Feline Behavior


Cats use purring, meowing, snorting, licking, scratching or biting, and territorial marking to express their moods and sensations to their surroundings. The motives of each of them can be explained simply through feline language. Know the following interpretation parameters.


  1. Purring is associated with well-being. It is the way in which your cat tells you that "it feels comfortable."
  2. The meow is generated by the process of domestication of felines. Its development is linked to living with humans, and is an indication that your cat "demands attention."
  3. The snort is clearly interpreted as an "alert sign." A scared cat, who is afraid of a certain situation, reacts with this sound to warn that he is prepared for a possible attack, even if he does not finally carry it out.
  4. In spite of not being a habitual fact, due to the individualistic character of the felines, some cats can use the lick to express affection towards their owners. This behavior is rooted in the fact that his mother licked him to protect him when he was a puppy.
  5. A cat bites or spider when it interacts with something or someone during the "game," and does so by perfectly controlling its strength. Both behaviors come from his hunting instinct, far from indicating "hate or anger." It is true that in some cases, depending on the length of your nails or the level of incision of your teeth, bites and scratches can become annoying for you. Resorting to a toy that allows you to interact with it without exposing yourself to direct contact with your nails or teeth, is an excellent way to avoid unwanted damage.
  6. Cats are extremely territorial. They value their space and protect it to ensure their peace of mind, and not expose themselves to situations that bother them. Through territorial marking they release pheromones (chemical substances) that they interpret as a sign of calm and tranquility.


The looks, postures and certain body movements are also part of the body language of cats. For example, if a cat waves its tail, it is indicating "that it does not feel comfortable in any situation." This interpretation is totally opposite to that derived from the movement of the tail in a dog. The meaning of language in dogs and cats has little in common. Therefore, precisely, the relationship between the two may not be too friendly, except in certain circumstances.

The posture of your cat's head can also reveal interesting aspects. When he stretches it forward, he is telling you that "he wants you to caress it and be aware of it." If, on the contrary, agacha indicates "distrust."

The look is another indication that you should keep in mind if you want to better understand your cat. A permanent and permanent contact can mean “a challenge or threat”, so it is advisable to avoid it so as not to intimidate it in excess.
Cats are characterized by the mobility of their ears, controlled by approximately 25 muscles, through a 180 degree rotation angle. When you move them up, it shows "happy." However, if you flatten them sideways, it denotes a "defensive" attitude.

Finally, keep in mind that the movement of your cat's whiskers is usually related to his mood. If he extends them forward, he wants to convey his "curiosity" to some situation or element that surrounds him. Their movement backwards may indicate "fear," and may even be a sign of "illness." It is important that you observe this last aspect if you detect it, and go to the veterinarian if it occurs repeatedly.

Feline communication: Cat poses.

With their general posture, cats communicate their emotions to us. In order to know how your mood is and, sometimes, anticipate your reactions, it is important to observe their behavior when they are alone and learn to interpret every minimal gesture. Some of the most basic postures taking into account their different moods are:

Quiet cats:

The relaxed and calm cat moves calmly through its territory. His posture is upright and his tail is raised, showing his friendly intentions. He goes exploring everything that is attentive and with the typical curiosity of a cat.

When it is lying down, the relaxed cat will do it on its belly or side, showing its abdomen and with the tail extended or semi-wrapping it. It accepts without problem that we approach without problem, but we must be careful, that it shows us the belly not It always means that he is willing to be petted. Many cats like these caresses, but others will kick us with their hind legs and even mark us to stop us, let's respect them.

Alert cats:

When the cat is his movements, he finds something that catches his attention and puts himself on alert, his back will be slightly stretched, almost parallel to the ground. As this tension increases, your body may suffer slight spasms that will inform us that the tension is increasing.

When the cat is lying down its head usually gains altitude in order to increase the field of vision. The tail is closer to the body or rolled in front with a slight movement in the tip. The hind legs remain bent giving the feeling that at any time they can start the movement of the cat if this is necessary.

Cats with fear:

When a cat starts to get scared and its fear is increasing, it reduces the size until it becomes a ball, its intention is to become smaller than it is. His whole body approaches the ground and is rounded. The weight rests on the tips of the legs, rigid and folded under its body, barely visible. The muscles tense, it is as if it were petrified, its tail is attached to the body and curled in the legs. If fear goes up in crescendo your body can manifest well visible tremors.

Defensive Aggression:

We already know that cats do not like direct confrontations, they prefer to avoid them, but when a cat dec

His body posture is totally contrary to that of fear, now he doesn't want to be small, now the cat makes the decision to look much bigger than he really is, that's why everything in his body posture will have that goal. Their legs will stretch as much as possible and they will gather in very little space, which will allow the spine to appear, looking much taller than it is. Your hair will bristle, contributing to this sensation. To make it clear to the eyes of its opponent its size, the aggressive cat will be in profile so his opponent can see his large size well. It's what is known as halloween cat pose

Aggression in a lying cat is manifested when it lies lightly on its side. It may seem like a gesture of surrender, since sometimes we humans interpret it as an offer of its most vulnerable areas. It is a big mistake, since the cat with this position is showing us its 18 claws, that is to say its entire arsenal, that is to say the opposite of what we interpret, this error costs our hands many scratches and bites.

