What Is Your Cat Really Trying to Tell You?

Updated on August 2, 2017
cherylone profile image

I have owned cats for over 50 years. Between them and their vets, I have learned a great deal about how they tick.

Louie, age 15
Louie, age 15 | Source

How cats communicate

Your cat speaks to you in so many different ways that sometimes it’s hard to know what they are saying. To know where your cat is coming from, the first thing you should know is that your cat considers you to be their human, belonging to them in every respect and all of their actions are based on that fact. So when your cat does something that angers you, keep in mind they may be trying to tell you something.

Cats often leave little hints that something is not quite right

Overly full litter boxes, for example, can make your cat angry enough to leave smelly presents on your pillow or favorite chair as a hint--meaning it has been too long between cleanings and you need to step up to the plate. Cats like themselves and their environment to be clean, that’s why they are always cleaning themselves. Imagine how you would feel if you were a perfectionist in cleaning and had to walk over your own waste in order to relieve yourself.....yuck is putting it mildly.

Ever had a cat clean themselves right after you’ve petted them or picked them up? That’s due to a few reasons: either they are angry that you touched them, for whatever reason, and they are cleaning off the scent--in most instances that is an insult to you; or you have a scent on you that they do not like. The scent could be perfume, lotion, or even another cat you might have petted. Be aware that strong smells of perfumed items can actually anger a cat. If they ingest a lot of it, it could also make them sick. So if you have cats, keep your arsenal of perfumed items for those special nights and be sure to wash them off before cuddling Fluffy.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tigger--Did you want me for something?Shadow--How come I can see them but I can't touch them?
Tigger--Did you want me for something?
Tigger--Did you want me for something? | Source
Shadow--How come I can see them but I can't touch them?
Shadow--How come I can see them but I can't touch them? | Source

Insults, it seems that cats can be insulted for the simplest things

When a cat turns its back on you and flicks their tail, watch out! They’re ticked off and ready to fight if you persist in whatever it is you’re doing. Under most instances they will walk away feeling their message has been understood. However, they might just decide that this is the last straw and decide to fight back. Best way to end an angry cat attack of your friendly feline? Stop and cry out-loudly. In cat language, an attack between two generally friendly participants ends immediately after one of them cries out in pain. Also by holding still until they let go, you are saving yourself long deep cuts that could occur while pulling away from them.

A cat can be insulted for many of the following as well (and they might even have a few we haven't learned yet):

  1. You took their chair
  2. you are sitting on their blanket
  3. you splashed them while washing your hands
  4. you have bought the generic food again
  5. you gave them a bath
  6. you took them to the vet
  7. you left them with a bunch of kids
  8. you didn't get the good litter
  9. you forgot to greet them when you came in the house
  10. You didn't go looking for them if they weren't at the door waiting for you
  11. you didn't change the water today
  12. you put glassware on their favorite shelf and it fell off when they tried to lay down
  13. you had the nerve to bring in fish for me and then hide them behind a solid wall

Actually, cats can be insulted even if you didn't do anything that you can understand; they are quite fickle that way.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Dakota--but my stocking is so much smaller than yours***SIGH****Cocoa--It is time to stop all this work stuff...
Dakota--but my stocking is so much smaller than yours***SIGH****
Dakota--but my stocking is so much smaller than yours***SIGH**** | Source
Cocoa--It is time to stop all this work stuff...
Cocoa--It is time to stop all this work stuff... | Source

Verbal is, of course, another form of communication

For instance, did you know that when your cat meows at you he/she is really just calling your attention to something like you forgot breakfast or the litter box is full? Or they might just be calling another cat to play. They might meow to go out, or come in. They might meow to tell you that you need a lap cat today or they might mean you have been working too hard and need a break. Cats have a way of insinuating themselves in such a way as to coax you into believing that you actually came up with the idea. They also might come up and jump on your book, or keyboard, to tell you it is time to stop (and their time to nap on your things).

Another verbal way, is when cats are happy with you, they purr when you pet them or cuddle them. A cat's purr is involuntary. They hear their mother purring when she is feeding and cleaning them and soon add their own voice when they are happy or content. Petting a cat on the head (gently, of course) tells them that you love them. Petting them on the cheeks is also a good way to tell them that you love them--oops, I mean that you are enjoying paying attention to them. Remember, though, when a cat touches the top of their head to you they are saying they love and trust you. Oh, and don't get upset if your cat is purring but also trying to get away from you. Generally it means they like you and want the pets, but they were busy and you interrupted them.

