CAT'S CORNER

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If Your Cat Could Talk

We love our cats, but they can sure be hard creatures to read. Believe it or not, you can soon become an expert at reading your cat’s facial expressions and body language. All of those subtleties mean something, indicating how your cat’s feeling!

Here are a few ways to interpret your cat’s mood from his face, ears, and eyes:

  • Raises, then lowers, head: It may mean someone is getting too close for comfort.
  • Closes eyes almost shut, turns ears to side, and purrs: Your cat’s likely feeing great.
  • Raises ears, turns them back, contracts pupils: Be careful—it’s likely a warning.
  • Pupils widen in spite of light: Your cat feels startled.
  • Points ears and opens eyes wide: Your cat’s in the mood to play.
  • Lays ears flat back, closes eyes halfway, and turns head away: Your cat doesn’t want to hurt you and expects the same in return.

Well, what about your cat’s voice? The English behavioral scientist Dr. Michael Fox has observed three different groups:

  • Talkative sounds: A joyful "meow" and a delighted purring. These sounds signal that your cat feels overall comfortable and content. Only in some situations, such as a visit to the vet, will cats purr because they feel helpless.
  • Calling sounds: The cat is demanding something, such as, "open the door!" or "feed me!".
  • Excited sounds: A vigorous "Krrr" (indicates fear) or a hiss "Ch-Ch-Krrr" when he or she is about to fight, up to shrill screeching.

With time, you’ll get to know your cat better. And the closer your cat feels to you, the more he or she will use their voices and actions to communicate.

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