How to Understand Cats' Body Language

When many cat owners raised a cat for the first time, they had a lot of misunderstandings about cat behavior. Cats are different from humans, they can’t speak, but they use body language to express emotions. Therefore, cat owners should know the meaning of various cat body language in order to better understand the emotions of cats. Cat's body language can be observed by facial expressions, ear positions, tail swings, and body movements.

  • Being relaxed/at ease

When the cat stays in a familiar and safe environment (such as at home), the body muscles and facial expression lines are in a relaxed state. Moreover, its tail swings slowly and regularly, and some cats even make a purring sound in their throats. The vibrating sound of purring is a sound characteristic of cats, and it means that the cat feels relieved.

  • Being unhappy

When some cats are upset, most of their body is still in a relaxed state, but their tails move quickly to the left and right. When the unpleasant action continues, the cat may bite or slap with the front foot.

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  • Being nervous/scared

When a cat is nervous or scared, its pupils will dilate and become round. Its ears will be pushed back or aside, and it will pay attention to the things that make it nervous. Its body will be lowered, and its tail will be rolled up between its legs. Some cats are even ready to jump and run.

  • Being angry

When the cat is angry, the pupils will be enlarged and become round. The hair on the back and tail will all stand up due to the contraction of the erector hair muscle. And the back will be slightly arched like a mountain. In short, cats will make the body look big to intimidate their enemies. In addition, their facial expressions will be more exaggerated, some cats will even open their mouths, show their teeth, and make a hissing noise. If there is a further threatening action, the cat will extend its front foot to attack.

  • Attack action

When the cat is scared or angry to a certain extent, it will act aggressively. The cat’s attack action is generally to stretch out the front foot and slap, some cats will take the initiative to jump forward, there will also be an act of biting. 

  • Being unsuspecting

When the cat sleeps with belly exposed, the cat is in the most relaxing and completely defenseless state, expressing that it feels very comfortable.

  • Being unalert

The cat, who was originally lying on his stomach, will stretch out his limbs and lay his head flat on the ground, and reveal half of his belly when he is relieved by the surrounding environment. The cat at this time also enters a relaxed state.


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