How to Understand Cat Language. What are They Saying?

Why do Cats Rub against you then Bite

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To bond with your cat, you will need to how to understand cat language. This is perhaps the most important thing to do if you are planning to adopt a kitty. Furthermore, if you have been ignoring your cat’s meows, you have been doing it all wrong. Well, this is because cats are usually communicating when they meow at us. Therefore, you will need to listen to your cat when he is meowing as well as using his other communication cues.

In this article, we are going to help you understand cat language as well as identify when your cat is talking to you.


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How to understand cat language. How do cats communicate?

Cats communicate with us mostly through meowing. However, in some cases, your cat will also communicate to you through his body language. Therefore, you will need to recognize these verbal and non-verbal cues of communication so that you can be able to understand your cat’s body language.

When cats are communicating with each other, you will observe that they will use their scents. Therefore, in order to understand cat language, you will need to do some research as well as set aside some time to observe your cat. Remember that we cannot generalize how cats communicate as there might be differences in individual cats.


How to understand cat language

Understand cat Language: Meowing

meowing is the primary method for cats to communicate with us. However, cat mothers will meow in order to guide her litter. This is because kittens are born blind and therefore, vocalization is the only way they can communicate with their mothers.

For this reason, we can agree that cats learn how to meow from their mothers. However, as they grow older, they will not need to meow at their mother, rather their human parent. In most cases. Your cat will mostly meow when he needs something or when he is scared. Below is an outline of what several cat meows may translate to.

The short cat meow – this is the type of meow that your cat will give you when he wants to casually say hello to you. He might do this as he passes by you or even when he sees you in the morning. Some cats go ahead and start mimicking the word ‘hello’. This is common with that living in a household with more than one person. I mean, he is going to pick the habit from the two-legged family members.

Multiple short meows– usually, this is your cat’s way of insisting on the first short meow. Based on the relationship that you share with your cat will also determine how excited he is to see you. For instance, if you are the one who feeds him each day, he is definitely going to look forward to seeing you when you get back from work. Therefore, he will meow at you as well as exhibit other signs of pure excitement like pacing and holding his tail up high.

Low pitched meow – When your cat gives you this meow, something is absolutely not going so well. However, it is not uncommon for new cats to exhibit this behavior. Understand that cats feel anxious and stressed out when there is a sudden change in their life. Changing residence or ownership will definitely generate anxiety in your cat. Even though the stress and anxiety should go away as soon as he is settled, you will have to help him adjust. Ensure that he is comfortable enough and there is nothing posing a threat to him. A sick kitty might also meow consistently in a low pitch.

Mid-pitched meow – cat’s meow in a mid-pitched tone when they are demanding for something. For instance, if you are making dinner and he starts meowing at you he probably wants some of what you are making. All in all, most cats meow in this tone when they are demanding for food. If you delay feeding time in the morning or evening, you might have to deal with this type of meow until to fill up your cat’s bowl. In addition, your cat might be giving you this type of meow when he probably wants to go into another room and the door is locked.

Well, if you keep ignoring him, this might turn into an excessive vocalization behavior problem. Therefore, you should always ensure that he is well fed throughout the day as well as stick to the specific routine you develop. Otherwise, your cat will get frustrated when you do not attend to his needs. This might lead to your cat giving you the long-drawn-out meow that can be quite annoying over time.

High-pitched meow – Your cat will give you this loud meow when he is badly hurt or in pain. Well, as a cat owner, you are probably going to be the one to cause this kind of vocalization. For instance, if you startle your cat, he will give you the high-pitched and loud meow. The same case for when you accidentally step on your cat in the house. You will rarely hear your cat meowing in a high pitch under normal circumstances.

Hissing and snarling – Now, cats are very social creatures, which is why they make great companions. However, this does not prevent them from vulnerability. Therefore, we can also say that cats are also irritable. When your cat is angry, supposedly at another pet in the household, you will hear him snarling and hissing. This is usually a sign that a fight is about to happen and your cat is ready. The good thing is that your cat will rarely hiss or snarl at you nevertheless.


How to understand cat language


Cat purring – this is the most recognizable cat sounds that you will hear once you adopt a cat. Well, in most cases, your cat will purr when he is relaxed, happy and content. This is why you will observe your cat purring when you are petting him or when he is relaxed. However, cat behaviorists associate purring with aiding faster healing in cats as well as comfort.

As for providing comfort, this comes from kittenhood whereby cat mothers purring to sooth her kittens. In addition, cat owners with several cats have also observed cats purring to comfort one of their own who is sad or sick. Purring also helps with tissue generation and hence has healing properties.