Offensive aggression The cat hunter.

Everything in the cat is designed to be able to perform his favorite activity, hunting. The hunt is surprised when it is least expected. For this, the cat has previously been observing its prey hidden in the undergrowth, where only its eyes are going to be visible. Its size is minimal and its body remains horizontal and parallel to the ground. Once the determination has been made to jump over the prey, the cat moves its head from side to side, thus calculating more accurately the distance of the jump necessary to bring down its prey.

His body tenses, his pupils dilate. Its hindquarters begin to rise to give the momentum of the jump and take momentum in a slight and flirty hip movement. And when he sees it clear and necessary, he jumps over the dam with his teeth prepared to immobilize it with a single bite.

The language of cats

Before entering the body language of cats, analyzing some specific positions, we will review the positions of certain parts of your body. The basic pillars of the communication of cats are the ears, the tail and the head, both towards people and towards other animals:

The cat's face and position indicates a lot about his mood. A head down may suggest fear, submission and even anger. On the contrary, when it is raised or forward indicates well-being, trust and even tolerance or invitation towards manipulation. We will also look at the eyes. When they are lockedFor example, when we massage them, we can see it as a sign of relaxation, while open eyes can be translated as a state of alertness, curiosity or fear.

The low tail In cats it shouldn't be usual. It is a sign that you are scared, angry or depressed. Now, the tail up does not only mean happiness. When is rigid and even vibrant, indicates emotion and pleasure, while if arched suggests curiosity, intrigue and even insecurity. Obviously when scarf It is a sign of anger. The movement is also revealing, because when it moves slowly it suggests well-being, while when moves fast We should know that he is irritated.


The ears of cats possess around 25 muscles and they are tremendously expressive. Up and in constant movement means that the cat is attentive and alert to everything that happens. Conversely, backwards or to the side It may suggest anger, fear and, ultimately, a defensive or offensive position.

As we have already told you, we must analyze these signals together. We will weigh the body position, which can be tense or relaxed, stretched or arched. We will also value the cat's meows and their meaning an important part of their communication to humans.

Another key aspect is the "rubbing" behavior which may indicate that it is "marking" us as part of its territory. However, if you rub your head using your neck and mouth you can indicate a friendly greeting. Finally we could not forget the purr, which although usually associated with well-being, can also appear in sick cats that are not well.

Expressions of love of cats

How to know if your cat loves you? Cats can have multiple signs and expressions of affection towards their owners or towards the people around them. In many cases, these expressions manifest with the tail, therefore, when your pet keep the tail up, you may think that he is calm, happy, confident and that he feels comfortable with your company.

Likewise, with the ears cats can also tell us that they love us and that they are happy. In this case, when your macota keep your ears up, this gesture denotes that the animal is happy.

Other very typical gesture that denotes happiness in cats, is that these rub against our legs or any other part of our body. This gesture denotes happiness, acceptance and with it is transmitting to us that it feels good by our side.

Body postures of cats that denote alarm

Cats can also be alarmed at certain sounds or stimuli in their environment. To demonstrate this state of alarm, these pets use two organs primarily: the ears and the tail.

For example, when a cat is in an alarm state and is about to attack, the most normal thing is that take out the claws, show the teeth, and all the skin is bristling. It is also normal to put the ears flat and forward, to stare at a fixed point, to throw the whiskers forward, and to swell the tail.

Ilya Karnaukhov || Shutterstock

Postures of sleeping cats

When cats go to sleep they use many different postures to catch their sleep and to rest peacefully. The posture they normally use for sleeping is the one in which His body is fully curled in a ball. However, it is not surprising to see a cat sleep sitting, with its front legs hidden under his chest. Or we can also see them huddled in very remote places of the house, such as on a kitchen chair, under a table, or between the bedroom cushions.

Rare cat poses

Cats are also animals that are very likely to take rare positions and have strange behaviors that are more common than you think. Therefore, it is not surprising that we can see our pet lying on your back with your legs straight, as if he were sunbathing on the beach.

We can also see it completely tucked into a box or small basket, as if his body was made of plasticine and had adapted perfectly to the figure of this object.

If your cat has a scraper, it is likely that someday another will find it completely face up with your head toward the floor, and the legs in the air, as if the animal were experimenting with the law of gravity.

Pain positions in cats

But there are also certain positions that can lead us to think that our cat is sick or suffers some pain. For example, if you see your pet prostrate in a place in the house, and that does not get up from there in a long time, most likely it is not well.

Likewise, if you notice that in front of you your cat walks straight and slender as always, but when he loses sight of you, he huddles in a corner, this may indicate that the animal is feeling pain.

1. Incognito

What do you mean ?: "Please stop playing with my legs while I sleep." There are few things more irresistible than a furry animal sleeping. Not only are they the warmest and most fluffy, their bellies can trigger the ignition of a purring engine. It's basically the moment of unexpected caresses. But, like humans, cats have a weak point. You would have to respect them more ...

