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30 Ways Your Cat Speaks to You

How many of these 8 different vocal messages, 10 facial expressions, and 12 types of body language do you recognize in your furry friend? By understanding all the ways your cat tries to communicate with you, you can't help but deepen your bond with her.

cat communication signals


  • Understanding your cat’s vocalizations, facial expressions, and body language can help you learn his communication patterns and ultimately deepen your bond with him
  • Cats have a wide range of vocalizations — some indicate happiness, others tell you kitty is feeling fearful, anxious, or angry
  • Your cat’s eyes, ears, back, and tail can also give clues as to how she’s feeling and what she might need from you

Editor's Note: This article is a reprint. It was originally published August 17, 2015.

Cats have a reputation for being silent and difficult to know, unlike dogs, who are typically much more vocal and physically demonstrative. Of course, some cats are more outspoken than others and as their guardians will attest, do indeed communicate with their meows and other vocalizations.

Whether your feline friend is a chatty cat or the strong silent type, learning about his body language, behavior, and the sounds he makes can deepen the bond you share with him, and improve communication between you.

The good news is that it's not really that difficult to learn to read many of Tiger's communication signals, including what that look in his eyes means, or the tone of his meow, or the position of his ears, or the way he's holding or moving his tail.

Interpreting Your Cat's Vocalizations

Cats actually have a rather extensive repertoire of vocalizations. You may know the difference between your cat's dinnertime meow, for example, and the way she sounds if she's frightened or annoyed. But many kitty sounds and intonations are more subtle and don't fit a particular pattern, which can make them harder to interpret. Here's a cheat sheet for decoding some common kitty chatter:1

interpreting your cats vocalizations

Reading Feline Facial Expressions

Now let's take a look at Miss Kitty's facial expressions, because they are also important in understanding her moods and how she's feeling:2

reading feline facial expressions

Understanding Your Cat's Body Language

Finally, the way your cat holds his body can also give you information about how he's feeling and whether he might need reassurance, some space, or a nice kitty massage:3

understanding your cats body language

Sources and References

  • dvm360 April 20, 2015
  • 1,2,3 dvm360, April 15, 2015

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