Chatteringchattering is also common, especially when you have a yard. Even though most cats use chattering to get the owner’s attention, it could also be as a result of excitement. To be very particular, your cat may start making these unique sounds like chattering as a result of predatory excitement. Perhaps he is resting by the window and he can watch birds and other animals on the outside. This may cause your cat to chatter chirr or chirp. In addition, cats with access to the outside will also make these sounds when they see or sniff small animals in the yard.


How to understand cat language. Understand cat body language

As we had indicated earlier, there is an urge for every cat owner to understand cat language, verbal and non-verbal. Now that we have already looked at what your cat is trying to tell you via meows and 0other vocalizations, it is time to focus on his body language. This will actually let you into your cat’s emotional status when presented with certain circumstances.

You will be able to tell whether your cat is feeling confident, scared or angry through the way your cat moves as well as positions himself. We are going to look at some of the meanings of certain body posture based on the context.

Confident cat

As we all need to feel, it is important for our cats to feel confident in their own home. Well, this is not going to happen immediately but then again, once your cat gets used to your new home he should feel confident. Now, in order to observe whether your cat feels safe and confident in the house, watch his body language. His tail will be mostly up high when he walks peacefully in the house. In addition, he will also have relaxed eyes and ears upright. He will also stretch himself out for relaxation even as he walks around the house.

Scared cat

Keeping in mind that cats were originally wild animals, you should understand that cats also fall prey to other predators. This makes them quite cautious especially when they are faced with a scary situation. Well, when your cat feels threatened, he will try to make himself look bigger. This is in efforts to make the opponent go away. This might also happen when a cat is angry. He will also have wide-open eyes and alert ears.


How to understand cat language

Aggressive cats

Use to their social nature, cats also tend to get mad real quickly. When a cat is agitated, several body positions will definitely be involved. For instance, your cat will have his fur standing off his body with a Halloween cat tail. This is actually dangerous as it could have your cat pouncing at his opponent any minute. In addition, he will also have those angry wide-open eyes with dilated pupils. Your cat will also position his body so that he will be facing his opponent directly.

Sometimes, your cat will position himself such that he is lying on the back, it might be an invitation to play or just a defensive position. This means that you will have to figure out when he is in such a position before you engage with him. You should be careful not to fall victim to his sharp claws. The reaction of your cat will once again be determined by the situation at hand.

Cats will exhibit aggression when they feel threatened by an outsider or even another pet in the household. Therefore, ensure that your cat is comfortable and also get rid of stray cats. You will also observe your cat thumping his tail slowly on the ground. You should leave your cat alone in this situation.

Happy and content cat

On the other hand, when your cat is happy, he is most likely going to walk around with his tails up. This is because he feels happy and content with everything around him. In addition, your cat will appear even more social than normal and even come to you for petting. During this time, your cat will be the most receptive and you can use this to your advantage to teach him a few commands. He will also appear playful as well as fall asleep often.

Sick cat

In addition to excessive vocalization, there are other body language cues that you may want to look into to find out whether your cat is sick. An ill cat will rarely involve himself with any physical activities. He will be asleep for the most part of the day. Other symptoms will highly depend on the specific disease that your cat is suffering from.


Cats using their scents to communicate

Cats will also use their own scents to communicate, mostly with other cats. For instance, because cats are territorial creatures they use scents to identify people, other pets as well as to mark their boundaries. For instance, if your cat feels threatened in your household, he is likely to mark his boundaries. To do so, your cat will spray urine or rub against the element he wants to mark. You may observe your cat rubbing his body against you. He wants to identify you as one of his kind.

In addition, cats use their urine to attract potential mates when they are on heat. In fact, this is the time that they are most likely to spray urine to scare away other cats away.


In conclusion, you need to understand cat language if you have recently adopted a kitty or you are planning to. You will be able to identify well with your cat as well as form a great relationship with him. Understand what your cat is trying to tell you through his different vocalization. Also, do not forget to provide enough resources for your cat, including food and litter boxes. In addition, stick to a specific routine with your cat. This way you can rest assured that you meet his needs on time to avoid issues with excessive vocalization.

It is important to keep in mind that cats vocalize to communicate with us in most cases. Therefore, you have an obligation to lean your cat’s specific communication cues in efforts to ensure that he is comfortable and well taken care of. I hope you can now understand cat language as you progress to a deeper understanding of your kitty.

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