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What is your cat telling you?

Updated on November 20, 2014
VladimirCat profile image

Vladimir is a former champion ratter (retired). His hobbies are bushwalking, birdwatching and nature studies

What is your cat telling you?
What is your cat telling you?

Cats can talk but do people listen?

Yes, Cats can talk.

Cats are particularly good at communicating with people. It's people who are a bit slow on the uptake. I've heard some people say that their dog talks to them. Ha! All cats have a much larger vocabulary than dogs, most of us make over 100 different sounds.

As a regular conversationalist, I make a lot more sounds than that but, I am, after all, not your ordinary common or garden moggy. If your cat is making a noise, and directing that noise right at you - then your cat is talking to you. Concentrate. It shouldn't be too hard to work out what your cat wants.

Talking Cat
Talking Cat
What Is My Cat Thinking?: The Essential Guide to Understanding Pet Behavior
What Is My Cat Thinking?: The Essential Guide to Understanding Pet Behavior

In case you still can't what work out what your cat is saying to you


Understanding what your cat is saying

To understand your cat's vocalisations you have to listen carefully to the pitch, duration, and volume.

As a rule of thumb, or rather a rule of paw, the lower the pitch - the more the sound is meant to be aggressive or threatening. Think tiger! The higher the pitch, the friendlier.

The louder the sound gets, the more urgent the message while softer sounds indicate a more intimate communication between you.

The differences in pitch, intensity, frequency and even the pace and cadence of your cat's voice all leave clues about his feelings. The quicker the meows, for example, the more anxious or even frightened your pet may be. The slower the sounds, the more confident and relaxed he is.

As well as the occasional meow, cats will talk to you through a variety of other behaviours.

Body Language is the secret to understanding

Ears are important

It's dead set easy to know when a cat is annoyed. He will flatten his ears and bend them backward. If they're totally back and flat - you'd better run!

Keep your eye on how your cat holds his tail. Once again, I must repeat that a cat is not a dog. When a dog wags his tail, he's a happy chappie. A cat whose tail is flicking rapidly back and forth is a cross cat.

A puffed up tail is a sign of fear and confusion, and can puff to at least twice the normal size. You'll recognise this signal as soon as you see it.

A cat who is feeling spruce, confident and generally good about himself will hold his tail high.

belly timber

The Tale of the Cat's Tail

A simple story

If your cat walks up to you with his tail standing tall, he's happy to see you! Take time to return the welcome and indulge yourself in a little cross-species bonding.

If your cat approaches with his tail in "the question mark" position (which is standing tall but slightly bent like a question mark) this means it's time to get out the cat toys.

If your cat's tail is in the "low" position, this is a danger signal and signifies an aggressive mood. Proceed with caution

However, if your cat lashes his tail back and forth rapidly, don't proceed anywhere except in the opposite direction.

hillspet pet nutrition

Easy to understand?

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Go on, I can understand what you're saying

© 2009 Vladimir

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    • mochimo profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, I believe Cats could talk in different ways. My girlfriend have lots of cats and could understand what they really want. The cat could protest you when they feel discriminated, like when the feeding time is changed and she is the last one that know the info, LoL. My cats know my mood, I have once a deep sorrow, and they cherish me, they started to gather around me, looking to my runny eyes, and sit in my belly, with lots of talk and lick in my head. They sure have a lot to talked about, I even take video. They are long time go now.. Hope they would be happy out there..

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've had my cats long enough that we can have basic conversations about certain topics. My favourite is the "Mom, my food bowl's empty!" "No it's not!" "Yes it is!" conversation.

    • delia-delia profile image


      8 years ago

      very cute Kitty today is telling me she is not happy cause I put tick repellent on her neck, this after picking "yuck" 2 ticks off of her. a ~"Squid Angel Blessing"~

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 

      9 years ago from Quezon City

      Hahaha thanks for another enjoyable lens! I've been with my kitty long enough to know what's on his mind most of the time and I see that all the tips you've written here are right on the money. (:


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