Talking cats, what are they trying to tell us?

Understanding your cat is essential and in this article we’ll try and explain some of the most frequent signals in cats’ everyday behaviour.

Ever since ancient times, cats have been solitary creatures that do what they want and keep their distance from other animals and humans.  With the exception of the mating period, in which social interaction is crucial, cats tend to minimize any noise. This behaviour is reflected in our taciturn domestic cats.

Rare cases of ‘talking’ cats can occurr mainly with kittens, when they’re in danger or when the mother cat is communicating with them. If your cat is very vocal, it may be because it has grown up around other animals and people. The fact that cats prefer silence has led them to develop alternative way of acting and organizing their lives, such as visual signals and smells in the areas they use the most.

Seeing as it’s very difficult for a human to understand a cat’s miaows, here’s a breakdown of the most common things your cat is probably trying to tell you.

  • Hissing, blowing, growling or grumbling are noises that can be quite easily interpreted, by studying your cat’s facial expressions.
  • If your cat withdraws its whiskers and lowers its ears at the same time, it means it’s being defensive. If it’s just the whiskers, it’s less serious and the cat has probably just noticed a menace in the area.
  • The eyes of a cat are very useful to see what it’s thinking. Unless it’s near a strong light or in almost total darkness, the eyes reflect the cat’s state of mind. If the eyes look very wide, it could be a symptom of strong excitement, anxiety or fear. If, on the other hand, the pupils become very tiny, it’s a sign of potential aggression.
  • You can also take a look at your cat’s tail for a clue as to what it’s thinking. Brusque movements show irritation or excitement. If the tail curls on itself it’s usually a greeting for a family member.

All of the above are just a few of the signals your cat could give, but remember that these are just suggestions, and it’s always a good idea to thoroughly investigate your cat and the surrounding situation to find out what’s going on.

Now, see if you can work out what these two cats are saying to each other (leave a comment on this post with your suggested script!).

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