Cats are equally loving and caring like dogs, but the way they communicate with their owners is different from dogs. Cat body language may not be as expressive as dogs when it comes to letting their owners know their emotions and feelings. They do love you, but the way of expression may not be the same as dogs, which is too visible.
One needs to remember that both are different species with each having their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Though the way of showing love and affection may be different, cats do care about you and will never shy away from showing their affection; it’s just that their ways of displaying affection is different from dogs. Understanding the cat body language is the key for a happy relation between man and its feline friend.
1. Cat kneading their paws
Cat body language is a mystery and understanding the cat language will enable you to communicate and understand your cat’s behavior in a better way. Cats tend to knead their paws regularly and there are many different theories attached to it. Cats communicate their emotions in a unique way and each person will make different assumptions. Kneading is a common behavior found in both kittens and adult cats and there are many ideas as why they do it. Some cats do this along with a purring sound when they are being petted. Some may do it without any particular reason. Cats start kneading their paws when they are kittens and while nursing.
A kitten kneads its paw to stimulate the milk production and adult cats continue this habit as a way to attain comfort. When an adult cat is kneading their paws while you are petting, he may be trying to return the affection and to inform you that he too loves you. This can be painful for the owner and the cat doesn’t understand that it may cause pain to its family member. Do not punish or harm your cat, as they do not realize this. Some cats knead their paws to stretch their bodies. Cats are territorial animals, and to mark their territory, they activate their scent glands that are located inside their soft pads at the bottom of the paws by kneading. Female cats knead their paws when they are in heat. It is an indication for the male cat that she is ready to mate.
2. Cats bring dead animals home
Yes, cats do bring dead animals home, which can be very disgusting and repel most people. We all know that outdoor cats bring dead animals home, but have failed to understand why they do this. Again, understanding the cat language is essential for both of you to stay together in harmony. Cats have wild instincts and it is these instincts that make them do certain strange things. Cats are slightly difficult to train as compared to dogs and changing certain traits is not possible in cats. They are taught to hunt right from their childhood days by their mother and even though a lot of pet cats are fed on cat food, the natural hunting instinct doesn’t fade away. It has been there since their existence. Understanding why they do it will help you react differently to these situations. One of the reasons for his behavior is to thank you for feeding and taking care of him. Your pet cat maybe doing this to show off his hunting skills. Your cat may be thinking that you are her family and it her duty to feed you, just like a kitten. This is especially true for female cats since they have strong maternal instincts prompting her to go out for hunting, even though it may not be needed. The best thing would be to throw away the loving gift and act happy as if nothing happened.
3. Cats rub their head against you
Cat body language or cat language is not very easy to comprehend for many people, which makes them wary of these loving animals. If you have a cat at home you must have noticed them rubbing their head against your face; don’t worry it is just a way to convey that they have considered you as their family member. Cats have many scent glands on their heads like eyes, ears, chins and mouth. When he rubs his face he leaves his scent behind and this act is known as “bunting”. It is way to inform other cats in the area about his presence. When they bunt on their owners, it is an obvious sign of greeting or affection. It is the cat’s way of bonding with their owners. He is identifying you as one of his friend or family.
4. Cats staring at humans
Most people are worried when they notice a cat staring at them making them very uncomfortable. People, who are not comfortable of cats around them, do not notice their positive cat body language like loving behavior and affection, but concentrate on these aspects. Staring maybe rude for humans and we humans are always alert and have a feeling of discomfort when we notice anyone staring at us, maybe it this defensive instinct that leads us to misinterpret our cats stare.
Again, understanding the cat language will help bond with these beautiful creatures. Eyes of cats blink less compared to humans, the steady and soft gaze means they are comfortable with you and don’t intend to harm you in any way. Cats are predators and it is this natural instinct along with their curious nature that makes them stare at things. Intent of the stare also matters; among cats a stare indicates friendship, while a mouse may interpret it in a different way, but for humans it means we are interesting for them.
5. Cats showing off their belly
Cat owners love the sight of their cat exposing their belly. Feline behavior can often be confusing. Cats display this behavior to show affection. It also means that the cat trusts you. Cats show off their tummy as a sign of relaxation. Usually cats show their belly when they are at peace and very comfortable with their surroundings. Your cat body language says a lot about his feeling at that moment and exposing the belly could be a good enough reason for belly rubs. If your cat is purring and showing off his belly, then it is okay to touch his belly. It is advisable not to touch unknown cats. If it is your cat, then look for signs, if he wants only relaxation and no rub from you, then he will respond by just scratching or biting. Widened pupil is a sign that your cat needs to be left alone.
