How Do Cats Communicate with Us? Answers from Our Issaquah Veterinarian
Whether you live with one cat or several, you’ve likely observed various behaviors they perform on a regular basis. Some of these may be obviously directed at you, while others might not seem to be at first. While most people feel comfortable interpreting the behavior of dogs, not as many people are as attuned to feline cues. That doesn’t mean those cues aren’t there, though, and that your cat isn’t trying to communicate a wide range of sentiments with you. Although some cat communication is overt, much of it is less obvious and subtle (think body gestures and language).
Your Cat’s Individual Voice
Probably the most recognizable form of cat communication for humans is the meow. Each cat actually has a distinct meow that's unique to them. They may perform several variations of that meow in different situations, and it’s often a type of communication (meow) that they only use with humans.
The other audible form of communication cats use is purring. It's a widely-held belief that purring means your cat is happy, which is sometimes the case. However, cats purr in a number of different situations, including when they’re injured and want you to take care of them or are scared. interestingly, some researchers believe purring is simply a cat’s way of asking you to stay with them.
Feline Communication and Body Language
Besides vocalization, feline communication takes a variety of forms, and a cat’s body language contains a lot of clues to their mood. For instance, a cat running around with its tail straight up in the air is secure and happy, while a cat whose tail has suddenly turned into a bushy mass feels threatened. Cats that wag their tails (unlike dogs) are most often agitated (and even that can have exception) whereas a quick flick from side-to-side can indicate playful behavior.
Whether a cat’s ears are up or back is also a clue about their level of security, and cats often rub up against both people and each other as a form of greeting.
Get Professional and Compassionate Cat Care from Our Issaquah Feline Veterinary Hospital
When you’re looking for professional veterinary care for your cat, Meadows Cat Hospital is the place to come in the Issaquah area. We offer a range of specialized services designed to provide the highest level of care to your feline friend, and our family-owned cat clinic is conveniently located for clients coming from East Seattle, Bellevue and Sammamish. Call us today at (425) 392-8770 to learn more aboutfeline behaviors, body language, etc. or to schedule an appointment.