Mittens--I know you are in there, I can smell you!
Mittens--I know you are in there, I can smell you! | Source

Scent and ownership

Cat's will touch you and your things; pee on you or your things (otherwise known as marking); or rub against you or something you own in order to let other cats in the area know that you are theirs. Yup, when they lovingly rub their face against your face, they are leaving their scent all over you. Cats will generally mark a new home to overmark the scent of another cat. And fixed cats may also mark if the scent is strong or reeks of a full male. I know, I know, you couldn't smell anything, but those cat nostrils can pick up a scent miles away (just like a hound dog, only with less noise).

In order--Salty, Cocoa, and Tigger

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Hey, where'd you put my toys?Did you see who dropped this hat on me?What do you mean you need to get in there?
Hey, where'd you put my toys?
Hey, where'd you put my toys? | Source
Did you see who dropped this hat on me?
Did you see who dropped this hat on me? | Source
What do you mean you need to get in there?
What do you mean you need to get in there? | Source

Tail action can tell you a lot about how a cat feels, and don't forget the ears

When a cat walks with their tail straight up it means that they want to be noticed. If you don’t notice fast enough, they might get directly underfoot and swirl from one leg to the other. Of course, it is worse if you have something they want like canned food or milk. They will start to yell if you aren't forthcoming or fast enough for them. When a cat walks with their tail between their legs it is a sign that they are afraid of something or might be submitting to a more dominate cat or human. They might also roll over and offer their belly to a dominate cat to show they are not contesting the dominance. If a cat offers their belly to you they are telling you that they submit to your dominance but don’t let that fool you because they still believe they own you. A cat that walks with their tail down and dragging is trying to be hidden or unnoticed. If that behavior lasts for longer than a day, you might want to take the cat to the vet for a bit of a check up. A cat might lay its tail on something showing possession; or flick its tail at something that angers him/her. They often flick their tail to warn you that you are getting on their nerves and you probably should stop or the claws will come out. A cat that is angry, will not only hiss but their tail will become the biggest bottle brush you have ever seen. Note: please don't attempt to comfort your cat when they are angry. An angry cat doesn't know the difference and might bite or scratch you in 'defense'.

Ears tell a story all their own. When a cat lays back its ears it usually means it’s angry and might attack. When they cock one ear to the side it’s like someone raising an eyebrow or looking at you like you have three heads. When they bring both ears forward they are trying to hear, and understand, anything that is being said to them, or perhaps a distant sound (or another cat in the area).

To gain attention, your cat might seem to have lost its mind or is getting close

Your cat might purposely lay in your way for attention. They might sit on something they know is off-limits to gain your attention. Or, maybe, they might reach for you with a paw, claws in or out, to indicate a desire for attention. Cats like their attention, but they also like their toys. If you don't give them several, they might use you or your things instead.

A cat will extend its claws for many different things such as to kneed (when they are content they might put their paws out, claws extended, and then pull them in rhythmically which is how they get their mother’s milk to flow). A cat might extend its claws in anger or fear. Claws are also extended for cleaning purposes as well as scratching which can mean several things such as ownership, sharpening claws for a fight, or dominance. Claws can be removed, but please don't; instead, set up a weekly routine of trimming their claws and give them plenty of things to scratch.

Indoor/outdoor cats, or cats that are all outdoors

Cats, remember, believe that they own you, and to do a proper job, they must feed you. That is why outside cats will often kill an animal and leave it as a gift on your window or doorstep. As horrid as this may seem to you, it is perfectly natural for your cat. Another reason for leaving little 'gifts' is to show you they are strong and capable. I have seen cats leave snakes, rats, and even squirrels as 'gifts'. Oh, and just so you know, if you throw the 'gift' away, your cat may get angry of hurt by your actions. If you must (and most of us do), place it in several bags and then bury it in the trash can.

Next time your cat does something, you might want to pay attention

They might be trying to tell you something, and it might be important…..at least to them. Learn the unique ways your cat communicates with you. Each cat is different and has its own personality so their communication might be different, but keep this in mind, they will eventually let you know.

© 2011 Cheryl Simonds


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    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 6 days ago from Connecticut

      ninja2008, I am so glad this article helped you with your little bundle of kitty joy. I love my little ones and they are spoiled, as you can see by their pictures. Thanks for dropping by, cherylone

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      ninja2008 11 days ago

      Loved this!! My cat is very much a one person cat. She is always there to greet me and listens to what I say. I believe she thinks she is human. Its great to see that her behaviours are normal and I took alot from your article. I must be doing something right after all.