When a cat is positioned like this, with its head next to the toes of the front legs, they are trying to close the world. No matter what you tell them, or what is happening around them, they are one of the most important hours for their rest. It is the equivalent of the way we feel after a long working day. If a pussy could relax by opening a bottle of wine behind the sheets, it surely would.

The behavior of cats

There are certain behaviors of felines that we can misunderstand, especially if we compare them with the language of dogs, or if we do not really understand what they mean, we will mention some of them:

  • The cat gets belly up: It can even roll over. It translates as a state of trust towards the caregiver, as well as well-being and relaxation. However, the upside-down cat is not an invitation to caress the belly, in fact, if we do, it is very likely that the cat will scratch and bite us.
  • The cat is crouched: If you look at him hunched over, attentive and ready to start running you should be alert: something worries or worries your cat.
  • The cat lifts its paws: It usually occurs when we approach your hand. After lifting the front legs it rubs against us. It is a greeting and a sign of affection on your part.
  • Urine spray: It can occur in males and females. When the cat urinates small amount everywhere and as in "spray" we must pay attention to various meanings: sexual behavior, stress or marking.

Of course the behavior of cats will vary depending on age, genetics, environment and many other factors.

2. Tummy up

It means: "I trust you enough to show the softest part of my body." This funny posture (lying on your back showing your belly) is the sign that your pet feels totally safe in its surroundings. Consider yourself with luck if your feline friend gets used to sleeping in this way. Just be careful when you want to scratch your belly. The only thing more biting than a cat is a sleepy cat.

Those who have had or have this type of animals know how red and scratched a hand can end if they are disturbed at the most inopportune moment. If you bother them a lot, they may stop showing up like this, so you may lose some of the original link, and you don't want that. Although it is also true that sometimes it is a really great temptation. Does your dear partner sleep in this way? !! Congratulations!!

Cat poses and their meaning

As you may have already noticed, the wide variety of positions and signals that a cat can emit makes it impossible to summarize all cat poses, however, we have prepared an image with the most common, which will help you to know better the body language of cats, we will detail them below:

    Friendly: a cat that is happy and wants to interact with its guardians or other animals will show a relaxed body posture, accompanied by forward ears and erect>

3. Embraced

Which means: “We love each other more than we love you.” It is always appreciated that if you have at least two cats they will be phenomenal. It is common that all the mininos have their friction while playing or at lunchtime, but when the hours of reverie come they forget all that if they are “best friends”. It is remarkable how tender they can be while they lie together, even licking or caressing each other.

There are times that fanatics of the mininos would like to separate them and not stop hugging and kissing them. If your cats behave like this, something must be doing well. A good relationship is a symptom of a happy and healthy "pack". If you prefer to be alone, do not prevent it, they will thank you sooner or later. The wonderful thing about these cats is that they express their feelings at all times, no matter what they think of them ...

Cats body language video

Have you been wanting more? In the following video we show you in detail the body language of cats with signs and postures, Do not miss it!

If you want to read more articles similar to The body language of cats, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.

4. In your dirty clothes

What they show: "I want you to think that I love you, but in reality I am only a little pig." Few things induce more nostalgia than smells. The smell of some kind of tobacco, for example, can take you to another time or some situation by remembering it clearly. So logic should dictate that cats sleep in our clothes for washing or stinky shoes because they induce sweet memories of when you are together ...

It may be ... but thanks to the vomeronasal organ, which is located in the upper part of the mouth of a pussycat and that helps you to taste odors, it is possible that they are simply something "guarretes". What we are sure of is that this type of animal can perform any kind of disgusting action without losing grace and tenderness. But again, if it causes rejection, they will not care. Does this your little friend? Do not worry!

5. Synchronized

What it says: "We have lucrative abilities but we are so lazy that we do nothing with them." Perhaps these adorable creatures have rich past lives, full of mysteries and intrigue. It is possible that they retain the odd virtue of their years of travelers, vedettes or actors, who knows? Surely they have techniques that would leave us patidifuse, but they never gather enough energy to care.

Their synchronized reverie is something quite funny, one of the few opportunities to demonstrate how wise and virtuous they are without being unchanged. Do you see them like this on many occasions? It is part of their special bond, only they don't necessarily have to be very close to it. It is one of the peculiarities they have in front of other different animals. We will never get tired of seeing these funny images ...

6. Relaxed

When your feline companions stretch in their positions, they are truly calm and in harmony. They have a sense of security around them and do not harbor the need to stay alert or worry. They usually lie in this position to sleep deeply and profusely, it is common that while they are like this, they move their legs slightly, a good symptom of a full rest ...

We have all seen them, while dreaming, in various really funny positions. Like the first, they are letting you know that they feel safe with you. You should be glad if they are like that often. But what problems can you find in your favorite pet regarding your dream? It has to do with the quality and quantity of its numbness. In the next page We conclude by trying to shed some light on this subject.

If you notice a noticeable change in your sleep hours, sleep more than you consider normal, it may indicate some type of pathology. Normally you shouldn't worry, since cats can, as we said before, sleep for up to 16 hours. However, these pets do not modify their behaviors so drastically. If you also perceive that he stops interacting or running, he may have some principle of arthritis or even some mental illness.