Decoding Cat Body Language – What Does Your Cat Want to Say?

Some people think that cats are plain jerks that bite and scratch without rhyme or reason, but the truth is that their actions are simply misunderstood. Find out what your cat really wants to say by knowing these things about their eyes, ears, and tail...

Decoding Cat Body Language – What Does Your Cat Want to Say?

Some people think that cats are loners and plain jerks that bite and scratch without rhyme or reason. However, that’s a misconception that can’t be further from the truth. While felines in general savor their alone time, they’re not completely enamored with the solitary lifestyle.

In fact, numerous studies and observations have revealed that upon stepping into adulthood, cats completely stop using sounds with other animals, even their fellow cats, unless engaged in a fight. That’s when you hear those irritable screeching and piercing sounds.

How can such a creature that has absolutely devoted its vocalizations to communicate with humans want to be left alone?

That said, if you truly want to understand and forge a strong bond with your cat, then it’s time that you learn what she wants to say with her body language.

Decoding Cat Body Language – What Does Your Cat Wants to Say?

The 3 Secrets of Cat Body Language

The cat body language is complex and isn’t contained in a single part of the body; we can probably make a whole book out of it. Nonetheless, here are the most common expressions that cats use when interacting with humans:

Cat Eye Expressions


A cat’s eye expression can be confusing. While dilated pupils generally mean that it’s alert and excited, it can also mean that it’s scared or nervous. Narrowed pupils, on the other hand, can either mean that it’s content or angry.

Prolonged direct eye contact is generally regarded as a challenge, so refrain from staring at your cat. But if you see your cat blinking slowly, do the same. It’s a sort of kiss—a way to say “I trust you” or even "I love you." Closing their eyes make them vulnerable to attacks. Cats only do that around people they feel secure with.

Cat Ear Movements


Compared to its eyes, a cat’s ears deliver a clearer message. If the ears are set forward, your cat is calm and happy. If they’re sideward, she may be feeling unsure or anxious.

Now, if the ears are backwards and flattened, don’t approach her. She may be overstimulated from petting or playing, frightened, or threatened. Whichever the case is, provoking her will result to an attack, and it will be a sad memory for both of you.

Cat Tail


Like the ears, cat tails are quite easy to read. A calm and content cat will proudly hold its tail up, but if it’s puffed like the Halloween cat icon, it’s time to back away.

If your cat is thrashing her tail from side to side, she’s not happy. She’s probably overstimulated or angry, and again, you have to give her some time and space.

A cat’s tail hanging low can be a sign of aggression, although there are some breeds that simply like to do so. Thread carefully in this case. If it’s tucked between the legs, she’s scared and submissive, so offer her a cuddle to soothe her.

Believe it or not, cats do love humans. They might not show it as openly and as often as dogs do, but once you understand the cat body language, you’ll know that the simplest thing they do is a show of sincere affection. Consider rewarding their affection with something like a cat play tunnel for them to enjoy.

Do you know any cat body expressions not mentioned above? Make sure to tell us in the comment section below!