Knowing Your Cat's Mood

April 05, 2018

Knowing Your Cat's Mood

As a responsible cat owner, one must need to know how your cat feels or thinks at any given moment. Is kitty hungry? Is she bored? Is she in pain? and so on. But one question still remains, how can we know that?

I Understand My Friend

Cat Psychology is basically looking at pretty much everything from a cat’s point of view. It help us in knowing why they are acting the way they are and is very helpful in situations where unusual behavior is presented. Even the most basic knowledge on how to read your cat’s behavior is already a big thing in pinpointing what they need, feel, or if they have a problem.  

Cats of course, are much different than dogs and other kinds of pet, for their emotions are not that clearly visible or understood most of the time. For cat psychology to be effective, we often need to look at a their body language. The cat’s body language can give us cues regarding how or what the cat is feeling at any point in time. Learning various actions and reactions your cat uses can greatly assist you in understanding your cat and to create a much better bond with her.

Talk To The Tail.. 

A cat’s mode of communication is more evident through her body language. She will tell you everything she would like you to figure out about what she currently feel with her body movements. With that, you are able to tell if she is happy, upset, angry or content. For example, if her tail begins to quiver when he walk in the door from a day at work, she is happy to see you. If your cat is staring at someone and appears austere, it is likely that she is under threat and is showing signs of aggression.

The easiest way check your cat's mood is to observe their tail. A contented or confident cat will walk with their tail held high and raise their tail as you stroke their back. If they are lying down, the tail may twitch a little but will mostly remain still. A trembling tail, together with a desire to rub their face and chin against you, is a sign of great affection and happiness towards you. If she is holding her tail high and then flicks the end of her tail, she acknowledged your presence but is otherwise engaged in something or is too busy to stop by and greet you.

When a cat holds her tail diagonally up from her body, she is less happy and possibly feeling tense, while a tail held low is a sign of dissatisfaction or dismay. If her tail is held upright, but the end is deflected off to one side, she may be receptive towards you, but unsure of whether you are friendly towards her, whereas if her tail sticks horizontally out from her body but the end droops down, she may be feeling defensive and is preparing to pounce at you.

A lot of cats twitch the ends of their tails when hunting or playing. This is natural, but if the twitching becomes more wildly it is most likely that she is agitated or uneasy. If you are stroking your cat and his tail twitches intensely or thuds then she is becoming bothered by your presence, for that, you should leave her alone for a while. If her tail is held up and its fur puffs from the back to the end of her tail, she feels that she is in danger and is trying to make herself look bigger to show you that she means business and may attack you.

Cats will often rub their face and the side of her body against an object or person to mark it with their scent. However, this can also be a greeting or a sign of affection, this only shows that they are very possessive with the things that they like. touching each other's nose is a friendly greeting between cats, and this is usually followed by the cat rubbing their cheek against your face.

I’m Listening!..

Cats have keen sense of hearing and can move their ears to focus in on any sound which gets their attention. Your cat may look like she is sleeping, but she is pretty much aware of her surroundings and her ears will automatically twist to locate any unexpected sound or in response to your call or voice.

Cat's ears can also give you clues about their current mood. If her ears are upright and pointing forward she is alert but relaxed. If her ears are pointed sideways he is slightly less comfortable and is listening out for any sign of danger and if her ears are upright but pointing back she may be preparing for trouble. A cat in a defensive pose will flatten down her ears in order to protect them in case of danger, while an aggressive cat will twist her ears forwards. His ears may still be flattened, but the tips will face in the direction of her intended target. she does this in order to obtain as much information via auditory cues as possible so that she may launch a successful attack.

A Love Kind of Bite!..

It's easy to tell between a whimsical bite, which can indicate hunger and happiness as well as a desire to play, to a warning shot which may be followed by a more aggressive bite.

You'll know if it is a  friendly bite because there is certainly no motive to hurt you and it is often combined with other signs of positive body language such as purring, rubbing their face and chin against the person or nearby objects or bending her back when stroked and positioning their whiskers to face forwards. This type behaviors is clearly friendly but smaller kittens may cause unintentional damage.

 

However, a light bite when combined with more aggressive stance by the cat such as a swishing or thumping tail, ears and whiskers flattened back, and lashing out with a paw generally indicated that the cat is not in the mood to be bothered and is annoyed with your actions. If you keep harassing them they may well give you a more assertive bite. Even under these conditions, it is very rare for a cat to actually bite you. They seem to prefer to bite you as a warning and then make good their escape. However, it is foolish to corner a cat who is displaying aggressive behavior as they can certainly give you a nasty scratch.

I’m Pawrrrfect For Your Love!.. 

