Last week we discussed dog’s body language, so we think it’s the cat’s turn! Just like canines, felines use parts of their body to communicate. Pet 360 provides a guide to understand what your cat’s ears are trying to tell you.
First, you must know that cat’s ears have more than 24 muscles — used for more than just hearing. Kitty ears also help display how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking. Each direction – turning 180 degrees either backward, forward, down, or up – carries a different message.
Relaxed. When a cat is feeling relaxed, their ears will bow slightly out to the sides and tilt slightly forward. This means all is well. Your cat is content and has a sense of well-being. Your cat is not afraid nor feeling aggressive. If your feline is generally happy, their ears will be in this position most of the time.
Curiosity. If a kitty’s interest has been captured by something – an insect, bird, sound, toy – they will be on alert with their ears pointing straight up in the air and tilting forward. This position can tell you that your cat wants to play or that they may be on a hunt. If you’ve been separated for a few hours, your cat may greet you with this ear position.
Unsure. When both ears are in different positions (which your furry feline has amazing ability to do), your cat is feeling hesitant and is not really sure how to respond to the situation. The ears will hold in place as your cat considers the situation and what to do, and then will move them into entirely new positions during and after making the decision. It’s almost like watching your cat think with his or her ears!
Feeling nervous. When your cat is nervous or agitated, their ears will twitch. If you’re a parent to kitty siblings, one’s twitching ears might indicate they feel an attack, playful or otherwise, coming on. By moving their ears this way, your cat is telling you they need reassurance and may appreciate a comforting cuddle. However, if your cat’s twitching is persistent and unwarranted, they might have a medical issue and should be checked by their veterinarian.
Riled up. Aggression may occur when you cat’s ears change from being forward to pointing backward. When the ears go from upright to completely horizontal, sticking out at right angles to the head, take note and act accordingly. Your cat is telling you that their present emotion – whether it be submissiveness, annoyance, or fear – is on the rise, and they want to be left alone. If your cat’s ears return to this horizontal position on a regular basis with no indication of any feelings behind it, they may have ear mites or an ear infection — it may a good idea to see your veterinarian.
Ready to fight. When your feline is thinking about starting a scuffle, her ears will be pointed diagonally backward – not quite forward or completely back. When a kitty is ready to strike with claws and teeth, their ears will flatten against their head. Doing so protects the ears from an opponent’s bites and scratches. When the ears move into this scuffle position, do not try to pick them up or touch your cat. If provoked during this phase, you risk being injured.
So the next time you’re wondering what your kitty is trying to tell you or how they are feeling, just identify their ear positions and the accompanying emotion. If you act appropriately according to your cat’s emotional state, your cat will feel more closely bonded to you and will appreciate your understanding of feline language!
Source: Pet 360