If Your Happy and You Know It Raise Your Tail!

If You’re Happy and You Know It, Raise Your Tail: 

Reading Cat Behavior

Article written by:  Melissa Olivadoti, Kitty City Volunteer

Dogs wear their heart on their sleeve.  Cats, on the other hand, can be much more coy as to how they are feeling.  Here are a few tips on how to read your cat’s behaviors.  Also note that some cats can get overwhelmed and be done with affection at any moment, so best to always pay attention to your cat while giving it attention and allow them to tell you what they want.  As they say, dogs have owners, cats have staff!

I’m happy!

I may be purring

My tail is up and is not shaking

My ears are pointed upward

I might chirp or talk to you

I may rub the scent glands on my head on you (I’m marking you as mine!) or bump my head against you

I may show you my belly (which is a sign I trust you!) but may or may not let you touch it (go slow and I’ll let you know if I like it or not)

I’m annoyed (please leave me alone!)

When you touch me, my skin wrinkles up or jumps

My tail is swishing back and forth

My head is pointed away from you

I may run and hide

I may hiss

I might also growl or yowl

I may swat or smack you with claws out

My ears may be back or swiveling side to side

I’m ready to play! (you can use a wand toy with me or give me an interactive toy to play with)

I may playfully swat at you (without claws)

I might munch on your fingers (play biting is okay without breaking skin)

I may run around like a crazy cat

I’m aggressive (leave me alone, or I may need medical attention)

I am in a pounce position, or may be attacking or pouncing

My pupils are narrowed, I am ready to hunt

My ears are back

My skin may be contracting

I’m frightened! (please go slow with me!)

I may hide in a safe place

My ears may be up or folded back

I may make myself as small as possible (folding into a ball)

I’ll likely run away from you

I may have a sad cry

The fur on my back and tail may stand on end

I may stand sideways or point my head away and yowl

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