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READ YOUR CAT'S MOOD! Pay Attention to These 8 Signals

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One of the essential skills cat owners can possess is the ability to read their kitty's mood and behavior. Reading your cat's temperament can seem challenging, mainly because your pretty kitty likes to be persistently independent and to do things their way. But understanding them is doable.

Knowing how to read your cat's mood and communicate with them is easy regardless of the language barrier. Still, learning this skill requires some keenness and effort in monitoring their behavior and body language. Otherwise, you’ll end up being clueless about their mood.

1. Purring

Purring commonly express contentment or happiness, but not always. Cats also purr to comfort themselves from stress, injury, or illness. Look for other clues that may be behind your cats' purr.

2. Meows

Meowing in cats is common, but each meow signifies a specific feeling or intent. Normal meows alert us that cats need to be fed or need some attention. Contrarily, low-toned meows may serve a welcome or hello greeting or a warning. Others may indicate pain, sorrow, and other feelings.

3. Eye Communication

Apart from being attractive and fascinating, a cat's eyes say a lot about their attitude

  • Dilated pupils – pupil dilation occurs when a cat is frightened, surprised, or stimulated.
  • Constricted pupils – express tension or possibly aggression
  • Stare – stare downs point to a challenge from your cat
  • Slow Blinking – indicates that a cat feels safe, relaxed, and trusts you
  • Half Closed – indicates a comfortable and trusting cat

4. Tail Movements

Keeping tabs on the position of your cat's tail is a great way to decode how they feel, as illustrated below.

  • Tail up – reveals a happy, cheery cat approachable.
  • Tail down – this shows a cat who is scared or threatened.
  • Tail moving rapidly back and forth – unlike dogs who quickly wag their tails in happiness, cats' do this indicate agitation or annoyance.
  • Tail swishing back and forth slowly – signifies that a happy cat or a cat trying to understand and react to something.
  • Halloween tail – a tail that has hair sticking on end like a hairbrush reveals that the cat is not in a good mood.

5. Ear Communication

Similarly, another way to effectively learn a cat's mood is to observe their ear position.

  • Ears forward – shows satisfaction or even readiness to play.
  • Ears straight up – indicates alertness to something happening.
  • Ears turned back – irritation, boredom, or over-stimulation.
  • Ears turned sideways or back – nervousness or anxiety about something.
  • Ears back and flat against head – points to fear, anger, aggressiveness, or even a self-protective nature.

6. Bristled Fur

Bristled fur demonstrates cat aggression or defensiveness. They may also arch their back or puff their tail.

7. Scratching

Although cats are natural-born scratchers, check for inappropriate or destructive scratching, which indicates fear and anxiety.

8. Not Using the Litter Box (indoor cats)

If your inside cat seems to ignore their litterbox, it may show disapproval, a determination that the litter box is not clean enough, fear, or anxiety. Whatever the cause, you should act immediately.

The ability to accurately read your cat's mood significantly affects how you relate to each other. When you understand how your cat is feeling based on their behavior, body language, and communication, you can then learn how to adapt or respond accordingly.

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