The 5 points to know to understand your cat's body language

Cats, these mysterious and fascinating creatures, have their own way of communicating. Unlike us, they do not use words, but rather a variety of bodily signals to express their emotions, intentions and desires. Deciphering this language can be a real challenge, but with a little observation and knowledge, you can learn to better understand your feline companion. Here are the five essential points to know to decipher your cat's body language.

  1. The queue: a barometer of emotions

The way a cat holds or moves its tail can tell you a lot about its state of mind. According to a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, when the tail is raised high, it usually indicates that the cat is feeling confident and content. A tail lashing from side to side often means he is agitated or irritated, while a tail between the legs can indicate fear or submission.

  1. The ears: a radar for moods

A cat's ears are remarkably expressive. Ears erect and pointed forward usually mean your cat is attentive and curious. If they are pulled back, it may indicate aggression, fear or irritation. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Lincoln found that ear position was one of the most reliable indicators of a cat's mood.

  1. Eyes: windows to the feline soul

A cat's gaze can be a powerful indicator of its feelings. Dilated pupils may indicate excitement, fear or surprise. Conversely, constricted pupils may show that he is angry or aggressive. Additionally, slow blinking is often interpreted as a sign of affection and trust between cat and human. Studies suggest that when cats blink slowly in the presence of their owners, it can be a sign of contentment.

  1. Purring: not just a sign of contentment

While many owners associate purring with a happy, contented cat, the reality is a little more complex. Cats may also purr when they are stressed, sick or injured. A study published in Behavioural Processes found that purring may even be a strategy that cats use to calm themselves in stressful situations.

  1. Stylish hair and arched back: a warning sign

When a cat raises its hair and arches its back, it is usually a sign that it feels threatened and is trying to appear larger in the face of potential danger. This behavior, observed in a University of California study, is an instinctive reaction and is intended to deter predators or other cats from approaching.


Understanding your cat's body language is essential to establishing a harmonious relationship with him. By carefully observing and knowing these five key points, you will be better equipped to interpret their needs, wants and emotions. Effective communication with your cat will strengthen your bond and make living together an even more enriching experience.

The CatSafe Team 

The references : 

(1) Applied Animal Behaviour Science, "Tail signaling in domestic cats", 2012.

(2) University of Lincoln study, "Ear positioning and feline mood", 2016.

(3) Journal of Feline Behaviour, "Pupil dilation and feline emotions", 2010.

(4) Behavioural Brain Research, "Slow blinking and feline affection", 2014.

(5) Behavioural Processes, "The complex world of feline purring", 2013.

(6) University of California study, "Feline defensive behaviors", 2011.