Learn to Speak a Cat’s Language

 How to better understand your kitty.

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Cat Intro Slide


Cats, like dogs, use their ears, tails, mouths and bodies to give us hints about how they’re feeling, but they don’t always use them in the same way. A dog wagging her tail loosely at medium height might indicate friendliness, but a cat moving her tail back and forth might indicate that an unfriendly encounter is imminent. Let’s not sell our kitty friends short; they have so much to say. Give a listen.

Note: This is a general guide to cat body language. Every cat has a unique range and style of expressiveness using normal feline body cues.

Tracey Stewart and her husband, Jon, live in New Jersey with their children and 14 rescued animals. She is a former veterinary technician. This excerpt is from her book, Do Unto Animals (Artisan Books).

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No, you’re not imagining things. That really is a smile. This kitty is happy to see you. Purrrrr!

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Hunting Mode


Hunting is one of a cat’s most natural behaviors. Felines on the hunt keep their bodies low and stalk their prey in silence and with determination. Steady…steady…pounce!

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The typical “scaredy-cat” keeps her tail between her legs, crouches low and is bright-eyed and fluffy-tailed.

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A relaxed cat who approaches you and exposes her belly without hesitation is showing a sign of trust and calm.

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A kitty with a rounded back and fur standing on end is saying, “Protect me. I’m scared!”