Cats can sometimes be very secret creatures. Unlike dogs, which are often open books, felines like to keep an aura of mystery around them. However, even if they can be difficult to read, just like us, they experience a wide range of “emotions” such as joy, fear, frustration, satisfaction, etc. Of course, if you’ve shared your life with your pet for a long time, you’re probably able to decode some of his moods and many of his needs. But maybe you just got a new kitten, or would simply like to communicate more efficiently with your old friend. After all, good communication is a great thing, right? Here’s a simple guide to better understand cats.
Warning: Angry Cat
Nothing like an angry cat to give a good fright to the person who is the witness (or reason) of his anger. Several signs don’t lie! If your cat spits, hisses or growls, there’s no doubt that he’s in a really bad mood! If he is abnormally quiet, it may be more difficult to decode his emotions. Pay attention to his body, which can tell you a lot about his state of mind. Does he look like he is standing a bit too still, with his tail stiff and his ears pointing backwards, laying flat on his head? His gaze seems impenetrable? He definitely woke up on the wrong foot this morning and the last thing you want to do is to annoy him. Retreat and give him space and time to calm down. In general, his frustration should pass, but if you notice that your little loveable fur ball is acting more and more like Grumpy Cat and shows signs of aggression, talk to your veterinarian. Maybe a health problem is causing him discomfort.
I Want to Play!
Kittens are not the only ones who like to play. Even the Garfields of this world like to have fun and move a bit from time to time. If your cat’s ears are pointing forward, or if he is jumping, with his little whiskers quivering, he’s tells you he wants to play! Being independent by nature, cats don’t necessarily need you to throw the ball at them to have fun. They are quite capable of playing alone, but why not help them a little and bond by offering them objects and opportunities for entertainment? Being natural hunters, it’s a safe bet that their favorite game will probably go something like this:
1. Identification of their prey in the distance (aka a wool ball or even their favorite human)
2. Camouflage (behind the couch) and pretend to be a lion in the jungle ready to catch their snack.
3. Take a few steps “à la’ James Bond and jump like a cougar to catch their target.
Simple, but oh, so fun!
Of course, to know if your cat is happy, you can usually count on the best known sound of satisfaction: the traditional purrrrr (although it can sometimes express discomfort, so stay vigilant). But beyond this universal sign of well-being, how does your cat tell you he is a happy fellow? It’s a lazy afternoon, your cat is lying on the couch, eyes half-closed purring like a motor engine? Life is good! He welcomes you with the tail high when you get home? He’s telling you he is happy to see you. If he sits calmly, his body and ears relaxed, you can take for granted that he feels relaxed and is enjoying the moment. You pet him gently and he closes his eyes, almost smiling? He’s in heaven! Contrary to popular belief, although independent, cats appreciate companionship and affection.That’s why most of the time, your hugs and kisses make your cat happy.
Like humans, cats speak their own language, and also express themselves through body language. That’s why we have to be attentive to their different meows, but also to the position of their body, ears, legs and tail. As with everything, being a good listener and having some basic observation skills goes a long way! With a bit of patience, you can learn to “speak cat” or at least understand it. After all, it’s not because we are different species that we can’t understand each other!
Wishing you a purrrfect day!