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Cat Communication: Understanding what your Cat is Trying to Say

Updated on June 25, 2009

It is quite interesting that cats really among themselves do not tend to communicate to the extent they do with humans. It is almost like if these mysterious yet fascinating creatures have developed a specific language just to use specifically with us humans. Almost as if they know that they can get us to do what they want with that cute pleading meow! Smart little creatures indeed! Following are several examples of how cats communicate their thoughts to us and how they often engage in ''small talk'' at times, even in absence of an audience.

-Follow me!

Your cat comes towards you, brushes himself towards your legs and then runs away typically leading you into the kitchen. Yes, your cat has effectively trained you to follow him and of course, it is always specifically towards that cabinet where those tasty kibbles are stored or the fridge where that mouth watery canned food is kept.

-Watch Me!

If you ignore your cat when he tries to tell you to follow him, he may get creative and find alternative methods to get your attention. One of these preferred methods is to literally cut you off when you are walking, something more similar to what a herding dog would do rather than a feline, but surely effective in getting your attention! Watch your step though, as many times cats engaging in this activity have caused even serious falls.

-Open Please

Cats are very intelligent creatures. They watch humans and learn from them. Many cats know that in order to open a door, humans turn the knob. It is not uncommon for cats to clearly jump towards the doorknob hoping to free the door open and some determined cats even get to open it too! If your cat, therefore, looks at the door knob and meows he is specifically asking you to open the door please!

--I'm Uncomfortable

Let's say you yell at your cat, for doing something he was not supposed too. Often the cat thereafter will start licking its paw or other body part almost as if recollecting its dignity. Licking indeed is a symbolic behavior cats engage in when they feel embarrassed or uncomfortable almost as if ''licking their emotional wounds'' to better get over it''.

--I'm Gonna Getcha ya!

It perhaps has happened to all cat owners. The cat sees a bird and starts chirping from the excitement. This often happens from behind a window as if the cat is saying '' I am going to get you! Just give me the opportunity!''

-Stay Away

A cat that presents with flattened ears and dilated eyes is often in a bad mood. A hiss may shortly follow and even an attempt to bite and/or scratch. Often cats are in this state of mind when they are hurt or very afraid.

-You are mine!

If your cat tends to rub his cheeks against you he is claiming you as his property. Indeed cats have some special glands along their cheeks which they use to ''mark'' their territory. Often the lack of this scent in new places and furniture is what makes cats very uneasy in new places.

-I'm Comfy

Cats tend to come on your lap, purr and knead as a form of contentment. This derives from the cat's kitten-hood when the kitten would knead to assure proper milk flow while drinking their mother's milk. As adults, cats continue this behavior as a way of manifesting their comfort and contentment.

As seen, cats engage in a lot of forms of communication. These are just a few of the many ways cats transmit their feelings about us and the world around them. Because, cats come with their own little personalities many owners are able to notice many more ''phrases'' that accompany their cats for their life times. Try to listen to your cat every now and then, your bond will strengthen and you may learn a lot more about your cat!

I'm the king of the world!

''I am interested''


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    • profile image

      Krazy Kat Keeper 

      8 years ago

      My kitten Fifi purposely jumped into my lap--I was wearing a very fluffy robe--and started to knead on my thighs. I wondered what THAT was about, and now I know! Thanks Alexadry. P. S: expect mre comments from your new biggest fan! :P

    • sweetKitten profile image


      10 years ago from England

      I love cats. soon I will be getting a kitten - a nice cute cuddly one!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Others tell me that our cat calls me by name. She is intelligent and intuitive and a wonderful people cat.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Hi thanks for this article. I just got my first cat ever from a shelter and I'm quite new about Moggie's behavior. So now I knew why she rubs her cheek against me. :)

    • kitkat105 profile image


      11 years ago from Salem, Oregon

      Great Hub! I have 2 cats who are both very smart: they drink out of the sink and one can jump on flat door handles and open doors! They can be very pesky but I still love them! Keep up the great work!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I can tell you are a cat lover! Me too! I enjoyed your article.


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