How to Understand Cats. What are They Saying?

How to Understand Cats

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How to understand cats is a requirement for every cat owner. This is because it will enhance your relationship with your kitty. Therefore, you will need to learn about cat behavior prior to adopting a new kitty. Once you spend some time with a cat, you will observe that he does communicate with you. You cannot be able to meet your cat’s needs if you have not taken some time to observe him.

However, in this article, we are going to help you understand your cats and strengthen your bond.


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How do cats communicate?


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In order to understand cats, we will need to understand how they communicate and what they are trying to tell us when they do. Cats have different means of communication, based on their needs. However, vocalization, or meowing, is mostly reserved for communication with us. So if you are wondering if your cat talks to you, the answer is yes. Cats do talk to us, and sometimes they order us around. I mean, how else do you realize that your cat is happy, scared or hungry?

Vocalization, even though it is the primary method of communication for our cats, is not the only way your cat will talk to you. Your cat might also use his body language and posture for communication. Scents are specifically reserved for feline-feline communication. Below, we are going to highlight some of the most common cues of communication in efforts to help you understand cats.


Understand your cats: Communication in the feline family


In order to understand your cats, you will need to observe and monitor your cats. This way, you can ensure that you are aware of the different cues of communication individual cats use. This is actually a necessity when you are running a multicat home. Your cats probably chat with you all day but you don’t realize. Read on in order to understand what they are telling you. You might end up responding appropriately to them.


Cats use vocalization as their primary means of communicating with us. In fact, research suggests that cats use meowing to exclusively communicate their needs with us. Therefore, it is important that you pay attention to when your kitty is meowing at you.

Understand that your cat is already used to a specific routine that includes your personal schedule. He knows when you are likely to wake up, leave for work and also get back. This means that cats can actually adapt our personal schedules after all, while some will pick up our usual habits.

For instance, your cat has probably discovered that you say hello to him or other family members. As a result, he may adopt the habit and meow at you each and every morning to say hello as well. This is usually a short meow as you pass by him. In the evening, he might also check up on you when you get back from home. It can be characterized by multiple short meows directed to you.

In the case your cat is meowing in a mid-pitched tone, he is probably demanding for something. Perhaps you are a bit late from work or have delayed the feeding time, your cat will definitely complain.

This is why we are always emphasizing on sticking to a specific routine so that you can always be sure that your cat’s needs are always met on time. In addition to this, some cats will also give this type of meow when they want you to open a door for them.

Complaining meow

And because cats are very expressive, you will definitely know when he wants something from you. Cats will calmly request for something in a mid-pitched meow. However, should you be a little late from offering them food or meeting his demands, your cat may give you the long-drawn-out meow.

This is his complaining meow and it can be very annoying over time. In this case, you are going to need to make him stop by training him how to wait. We shall look at methods to train a cat a little later in this article.

Fearful meow

When your cat is afraid, you will most definitely notice because he will consistently meow, even though on a low pitched tone. This is quite common amongst kittens as compared to adult cats. In addition, new cats will also meow from the fear of the new environment as well as a change of ownership. Therefore, if you have recently adopted a kitty, keep watch at him for any form of discomfort.

To help your new cat adapt to the environments faster, ensure that you spend enough amount of time playing and petting him. You can also allow him to come to the bedroom with you for the first few nights. This might also apply in the case where you have changed your residence and thus excessive vocalization in your cat. Consider buying several toys to keep your cat occupied throughout the day.

In the scenario where your cat is afraid of another cat or the family dog, you will have to give them some time to get acquitted to each other. For instance, separate the two for a while by restricting access into your cat’s bed. He needs to have a sense of security before he can be able to socialize with everyone in the family.


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Agitated Meow

Most cat owners have witnessed moments when their kitties were angry. It could be that someone is irritating him or even another pet. Well, you are likely to experience cat sounds that may involve snarling, howling and hissing. You will hear your cat producing these sounds when he is most agitated or even about to get into a fight.

It is advisable to always check it out when you hear your cat snarling or hissing. In fact, get him out of the situation by eliminating the element posing a threat to your cat. It is your responsibility to ensure that your cat is doing well both emotionally and physically.

Therefore, it is your duty to ensure that your cat is free of stress and anxiety. play with him every day as well as schedule time to pet him. This way, you will be strengthening your bond and hence build a sense of security in your home.

