How Can You Tell a Cat’s Mood? A Helpful Guide

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Cats are very expressive in that you will be able to tell what they are feeling from their body language. Once you bring your cat home, the very first thing you should check out is his body language. If you are planning to get a kitty, you will definitely need to understand what his body language says about his emotions. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the ways in which you can be able to tell a cat’s mood as we explain cat body language.


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Can you tell a cat’s mood through Body posture?


How Can You Tell a Cat’s Mood


The answer to this question is yes. Your cat’s body language will let you into his emotions as well as moods. You will need to spend some time with your cat in order to observe these behaviors. Now, when a cat changes his body posture, there is a likelihood that he has also shifted his moods.

For instance, you may consider observing how your cat lies down when he is relaxed, playful or even angry. Well, to be able to determine this, you will have to monitor him closely. However, we are going to help you understand the different meanings of different body postures.

When your cat is lying down on his back, exposing his belly, watch out as it could mean two things. He is probably being playful, even though cats will rarely invite you for a belly rub. On the other hand, this is usually a gesture for a defensive cat.

When your cat feels threatened, he might lie down on his back and expose his belly. At the same time, you might realize that your kitty will expose his claws, ready to pounce on his opponent. It is advisable to leave him alone, and do not be tempted to give him a belly rub.

At the same time, your cat might lie low when he is curious. His head will face the element of curiosity as he slowly approaches it. This is when your cat is trying to figure a situation or object out.

When your kitty sits or lies in a way that his paws are tucked under his body, he is most likely at peace and relaxed. However, you must focus on another body language to tell your cat’s mood. We are going to discuss these body language gestures below.


Understand cat Ear Talk


Your cat’s ears will definitely be a giveaway when you are trying to figure out his mood. You can be able to tell your cat’s mood by observing his ear positioning and movement. It is all about how they move, and the way in which they are positioned.

Without much hesitation, we are going to unfold some of the things to look out for in order to understand cat ear talk. When your cat’s ears are upright with his tips facing forward, he is feeling great. It is usually an indication that your cat is content and happy. Some cats go on to try and initiate play with their owners.

Straight up ears mean that your cat is alert. Note that cats have a relatively higher sense of hearing than we do. Therefore, he is able to pick different sounds even from afar. It could be someone approaching your house or the noise in the streets.

When his ears are facing backward, it indicates that your cat is a little irritated. Well, you should probably let him be and avoid the temptation to pet him or play with him. If there is something causing him irritation, it would also be recommendable to get him out of the situation.

Ears falling sideways means that your kitty is feeling a little bit anxious or nervous. Once again, you may want to avoid touching or cuddling him when he is in this state. Instead, look for the element causing him the anxiety and eliminate it. However, if your cat has his ears flattened on his head, it is an indication that your cat is angry and ready to pick up a fight. Your cat is in an aggressive mood at that point.


Understand your cat’s Eye Talk


In addition to the above discussed, your cat’s eyes should guide you to understand your cat’s moods. Well, as the saying goes, the eyes are a window to the soul. So how can your cat’s eyes tell you about his mood?

Constricted pupils indicate that your cat is uneasy and could be aggressive. For instance, if your cat is faced with a fight or flight situation, you will definitely see his pupils constrict. He will be totally focused on the object causing him the uneasiness or anger.

On the other hand, dilated pupils mean that your cat is either surprised, scared or highly stimulated. Therefore, you must observe other signs to be able to tell what exactly he is feeling. To determine your cat’s mood, pay attention to the direction in which he is focused.

In other cases, your cat might challenge you by staring at you. A cat stare is his way of trying to threaten you or other cats. So, when he stares directly in your eyes, it is wise to avoid staring back at him. Slow blinking means that your cat trusts you completely. Note that your cat will not close his eyes if he feels threatened. A trusting cat may also sit or stay with his eyes half-closed.

To be able to understand cat-eye talk, you must watch him closely in different situations.


How Can You Tell a Cat’s Mood

Cat Tail Talk  


As we mentioned earlier, his body language will enable you to tell when he is in a good mood and when he is not. When your cat holds his tail up high, it means that he feels confident and happy. This is the same gesture he will give when you get back home and he is happy that you are home. He is the most approachable at this mood. He might also have his cat curled at the top just like a question mark when he is happy.

A cat who has his tail down is probably feeling threatened. While some breeds of cats walk with their tail all the way down, it is usually never a good sign. You should not initiate play or cuddling with him when he is like this. It is probably best if you left him alone until he calms down.

When your cat is agitated, he will thump his tail rapidly back and forth. Unlike when a dog is wagging its tail, when a cat is wagging his tail, it is never a good thing. You should once again leave him alone at that state. On the other hand, when he moves his tail slowly back and forth, it could be that he is curious.

He has not been able to decipher what to feel about the situation he is presented with. Once again, leave him alone to figure it out.

An angry cat will form a Halloween cattail and it means it is about to get ugly. It could be that there is an element causing him the fight or flight reaction. He is trying to make himself look bigger in efforts to scare away his opponent.


Fur Talk

Cats love to stay clean at all times. That is why you will find your kitty grooming himself occasionally. But at the same time, you can be able to detect your cat’s wellbeing by observing his fur. For instance, when your cat’s fur is unkempt, it indicates ill health. It could be because your cat is stressing or generally ill.

When his fur is all fluffed up, it indicates fear or aggression. For instance, cat owners running multi-cat homes may have observed this behavior at some point. One cat might be threating another, causing their fur to appear fluffy.



The way your cat uses his vocalization should let you know what he is feeling. Well, cats will rarely use vocalization unless they want to communicate their needs with us. However, he will generally throw a casual meow when he is in a good mood. Short multiple meows mean that all is well and he is probably saying hello.

On the same note, when your cat is purring, it is an indication of contentment. He may lie down while purring when he is most relaxed. He might start purring when you are petting him. However, sometimes purring is associated with stress or illness as it soothes him. Also, purring is a way for your cat to fasten the healing process when he is injured. Thereby, you will need to watch him closely to determine the reason why he is purring.

A threatened kitty may not necessarily vocalize unless he is attacked by an opponent. When he is in pain, your cat will produce a high pitched meow and you should check on him immediately.


How Can You Tell a Cat’s Mood

Rubbing against you

Did you know that when your cat is rubbing against you he is marking his boundaries? Usually, your cat will rub against you when he is calm and content. Well, not always as your cat might be trying to nag you to feed or pet him.

He is trying to get your attention as well as exhibit his territorial behavior.




In conclusion, once you bring a kitty home, you must be able to tell his moods. This means that you have to set aside some time to monitor your cat. In comfortable situations, your cat will be relaxed. However, you must look out for any signs of stress or other unnatural cat behaviors.

Ensure that you feed your cat well and also schedule play and cuddling sessions. This way, you will be able to ensure that your cat remains happy at all times. Should you observe any signs of cat stress or sadness, you should help him relax immediately. If he appears threatened, it is your duty to get him out of the situation as soon as you can.

Lastly, to tell your cat’s mood, you will need to be a little keen with him. It is all about his body posture and movement. Watch out how he positions his ears or his eyes and most importantly his tail. This way, you can be able to tell when he is happy, sad, afraid or even frightened.

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