Unlike dogs and their puppy eyes, cats can be a little hard to figure out. But like humans, they express a lot using their body language (there’s an actual job called cat behaviourist that studies this). Their body language can often tell you whether they’re anxious, scared or just plain lazy. The infographic below from Pretty Litter is a short summary of what your cat’s body language might indicate:
Before you jump to conclusions, understanding the context is important. The key body language indicators are their eyes, ears, body direction and shape, and their tail. Cats usually forecast their intention by pointing their body in the direction they might go. An example is their tail. Usually when their tail is lifted, it means that they are comfortable with interaction. But it can also mean a potentially aggressive cat in a social scenario. So, paying attention to the environment is important.
There are other signs like whether their body is open or closed. An arched back and sideways stance mean that the cat is angry or fearful and may be aggressive. If it has crouched down or is trying to appear small, they are usually scared or anxious. You can ease that tension by offering them treats of cat food.
A stretch can be either- relaxed or fearful. An arched back with raised hair means that they cat is trying to appear as big as possible and is poised to attack. Body orientation is another aspect. A direct front facing body means a confident cat while an offset orientation indicates a shy one. If the tail is high and vibrating, the cat is usually in a friendly mood. If it’s low and between its legs, the cat is scared while a flicking tail means an uncertain, anxious cat. Beware of a cat bite then! Even the eyes indicate something – narrowed and constricted pupils mean that cat can be aggressive while a slow blinking one is relaxed. There a lot more signs to consider and you can read them all here, a comprehensive guide to your cat’s behaviour.
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