safe at all times. Well, you may also observe your cat licking another’s heat in efforts to comfort him when he is unhappy. This behavior is also attributed to a cat showing love and affection to another.
In other cases, your cat might roll over on his back as he talks to another. This is usually a form of an invitation to play. When he does this, he is trying to tell the other one that it is okay to approach him as he is friendly. He trusts the other cat so much and thus the rollover.
However, it is not always that he will be gentle and playful in this position. It might also mean that he is ready to engage his opponent. He will roll over on his back to expose his belly as well as unsheathe his claws. Some cats will also expose their teeth while in this position. He is trying to send a warning to the others that he is ready to get on it.
Eyes and ears
In addition to the above, the ears and eyes of your cat will also communicate with another. For instance, when your cat has ears lying flat and wide-open eyes as well as a lashing tail, a fight is about to go down. This might be accompanied by your growling and howling.
On the other hand, when his ears are upright and his eyes shut, he is friendly. It means that he trusts every other cat around him and thus he is comfortable.
Cats talking to each other through hormones
This is the main way in which cats will communicate with each other. When a cat meets another, you will be able to tell whether they like each other. Cats are a social being and so there is a chance that he is going to try to approach the other. If at all they are comfortable with each other, you may observe them rubbing against each other’s faces. By rubbing on each other, each cat produces the pheromone hormones as well as oils from their scent glands. Through this exchange, each cat is will be comfortable with the other.
Not only do cats use scent for greeting but also kittens depend on their mother’s scent when they are born. Well, they are born blind and so they can only navigate by following the scent. All in all, cats tend to identify each other using scents.
In some cases, cats who are really good friends will sniff each other’s butt. This is a way to say hello to each other. Other cats will engage in this behavior when they are on heat and looking for a mate. The cat will also exhibit other signs when in heat like spraying.
spraying is also another form of communication between cats. While it can be as a result of behavioral issues, it is also a territorial behavior. When you have multiple cats living under your roof, you may observe one of your cats spraying to mark boundaries. Other cats will be able to recognize the message he is trying to send. This is common with cats under stress who will want to mark boundaries to warn the other cats to stay away.
Other casts will spray as a way to communicate their sexual needs. He will spray in efforts to let other cats that he is available for mating. On the other hand, he will also be sending a message to the male cats to stay off his territory.
Other physical cues for cats talking to each other
You may observe your cat’s eyes whenever he is in the presence of another cat. For instance, when a cat has calm eyes with slow blinks, it may indicate affection towards the other. Ever since the domestication of cats, we have been able to conduct intensive research about them. It indicates that whenever a cat is comfortable closing his eyes in the presence of another, it shows trust between them. Note that cats are quite affectionate when comfortable.
On the other hand, his eyes might communicate differently. As we mentioned above, it could also be an indication of feeling threatened by another cat. This is usually when he has wide-open eyes with dilated pupils. It might be accompanied by loud meows.
The position of your cat’s ears will always indicate his emotional status. Whenever he has his ears slightly forward means that he feels okay. He is content and confident in his current state. On the other hand, when his ears are all straight up, he is alert.
This means that he might be paying attention to the other kitty, for any sudden movements. Now, when his ears are leaning backward, he is trying to warn the other cat to stay away. It could be because he is feeling irritated or he is done with playing and wants to be left alone.
Sometimes, your cat will have his ears leaning sideways or even back, might be a sign of nervousness in your cat. Perhaps there is a stray cat he is trying to warn but at the same time, it is making him nervous and afraid. In addition, when a cat’s ears are leaning flat against his head, he is getting defensive, At this point, your cat will be prepared to attack the other at any moment.
Cats talking to each other might as well use their tails. The message passed across will vary based on the position of the tail. For instance, when a cat has it’s tail way up is quite approachable. If you have several cats, you might observe them raising their tails in efforts to initiate play. At this tail position, cats are all playful, cheerful and might as well as try to initiate play with the other.
When his tail is down, your cat might be trying to communicate with the other cats that he is scared and threatened. While you might think that when your cat is wagging his tail he is happy, he is only showing his agitation to his counterparts. The other cats will most likely leave him alone at this point.
When he is trying to figure the other one out, he is likely to move his tail back and forth. This is a common way of cats talking to each other at their first meeting. They are trying to figure out how friendly their counterpart is.
The fact is, it is quite complicated to understand what each cat is trying to communicate with the other. In fact, this should be totally between them, even if it should help you identify any behavioral changes going on.
For instance, when you are running a multi-cat home you will notice when a cat feels threatened by another one. He might use vocalization, body posture or his ears and eyes. Therefore, you will be able to control them and provide comfortable living conditions for all the cats.
Cats talking to each other will need a lot of your attention in order to decipher. If the stray cats coming around your home are making him nervous or scared, it is best that you stop them from accessing your home.
All in all, cats are quite social with each other as they are expressive. It might be difficult for you to understand what they are telling each other but you may not need to. When they are about to engage in a fight, your cats will talk to each other and settle their differences without your interference.
The above means of communication are the main methods for cats talking to each other. We should not forget that initially, cats were wild animals, which means they must have had their own ways of communication. Are your cats talking to each other using the methods outlined above?