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How to Read Your Feline’s Body Language

Every cat lover has experienced “the moment”: Your cat stares back at you with those big, adorable eyes, silently pleading for … something. Is it playtime? Do they want a scratch down their back? Is there a treat somewhere nearby? It has probably left you thinking, “What in the world is my cat asking me?”

Eyes Are the Windows to Your Cat’s Soul
One of the simplest ways to know what your cat is thinking is by looking into their eyes. If your cat is squinting, this means they’re relaxed and letting their guard down. This resting state means they’re probably happy and appreciate your company. When their pupils are large and dilated (like big black dots), this is usually a strong indication something is very wrong. Your cat may either be in pain or ready to lash out aggressively! Another way a feline’s eyes can help you determine what they might be thinking is to notice the direction of their gaze. If they’re focusing on an object intently, they’re most likely curious about it. If their stare is directed at you, they may want your attention in the form of food or affection.

It’s All in Their Head
Hearing is a crucial part in how your cat takes in the world, so it’s only natural that the positioning of their ears can tell you a lot about what’s on their mind. When a cat’s ears are sticking straight up, this means something has their complete focus. If the ears are pressed backwards, watch out, because you have one angry cat on your hands! When one ear is forward and one ear is back, there’s a good chance your furry friend is confused, and may need a little guidance from you on what to do next.

Since cats tend to keep their mouths closed the majority of the time, an open one can say a lot! When your cat looks off into the distance with its jaw ajar (this act is called a gape), he or she is enjoying a pheromone scent in the air. And unlike humans, cats do not yawn when they’re tired—instead, this is usually a sign that they are stressed or anxious about something.

A Telling Tail
Of all the body parts, your cat’s tail might be the best clue to figuring out what question they may be asking. If your cat’s tail sticks straight in the air, that means he or she is content with the situation. And just like a dog wagging its tail, if that straight tail starts to shake, you have one happy cat-camper! If your cat has a straight tail with a hook at the end, that means he or she is interested but cautious (this is often how they greet new guests). When a tail is pointing away and aligned with their spine, they are usually confident or relaxed—they also do this when they’re stalking prey, which is why you see this when they’re playing hunting games with you. When your cat’s tail sticks straight up and has its hair on end, we probably don’t have to tell you, but that means bad news.

Just like humans, cats give off tell-tale signs of what mood they are in. We hope you’ve found this blog post helpful to understanding the difference between the next time your cat wants to play or snuggle.

Best regards,
World’s Best Cat Litter™