Cat Behavior - Understanding Felinese
Amy D. Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant and the award-winning author of 23 pet care books, including "Complete Kitten Care" and "Complete Care for Your Aging Cat."
We love our cats but don't always understand cat communication. Our feline friends use a combination of vocalizations, body language and smells to talk with each other and their special people. Here are 12 ways cats communicate.
1. Meows: These are rarely aimed at other cats. Instead meows are requests pointed at humans. For example, cats meow to be petted, for you to open the door or for you to wake up and fill their bowls. The more demanding Kitty becomes, the lower the pitch of the meow.
2. Purrs: These vocalizations signal nonthreat. A cat's purr has been described as a feline smile, and cats purr in the presence of other pets and humans. Purrs often express happiness.
3. Hisses: Keep your distance if you hear a hiss. Cats hiss at other pets and people. Hisses can be defensive or offensive, and arise from frightened or hostile felines.