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What Do Cats Have To Say? 10 Fun Facts About How Cats Communicate With Humans
We all know cats can be a bit mysterious. But did you know that cats actually communicate with us in ways we sometimes don’t even notice? It’s true! From purring to meowing, cats use various vocalizations and body language to get their point across. Here are 10 fun facts about how cats communicate with humans.
- Slow blinking: Slow blinking (also known as “cat kisses”) is another way for cats to show us affection and trust—it’s like saying “I trust you enough to blink slowly around you!”
- Chirping and trilling: You might not think of this as a form of communication, but it definitely is! These small chirps and trills are usually used by a mother cat to call her kittens or by an excited cat trying to get our attention.
- Purring: A lot of people assume that when cats purr, they are expressing happiness or contentment. While this is often the case, it isn’t always true! Cats can also purr when they feel scared or anxious. They may also purr to let us know that they are in pain or need comfort.
- Meowing: This is probably one of the most common forms of communication between cats and humans. Adult cats almost never meow at other adult cats; instead, they save their meows for us humans! They use meows to tell us what they need—whether it’s food, attention, love, or something else entirely.
- Kneading: When a cat kneads its paws on your lap (or anywhere else!), it’s usually expressing pleasure or contentment—although some theories suggest that this behavior could also be an instinctively comforting behavior from when the cat was a kitten nursing from its mother.
- Staring: Staring is another way for cats to communicate with us humans—it shows interest and curiosity about something we have done or said (or something in their environment).
- Tail twitching/flicking: If your cat twitches its tail while looking at you, it usually means he wants your attention (or maybe just wants some food!). If his tail starts flicking back and forth rapidly, however, it usually means he’s feeling agitated or threatened—so make sure you give him some space if he does this!
- Tail up/tail down: A tail held high generally indicates confidence and enthusiasm; whereas a tail held low usually means fear or insecurity (sometimes accompanied by crouching down).
- Tail wrapping around legs/ankles: This is another sign of affection; the cat is saying “I care about you enough to wrap my tail around your leg/ankle!”
- Rubbing against legs/ankles: This one is similar to tail wrapping; the cat is showing affection through physical contact (and maybe getting some head scratches in the process!).
As you can see, there are lots of different ways for cats to communicate with us humans—from vocalizations such as purring and meowing to physical gestures such as slow blinking and rubbing against our legs/ankles! Next time your furry friend tries to tell you something, take note—you never know what secrets he might have for you!
The American Association of Pet Parents (AAPP) is a national nonprofit dedicated to keeping pets happy, healthy and in their loving homes – and out of animal shelters.