ALL ABOUT DOGS and CATS Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
Have you ever observed your cat
staring at a bird through the
window, then hearing a strange
stuttering sound as its jaws
judder in a frustrated chatter?
This bazaar behaviour is an
exaggerated version of its
killing-bite, and in the cat's mind
it has the bird already in its jaws
When a cat is on the prowl and
has spotted its prey it will often
make a clicking noise with its
teeth. They also use a variant of
this when seeing a bird through
Body Language is the cat's primary means of speaking to us.
Rubbing themselves against your legs is your cat's way of saying "I love you and your
worthy of my love". During play, kittens, in particular will raise the fur on arched
backs, but when this happens in an adult cat, best beware! It's usually a sure sign
your cat just wants to be left alone. If this is accompanied by a growl, the wise owner
heeds the signs.
Ear movements are also extremely expressive. When at ease, the ears are usually
slightly forward and outward to allow the cat the greatest range to hear sounds.
When an interesting sound is heard, the ears will become fully erect, pointing forward.
If forced to fight, a cat will lay their ears flat against the head as a means of protecting
the vulnerable soft tissue of the neck. When the ears are in motion, twitching, it
usually shows the cat is upset or agitated about something.
The tail also expresses a cats mood. If twitching, its means the cat is excited or
curious about something, possibly another animal or something interesting in its yard.
However if this becomes a sweeping side to side action (swishing) the excitement has
progressed to annoyance or even anger. To show submission or fear, the tail will be
either tucked against the hind quarters or lowered. When frightened, the flattened tail
is often accompanied by growling, flattened ears and dilated pupils. Let the wise
beware. This pussy may well strike if agitated.
Although not as vocal as Rover, cats have a greater repertoire of sounds. Best of
course is the purring we hear so often when your cat is happy and relaxed. But cats
will growl, howl, snarl and wail when in battle. Hissing and spitting are sure signs of
anger and a warning that tabby is best left alone for now. A soft meow is usually a call
for attention. .And of course, everyone who has owned a cat during ovulation
recognizes the yowling that accompanies this time. Note that the traditional purr can
have many meanings, besides contentment. Some felines will purr when in pain or fear
or extreme discomfort. The astute owner will recognize these differences.
Cats will, at times, display a sulking expression when they are withdrawing, possibly
from a more dominant cat or even a human who stares at a cat. The cat will turn away
and surrender, giving the appearance of sulking. Scratching is often done to hone the
claws and remove old layers of claws. But cats will often scratch a means of marking
territory, much as a dog will urinate. Rolling over and displaying her tummy is the
ultimate sign of trust and contentment - also not a bad way to get a luxurious rub.
When in a playful mood the feline will often lay low, crawling on the ground as she
prepares to attack your feet or the sock you left dangling.
Warning signs - if your cat displays any of these symptoms, illness or disease may be
the problem. A quick trip to the vet should be considered:
Refusing to eat
Shunning interaction with household occupants
Neglecting her grooming
Why Cats Do That: A Collection
of Curious Kitty Quirks
by Karen Anderson (Author),
Wendy Christensen (Illustrator)
Hardcover: 94 pages
Publisher: Willow Creek Press (2001)
Why do cats get stuck in trees? Why
do cats bring us their latest catch?
Why do cats always land on their feet?
Why do cats torture their prey? These
and 36 other curious cat behaviors are
informatively and lightheartedly
answered in the handsomely
illustrated Why Cats Do That. An
original pencil drawing illustrates each
insightful explanation of odd but
characteristic cat actions, social graces
and sometimes kooky quirks.
Dogs may be man's best friend, but the cat takes second place to
no one. Often accused of being aloof and uncommunicative, in
reality the cat has a complete arsenal of gestures, movements,
habits and body language that can speak volumes. Just ask a cat
lover. Many of them can read every word of their tabbies special
ALL ABOUT CATS
"After scolding one's cat one looks into its face and is seized
by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word.
And has filed it for reference."