Cats usually show their belly when they trust you since felines are vulnerable when their stomach is exposed. It is not the natural state for cats. When your cat is showing off his belly it means he believes you will not harm him in any way. It is also a sign of defensiveness. If a cat is scared and feels threatened he may assume this position to take advantage of the defensive tools like the claws. Look out for hissing and growling sound, which is an indication of defensiveness.
6. The position of your cat’s tail says a lot about your cat’s mood
The tail of your cat says a lot about its mood. The higher it is, the happier and content he is. The cat’s tail, will tell you more about what is going on in his head. Observe your cat for some time to understand the story behind the tail.
If your cat is holding his tail high in the air while he is moving around in his territory, it indicates contentment and confidence. A little bend at the tip of the tail means happiness and willingness. A cat will wrap his tail around you or another cat only when he considers you or another cat his friend. A question mark like tail indicates playful mood and a tail that is positioned low is a signal of aggression. When a cat is in fear or is nervous, it tends to curve its tail beneath the body. A puffed up tail that looks like a bottle brush is an indication that he is agitated and frightened. A tail that sways back and forth means he is in fear and is in aggressive mood. Stay away from this cat. A swishing tail of a cat means he is concentrating on an object especially while playing.
7. Cats Nip and nibble
Once you get know the cat body language it is much easier to accept them as pets. Cats nip and nibble at us, but this is not an aggressive behavior. This behavior has been noticed when they are grooming their kittens. Cats display this kind of behavior to communicate and even to play. A nibble is an indication that your cat is pleased and very happy with you and ready to engage in some playful activities. Some cats start by licking, but when the play becomes a little bit too much for them, it may give a slight nip or nibble. Stress is also one of the prime reasons why your cat will nip or nibble at you.
Cats can bite when there are lots of people playing with her or there are too many people around. A nip or nibble at this time means the cat has reached its limit with whatever they have been doing and need a break. Cats convey their emotions through the cat language before they bite. Early recognition of these signs will ensure there are no untoward incidents.
8. Cats run between your legs
Your cat is capable of speaking to you in many different ways and this can be understood by following the cat body language. Just like rubbing their head on your face, cats also run between your leg, which is also a sign of marking territory or showing ownership. Cats are territorial. Cats rubbing and running between legs is no cause for alarm, a gentle pat or stroke on your feline friends back is enough to make them happy. Running and circling around your legs is a sign of territorial behavior in cats. She is marking you with her scent to convey to other cats that you are her property. This sweet action is to prevent other cats from doing the same. Even though this may look like a very simple gesture, but it is more than that for your cat. The only way you can reciprocate their feelings is by patting on their back.
9. A purring cat is a happy cat
Purring is one of the most common things that we humans notice in cats. Cats tend to purr for a variety of reasons and are one of the most common cat sounds we hear. Cats purr when they are content and relaxed. If your cat’s eyes are half closed and she is lying on her back, then you can safely assume that she is in a relaxed state of mind. Cat body language of purring is prominent during the mealtime, when they are terribly hungry. The purring sound at this time is different from the relaxed purring. When cats are hungry they combine the regular purring with an unpleasant meow indicating hunger. This sound is very easy to identify even for a new cat owner.
Kittens tend to purr when they are only a few days old. It is a way to communicate to their mothers that they are fine. It helps in bonding with their mothers. Cats purr, when they are hurt or in pain. The low frequency purring helps the cat ease pain, as purring causes vibrations that can lessen pain, heal the wounds and improve breathing.
10. Cats follow you wherever you go
All cat owners at times notice that their cats follow them everywhere they go and do not understand the reason for this behavior. Once you get hold of the cat body language it won’t be difficult to understand why they behave in a certain manner. Cats follow you everywhere because they like your company or maybe there is some other reason to it. Generally they follow you when it is mealtime or some cats may be curious and want to know what you are going to do. Some may even want to enter certain restricted rooms on this pretext. Some cats even like to tag along with you because you are their family.
Some cats follow you for getting that extra attention, especially if you are outside the house for long durations especially after work or holidays. Separation anxiety is more common in certain breeds of cats and these cats will need constant reassurance from their owners.
Each cat is different and cats in general are loving and adorable animals, only that their way of showing affection is different from dogs. Once you get an understanding of the cat body language, it will become easier for new and old cat owners to bond with them. It will enable you to enjoy their company in a better way.