I have noticed something about humans: they have a very hard time speaking any language but their own. And even then, they are pretty bad at understanding each other. So I thought I would do you people a favor and spell out some cat language for you! Of course, cat language is usually non-vocal, so fortunately you don’t have to learn any actual words or worry about accents.
If you are a cat, these are all really basic, so try not to laugh — if humans are reading this, it means at least they are trying.
- If you’re holding a cat and she starts washing herself furiously after you put her down, she is licking off the human cooties. Yes, really! She is covering your stinky human smell with her regular scent so she can feel like herself again.
- When a cat is swishing his tail back and forth, he is mad! So do not touch him. It is usually dog people who mistake this angry tail swishing for tail wagging, and they are totally wrong. We kitties are friendly when we have our tails up. When a cat’s tail is not only up, but is curling over so it looks like a question mark, it means he is in an exceptionally friendly mood.
- Yes, headbutting is a sign of liking someone or something, but don’t take it too personally. I headbutt my human, but I also headbutt the sofa.
- When we roll on our backs and expose our tummies, it means we are happy! There is one way to instantly make many kitties unhappy when they are doing this, and that is to actually touch their tummies! We cats do not understand why you humans persist with this. Only a limited number of kitties like their tummies rubbed, and once you have found out which side we are on, that is not going to change.
- If a cat rubs up against your legs when you are getting her breakfast or dinner, it means she is excited that she is about to get fed! It is more a display of enthusiasm than affection. She is also marking you so that other kitties know that the food preparer belongs to her and no other kitty!
- If a cat loves and trusts you, he will sit a few feet away from you with his back to you. The meaning of this is twofold: he feels safe enough not to have to face you, and he is keeping an eye out for intruders so he can protect you, or at least let you know if there is an invasion going on!
- Yes, you can send your cat a warm greeting by blinking at her, but make sure that as soon as you are done blinking, look away! It is rude to keep staring at a kitty after you have done the “slow blink.” In fact, we are kind of annoyed by it. If you look away, most of the time, so will your cat. If you both stay there without looking at each other or vocalizing, it is a “cat hangout” — the same way we cats hang around with each other. So if you and your cat do this, it is like you have joined the kitty club, at least temporarily.
Do you like my kitty language tips? Are there any more you would like me to explain?