Cat behaviour can be confusing! They make a range of different noises and have many postures of body language that can tell you a lot about how they are feeling, although every cat is different. We thought we’d try to decipher some of the most common bits of cat body language.
Attentive Cats – Cats that are sitting up straight with their ears up and looking alert are being attentive. They may have heard a noise, smelled a mouse or they may be listening out for you to come home (or say ‘dinner time!’).
Excited Cats – It’s usually fairly easy to see when your cat is excited, their features are bright and cheerful. Much like the attentive cat, excited cats’ ears are alert and forward and they’re putting their body towards the excitement.
Gifts – While many cat owners find the “gifts” that their cat brings home pretty horrible, it’s actually quite a sweet gesture from your kitty! Although not pleasant for us, your cat sees bringing you a gift as a great show of love and affection. They will also see it as teaching you how to hunt, and showing off their own hunting skills. Cute!
Interested Cat – This is again very similar to attentive cat. An interested cat has definitely heard or seen something they like, and they’re now focused on getting it. This is categorised by ears being forward, eyes wide and focused, a tilted head and body ready to pounce or run.
Irritated or Annoyed – Cats who are irritated will display it in a few different ways. The most common features are raised hackles (to make them seem bigger) and body on alert. Their ears will be forward and they will be ready to move.
Playful Cat – Cats who are playful like to sit on their hind legs and use their paws. They love catching things with their claws and enjoy teasing games. Some lazy cats will play whilst laying down, and others will be jumping around like crazy kitties!
Predatory – Cats are natural predators. Predatory cats, like irritated cats, will be very focused. Instead of being annoyed, they are concentrating on their prey and working out the exact time to strike! They usually keep low and stay very still until the last moment when they pounce!
Scared (anxious) – All felines can be skittish creatures and look quite anxious over relatively small things. Cats can be shy creatures. It’s best to keep an eye on your cat, if this is behaviour is out of the ordinary and for no good reason (e.g. a door bang that startles them) it might be worth just popping them to the vet to get them checked over. If your cat is feeling anxious they may crouch to the floor to make themselves seem smaller. You know your cat best, so you will be able to tell when they’re feeling scared or anxious.
Scared (defensive) – This is a different behaviour to if your cat is feeling anxious/scared. If your cat is feeling defensive, they will try to make themselves look bigger. Cats will pull this look even when playing with their buddies. Cats will also hold his pose when they’re scared but need to feel defensive. They make themselves bigger by standing on their hind legs, puffing out their fur and getting those sharp claws out.
Scent Marking – We all know how dogs scent mark, and cats aren’t totally innocent in the more ‘fluid’ methods of scent marking either. Cats, however, have another much cuter way of scent marking: rubbing! When a cat comes up to you and rubs his head on you, he’s actually saying “you’re mine!”. That’s kinda cute! Cats will scent mark anything they want other cats to know belongs to them: table legs, stairs, owners, etc.
Trusting Cats – Cats who are trusting will quite happily roll over and show you their belly. This is a sign of submission and understanding that you are top cat! However, don’t be fooled... This can sometimes be a trick for you to tickle their belly, if you’re a cat owner you already know this is at your own risk!