Cats, particularly kittens, will oftentimes scratch their human companions without the intention of harming them, particularly when playing or if given a fright. If panicked, a cat will usually claw their way as a mean of escape even if this causes unintentional damage to the person who is holding them. No matter how safe and secure a cat's environment is, they still have that strong sense of awareness and can easily be startled. When playing with their toys, cats and kittens will often fail to differentiate between their toy and your hands so should be really careful  if you do not want to get scratched. Always remember that even the tiniest kitten's claws are sharp enough to give you minor scratches. It can may take a while for a kitten to learn that her human friend is so easily damaged and you should help her understand this by reacting (don't overreact to it, of course) to any scratch by saying no firmly and withholding your attention for a short period. Most cats will learn to be more careful and to keep their claws sheathed when playing but the occasional accident is still fairly common.

Kittens instinctively massage their mother's tummies to stimulate milk production, and it is thought that this may be the origin of the kneading motion (also known as padding) which they usually do to humans before settling down to have a nap. It is thought that that their kneading helps to make humans and/or cushions more comfortable although many cats seem contented to stretch out over items which does not took comfortable at all (no doubt because they are protected and cushioned by their fluffy  soft fur) so they do seem to be able to be comfortable almost anywhere. A cat may also paw at an object or a person to mark it as theirs as they have small glands on the underside of their paws which release a small dose of their scent.

Sleep Is What I Need!.. 

As well as yawning because they are tired (cats really know the importance of sleeping and napping, that's why they always laze off), your cat or kitten may also yawn in order to show his affection. It is likely that this is his way of telling you that he feels safe and relaxed together with you and she does not need to be watchful of her surroundings. Sleeping on your lap or on your bed is also a sign of their trust and affection. 

Read My Meow!.. 

In the wild, cats (such as big cats) tend to become less vocal as they grew up and the majority of vocalizations are limited to when they are still young. The classic chirrup sound is one of the most common vocalization. However, domesticity and close proximity with noisy humans and surrounding has resulted in most cats to be still vocal (or even becoming more chatty) as they grow older and adult cats tend to have a wider range  of sounds which they make by changing the positioning of their mouths.

Hissing or growling is a common method of communicating aggressive or defensive feelings, and its meaning is generally very clear. If this warning is not observed, the cat may well deliver a bite or a swipe of the paw. Grumbling is also very common, but this can be either aggressive or mild, sometimes being used simply to get the attention of a human companion.

The convenient  "meow" can be adapted to be used in almost any situation and its meaning is more easily read by observing the body language of the cat. Shorter versions of this, which generally seems to mean "notice me!" or "do something" . If this attention is required urgently, or the cat is feeling somewhat dejected, a cat may cry in quite a mournful way. Higher pitched noises tend to be friendly or demanding of attention, while lower pitched noises have a more negative aspect and can indicate displeasure or aggression. 

Look Into My Eyes!..

Sometimes, establishing dominance can be achieved by doing eye contact with others. If you often avoid your gaze your cat may assume that she has dominance over you. For this reason, many cats can find sustained direct eye contact to be aggressive or as a sign of threat. If you are not familiar with a cat, do not stare at her too much or you could make her uneasy. Other cats, and cats who know you well seem to love your attention and will meow repetitively until you stare back at them. 

However, taking a cat on at a staring match can be rather time consuming, pointless, and (depending on your relationship with the cat in question) could end in tears, like literally.  Some cats (particularly young males) can get a "mad look" in their eyes which will be followed by an attack run. Their eyes will be very wide and their pupils large and, while the intent is probably not to actually hunt you, they may also wiggle their back legs in preparation for launching an attack. If your cat does this, it is probably best not to stare back unless you are ready to fight a cat.

If a cat feels defensive, she may dilate her pupils to increase the width of her peripheral vision so that she may successfully counter any attack. Just before an attacking cat pounces she may narrow her eyes in order to focus solely on her target and to maximize her depth perception.

With all the things that I have mentioned above, sometimes, cat's aggression can be minimized if you always give her the attention and affection they need, and also while at it, keep her busy, not just to keep her occupied, but also to practice her hunting skills (after all, she's the domesticated version of one of nature's best hunters). Most people usually play with their feline companions using some form of bait, either a toy mouse or any animal toys designed for them  (https://activefelinesolutions.com.au/). Not just it keeps them busy and active, it also hones their hunting skills (that is, if you know how to imitate a living cat prey). Most cat owners expect that their cats can at least hunt a small mice, right? 

Every cat is unique, and they have their own unique ways of expressing themselves to you. These are just a few of those ways your cat can show you what they feel.