There’s a common misconception about household pets that says dogs are more loyal and loving than cats. We love dogs, but anyone who’s spent years of their life living with cats would be able to tell you that’s wrong. Cats are every bit as emotionally intelligent as dogs – if not more – and have plenty of ways of showing you that they love you. They’re just a little more subtle and reserved about it than their canine equivalents.
It’s easy to read a dog’s mood. If it’s at your feet, looking up at you with wide eyes and its tongue hanging out, it’s happy. If it’s growling at you from the corner, it’s unhappy. You’ll have no such luck with cats. They’re so imperceptible that you might as well try to intuitively play slots to work out what might happen when the reels stop spinning. That’s a valid comparison – sometimes, a cat’s response to your approach might seem as random as the outcome of taking a spin on any online slots website you could mention! It doesn’t hold true, though – the events of online slots games truly are random. A cat’s behavior isn’t – you just have to be a little more observant of the little signs they’re giving you to discern their mood, and we’re going to show you how.
A Purring Cat
You might have seen it said elsewhere that cats only purr for the benefit of their human owners, and so it’s the most transparent way of telling you that they feel happy, safe, and loved with you. That isn’t entirely true. Cats do purr around other cats, although not as often. A kitten might purr while suckling from its mother. They also purr when they’re grooming each other. There are low purrs, and there are high purrs. A cat purring with a high pitch might not be telling you it’s happy at all – it might be asking for something. A cat with a low-pitched purr, however, is genuinely calm and content. If your cat is purring softly, it probably just wants cuddles. If the pitch is a little higher, it may actually be a hint that it’s dinner time.
A Slow Blinking Cat
Most people probably assume that if their cat looks at them and blinks slowly, it’s because the cat is slowly falling asleep. The real reason is much cuter! This is a far more reliable sign that your cat likes you than purring. There are a few reasons why a cat might be purring, as we’ve already explained. There’s only one reason why a cat would slow-blink at you; it’s because they love you. This is a sign of affection in the feline world. If you like, you can even think of it as your cat sending you a little kiss through the air!
A Cat Swishing Its Tail
Despite the fact that cats often look like they’re smiling, they aren’t. They don’t have the right facial muscles to smile, and they wouldn’t understand the concept anyway. If you really want to know what a cat is thinking or feeling, look at its tail. Cats use their tails to convey emotion more than any other part of their bodies. A cat flicking its entire tail rapidly is irritated and is warning you not to come any closer. If it’s only twitching the very end of its tail, though, it’s feeling happy and playful. It’s a very important distinction to make. Should you ever see your cat’s tail puffed up, it’s time to back away. Your cat is about to attack something, and you don’t want it to be you!
A Headbutting Cat
This is another common cat behavior that frequently gets mistaken for affection. Because it looks and feels cute, cat owners assume that when a cat headbutts you or rubs its head around your legs, its showing adoration. It almost feels like a little cuddle! Your cat is indeed showing its connection with you when it does this, but not for the reasons you think. Whenever a cat rubs its head on you (or anything else), it releases its own scent from its glands. In other words, it’s marking its territory. Your cat is identifying you as its possession. You might think that you’re the cat’s owner. To your cat, the relationship works the other way around.
Cats ears can usually be found in one of three positions – forward, back, or upright. Forward is where they should be most of the time. This is their most relaxed position, and the position you’ll find your cats ears in while they’re asleep. During the quarter of the day that their awake, a cat with its ears positioned forward is calm and curious, and is fine to be approached. Should their ears be standing upright, they’ve heard something that’s alarmed them. Bear in mind that cats can hear things that we can’t, so this might be a warning that someone’s about to knock on your door. Alternatively, it could just be a new and exciting sound that they haven’t heard before. You only need to be wary of a cat when its ears are flat and pinned back away from its head. This is an agitated position and indicates that your cat is either very angry or very afraid of something. Don’t try to approach them in this state. Give them a few moments to calm down, and only try to touch them when their ears have moved to a more neutral position!
Those are the cat behavior basics that you need to know if you’re a cat lover. We hope that they’ve given you a better understanding of what your cat is trying to tell you. We know it’s a little disappointing to hear that not every cat purr is a declaration of love for you, but keep an eye out for those slow blinks. When you get them, give them right back. Your cat has taken the time to say ‘I love you,’ so don’t leave them hanging! Remember to take it as a compliment every time a cat brushes its head past your legs or feet, too – you just got claimed, even if the cat doing the claiming isn’t your cat!