Understanding your Cat’s Body Language

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A lot of people think that it is easier to understand a dog’s body language and cats are complicated and unpredictable. But this is surely not true if you’ve lived with a cat for a long time. You start noticing their behavioural patterns and it becomes easy to comprehend your cat’s body language easily. Read on to know more. 

Observing Your Cat’s Body Language: 

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Cats exhibit similar behavioural patterns across the globe and our guide on understanding a cat’s body language will help you decode some of the most basic and typical signs. This guide is great for beginners and we hope you have fun reading it.

Relaxed and friendly

Image of a cat showing her belly in the blog: Understanding your cat's body language
Photo by Anel Rossouw from Pexels
  • When they show the belly 

When a cat is on his/her back and showing you the belly, it means that the cat is super relaxed. Any animal when showing the belly is a sign of trust and care. An animal’s belly is the most delicate part of their body. Usually,  when dogs show their bellies, it means that they want you to give them a belly rub. But when it comes to cats, you better tread lightly. If the cat is not in a mood, she might scratch the bejesus out of you when you give her a belly rub. So you need to be sure about this. They do like it but on their own accord. 

  • When they rub against our bodies 

Cats are usually very formidable when it comes to being friendly and take their own sweet time. But when they finally do, they also express their liking towards you in a very obvious way. A lot of cats rub themselves on your legs or body repeatedly to show that they are into you. This also means that if a stray cat does this to you in the first meeting, they have chosen you and trust you enough and you should somehow include them in your life. This also means that they are marking you with their scents. So it usually means, “Hooman, you are mine now”(in short, you are their slave now and they are your masters)

Extremely happy and content: 

Image of a cat cuddling to her human in the blog Understanding your cat's body language
Photo by Robert Nagy from Pexels
  • When they are purring to you while cuddling 

Just like dogs wagging their tails nineteen to the dozen when they are happy, cats also exhibit happiness by purring like there’s an engine in their throat. They do it out of sheer love and care for the people or animals they care for. 

  • When they keep kneading on you or on the blankets

Kneading usually means pushing their paws ones by one into something or someone. It looks like they are kneading the dough hence, the name. This usually means that the cat adores you and whenever she is with you, she is in a relaxed state. Kittens do it to their mothers to stimulate the flow of milk but adult cats do it as a mark of comfort and appreciation towards you. 

Excited and playful:

Image of two cats playing with a toy in the blog Understanding your cat's body language
  • When they stretch, meow loudly and crouch on you and tell you to pick them. 

A lot of cats show excitement by meowing loudly and they also talk back if they are extremely interactive and friendly. They also chirp a lot to show their excitement. It is exactly as it sounds, a weird vibrating sound that sounds like chirping. It is similar to how dogs quiver with excitement.  They also have a way to welcome the people they love. They basically come into a crouch/stretch position and extend their bodies towards us which means that they want to be picked. 

  • When they are in a playful mood

Cats have a very playful nature and love to prance around and chase feathery or ditsy cute toys. They tend to use their claws and teeth while playing and that is what sometimes needs to be controlled in case of humans. Sometimes, we need to set some boundaries when it comes to these tendencies that may not be harmful but seem a little violent. 

Dominating and predatory:

image of a cat in a predatory mode

  • When they slap or box you in a dominating way. 

A lot of times, cats are extremely dominating towards fellow cats, dogs, other animals or humans. They show this dominating behaviour by slapping or boxing the other being time and again. A lot of times, cats tend to dominate big giant dogs that are twice their size. This is how the cat do!(zefrank fans, gives me some cheer!) 

  • When they show predatory behaviour. 

When cats are in a playful or predatory mood, they sneak in from behind on tiptoes and love to tackle in a playful way. Kittens also do it because this helps them in practicing the stance of hunting. They do it with their pack or family members. 

Anxious, terrified, irritated, worried, angry or attack mode:

Image of a cat hissing and meowing loudly and angrily
Photo by slon_dot_pics from Pexels
  • When they are anxious or irritated of something. 

When cats are anxious they tend to hide or move their tails in a serpentine curl. This shows that either they are annoyed or anxious by you and might not be comfortable due to some stimulus. They might also box or slap the person or animal if they are annoyed or irritated by them. 

  • When they are terrified or frightened of something. 

A lot of times, when the cats get frightened or suddenly come across something or someone, they tend to crouch and bounce and the hair on their body becomes straight and prickly. They tend to bounce multiple times and go hide in a safe place. They also tend to be hyper-vigilant when they are in a new place and tend to crouch or sit in a position that is very attentive. Their pupils dilate at such times and they look out for the threat. 

  • When they are angry or feel threatened and are about to attack

Cats are pretty vocal when they are about to have a fight with someone. Be it another cat or a dog or any other being, they know how to show who’s the boss. This is when they meow loudly and have a wild streak about them. Cats snap a lot and show their claws to whoever is threatening. They also hiss a lot when they are angry and might spit at their opponent when in a bad mood. These beings are very straightforward when it comes to expressing what they feel. They do this just before they attack. 


A cat is a wonderful being and having one in your life is an adventure filled with love, drama sass, games, funny reactions and a little bit of slapping and hissing at you when they are in a bad mood. We hope that our blog will help you in understanding your cat’s body language well and hopefully guide you a little before you adopt one. 

Cats and dogs are wonderful companions and a lot of people opt for this combination because of their love for different species. So if you are also planning to adopt a dog then you should surely go through our article about understanding a dog’s body language

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