Cat Body Language

Cats don't have a good way of telling us how they're feeling, but their behavior and body language can help us see signs of whole body health every day.

As cat owners know, cats have a unique language all their own. By learning how to read that language, you can better understand how your cat is feeling, both physically and mentally. And it can help you strengthen your bond together, too.

Ready to Play

Play is a natural part of your cat's daily routine. When cats are running around the house, “being silly,” or if they are rolling side-to-side and belly up, they're likely looking for contact and play. Just make sure not to touch their stomachs as you would a dog, because this might elicit reflexive, defensive or predatory behaviors.

Feeling Friendly

Cats value their solo time, but they also like to be social for periods of time. When your cat is ready for some social time, he or she might meow as a way to interact. Adult cats meow almost exclusively at humans, which means they're ready for petting, play, food or anything else humans can provide.

Other signs that your cat is feeling friendly and social include “head bunting” or rubbing up against you.

Feeling Cautious or Defensive

It's important to be able to tell when you cat is feeling afraid. If your cat has ears that are flattened, a back that is arched with raised hair and dilated pupils, it is a sign he or she is fearful and it is best to stay away. Try to minimize rapid movements, as they might amplify your cat's fear.

If your cat's tail is curled or tucked under, it might be a sign of distress. Be sure to monitor you cat for any signs of deeper physical issues that might require a trip to the veterinarian.

By translating your cat's outward language and daily behaviors, you can gain deeper insight into her whole body health.