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Understanding Cats’ Body Language

February 15 2023

Kitties are quite purrplexing little furballs. Fluffy may be loving and cuddly one minute, and then morph into a hissing ball of feline rage the next. However, they do communicate their emotions more than you may realize, especially through body language. A Carolina Forest, SC vet offers some insight into this below.

Happy Kitties

If Fluffy is feeling cheerful, she may hold her tail up, and maybe even wiggle it as she approaches you. She may also show affection, whether through head bonks, rubbing your legs, or cuddles, and may playfully bat at things or run around the house in high spirits. Blinking slowly is another sign that kitties are feeling content and loving.

Relaxed Kitties

Fluffy spends the vast majority of her time relaxing, sleeping, and snoozing. When your kitty is feeling calm, she may sprawl out on the floor, perch on a counter to observe you, or roll onto her back, exposing her tummy. (This is a sign of trust: that fuzzy belly is Fluffy’s most vulnerable spot.) Your feline pal’s whiskers may be out to the side, or in a neutral position. She may also have that cute, smug look on her furry face.

Signs Of Fear

In the wild, cats are both predator and prey. Part of the reason they can seem complicated is that they are wired to respond to both threats and opportunities, just in different ways. If your furball is feeling nervous, she may hunch into a ball and wrap her tail closely around her body. You may also notice her whiskers moving back, and her ears flicking around. She may also arch her back and puff her fur out to make herself look more intimidating. 


If Fluffy is feeling angry or aggressive, she may lash her tail back and forth, or hold it up in a stiff position. Of course, if your feline friend is truly angry, she may bite, scratch, hiss, or growl. Her whiskers may be flattened back or pointed forward to help her hone in on the ‘threat.’


Keep in mind that any changes in your cat’s behavior could be indicative of a medical issue. If your kitty is suddenly acting angry or fearful, or just not like her usual self, contact your vet.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Carolina Forest, SC animal clinic, anytime!

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