In addition, your cat may also give you the high pitched loud meow when you step on him. Well, he will not attack you but he will definitely let you know that you have stepped on him. Usually, this should not be anything to alarm you unless you are not in the same room as your cat.

For instance, if your cat has access to the outside, it could mean that your cat is probably being attacked. Always check on your cat if he gives you the agitation meow to make sure that he is doing alright.


Body language cues to look out for in order to understand cats


In addition to vocalization, your cat will also use certain body language to communicate to you and even to other cats. For instance, you can be able to tell when your cat is happy and relaxed as well as when he is bored, stressed or lonely. However, you must observe your cats first in order to monitor these body language cues. Below, we are going to look at some of the common cat body movements and postures and their meaning.

In efforts to understand cats, cat behaviorists spent so much time observing felines as well as their behavior. Thus, there are various studies that explain how our cats communicate with us through vocalization, as well as their body language.

Every cat owner knows that cats talk with their ears sometimes. Well, as we have mentioned above, cats do express their feelings quite coherently. Well, if you are yet to learn your cat’s ear talk, don’t despair as we are going to help you understand your cats.

Cat ear talk

Now, when a cat has his ears are facing forward, it means that he is alert. This is probably triggered by unusual noise from the outside or another room. Cats are curious, and so he is probably going to check it out. Some cats, however, will also have their ears in this position every time the doorbell goes off.

In the case of a new kitten, you may consider turning off the doorbell for the next few weeks so that you do not startle the kitty every time it rings.

Additionally, cats will have their ears leaning backward or falling sideways. In this scenario, there is a likelihood that he is feeling agitated or irritated. It may or not be accompanied by vocalization. Well, if you are petting him, it would be best to let it go and get your cat to safety.

When he is about to face an opponent, your cat’s ears might be flattened on the head. In this case, your cat is extremely angered and it would be best if you stayed away from him.

Well, when your cat’s ears are upright, your cat is relaxed. You will notice this when you are petting him or playing with him. Learning body language is essential for every cat owner. This way, you are able to understand your cat’s emotional status.

Eye talk

As with the ears, cats will also let you into their emotional status through their eyes. Cat behaviorists observed that when a cat is blinking slowly, it is a sign of trust. It is a common feline-human and feline-feline communication cues. For instance, when you are cuddling with your cat, there is a possibility that he will close his eyes or blink in a slow manner.

On the other hand, when your cat is uncomfortable, he will have wide-opened eyes. This is because he is trying to figure the entire situation out. Your cat may also have wide-open eyes when he is yet to get used to the new surroundings. Well, he is going to relax over time. However, if your cat seems to stare at something for long, check it out to ensure that everything is okay.


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Tail Talk

Your cat’s tail should also tell you quite a lot about your kitty. For instance, when your cat is relaxed, he will curve his tail in a gentle U. when he is feeling a bit confident, your cat will hold his tail high up. In addition, he may do the same when he is trying to figure something out. On the other hand, when the tail is in movement, it is usually as a result of certain stimulation. It could be that your cat is angry, or excited or about to attack!

For instance, when a cat is thumping his tail on the ground, it is a sure sign intended to get you to keep off. Your cat is probably facing an opponent and wants to settle it out. When he is thumping his tail on the ground, it means that he is ready to attack his opponent and eliminate a threat.

In addition, when a cat has a bristled tail, it is a sure sign of aggression. You will also observe that his fur is standing straight off his body when you are dealing with a cat with aggression. In the case that you are petting your cat and he gets a Halloween cattail, it is advisable to stop and give him some space to overcome agitation.




Every cat owner should understand cats and their behaviors and most important how cats communicate. Therefore, there is a need for you to learn what your cat is telling you when he meows in a certain way. Well, the one rule in domestication is to ensure that our pets are healthy as well as happy.

With cats, you will not need to worry about that as they are quite expressive. If you are keen on your cat, you will be able to pick your cat’s emotional status from several bodies and vocalization cues we have discussed above.

In order to ensure that your cat is comfortable as well as healthy, create a routine that will enable you to feed and play with your cat regularly. This way, you will create a strong bond between the two of you. In addition, a routine works well to help your cat settle in your home. Therefore, aligning your schedule with the routine will help you alleviate boredom, stress, and anxiety.

The above-discussed communication cues should help you with a basic understanding of cats. However, once you start observing your cat in particular, you are going to learn more about him and thus be able to meet his needs.

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