      Its great to understand she loves me as much as I love her. She truly is a one in a million to me. Whenever I am low she knows and reacts to my emotions. If I am gone for any length of time she will not listen to anyone until I come home. Her bed is mine and she loves her hugs and cuddles at night. She's not the typical head booper but she will nudge my hands and curl up on me any chance she gets. She even helps me "cook" in the kitchen lol. Again, thanks for such an amazing article and I cant wait to see more.

      Much luv from me and my little ninja kittie.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 weeks ago from Connecticut

      I don't know for certain, but I suspect she is trying to tell you she loves you and missed you. Of course it could be something as simple as she wants the post moved as well. Try getting her another one and putting it near a window.

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      Megan 5 weeks ago

      I’ve had my girl for about 5 months she’s super sweet and super spazzy. I live in the attic of my parents and her scratching post is at the top of the stairs *she likes the view*. Every time Ieave she watches me from the top and soon as I open the door to come up she is waiting for me either at the bottom few stairs or is meowing from the top. Wherever she starts at she always seems to dart for the scratching post as soon as I make it to the top and she glares at me while she attacks it lol. Why is this ? She uses it seldomly other times why does she go for it each time I come in ?? And it’s EVERY time lol.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 8 weeks ago from Connecticut

      Animals can suffer many things including mental issues and arthritis. Have your cat(s) checked out by a vet to see if they are having trouble getting into the litter box, have issues with their sinus cavities due to dusty litter, and sometimes new types of litter can smell off to them. I hope this helps, Cherylone

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      Mkay K55 8 weeks ago

      Had these cats almost a year, 2 spayed female Siamese. Never been friendly, tried treat_food based training. Suspect first 12 weeks at crowded breeder. Anyway, just now started peeing. We clean both boxes daily. Just don't get it.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 2 months ago from Connecticut

      Think about the animals quality of life because quantity is no good if the quality is bad.

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      Gordon Brown 3 months ago

      I don't know if I believe about the insulted things. But its possible.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 months ago from Connecticut

      Sounds like you have a real independant feline, they can be so snobbish, lol. I hope your strategy works. Write and let me know, please.

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      JackG1979 5 months ago

      Thanks Cheryl, We actually have two cats. One WAS abused before it came to us & the other (one I wrote about) we have had since he was first old enough to go to a home. He has been with us all his life. Coincidentally, the cat that was abused, HAS warmed up to me. He comes to me all the time and I can pet and pick him up and he purrs and follows me around the house. The one that was abused before we got him is Oliver. The one that seems to not like attention is Milo. Milo just LOVES my son. He will sleep in bed with my son all night. And during the day my son will be in there playing Xbox and computer games and milo will lay on his bed nearly all day. Open the door, and the Cats head pops up and the kid stays buried in the Ipad game. As soon as I walk over to pet the cat it'll get up and run past me. Or if I see him sitting some place i'll try to pet him and he'll either just get up and leave or keep pulling away. Most cats if u scratch their back they push up into it especially by the tail. Not this guy as you pet from his head to his back, he does the limbo so you don't touch him. He is so rude. LOL I have stopped trying to get close to him. I just figure that something about me scares him. I am 6'4 and almost 250lbs. so IDK if that would scare him... I would assume EVERYONE is big to a cat. I have and would never abuse our pets. Quite the contrary. I buy them lots of toys, treats, scratching posts, a little cat nip once in a while. Both wet and dry food and I leave the baby gates open when i'm not home so they have free run of the place. I am a clean person who washes hands regularly and what not. everyone in the house uses the same hand soaps I do. Neither of them are outdoors cats and we make sure they have no fleas, ticks, or anything regularly. We didn't even DeClaw them because we didn't want to hurt them. They get along great. They run back and forth through the house and sometimes wrestle in the living room. I have never seen a blow out where they screamed or hissed at each other or drew blood or anything. They actually wrestle pretty lightly. For now I"ll just keep my distance. If he wants to see me, he can. I'd never turn him away. But cats seem to like the one that ignores them the most. So I guess that is my next strategy.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 months ago from Connecticut

      Before you convict your cat, check out these simple things. A cat will pull away for many reasons, generally because they are afraid or hurt. If your cat is not hurt, try checking for hair matts that can be painful when you pet the cat. Also, check for parasites in the ears and/or inside them (your vet can help you here). Another thing you can check for is fleas and/or ticks which can leave sores especially if your cat is allergic to them. If you have exhausted all of these and the cat is still pulling away, check out his past history. Previous abuse or abandonment can cause a cat to become permanently afraid of human touch. And if you can't find answers there, you should probably let him come to you when he wants attention. Some cats are like that. Please be sure to check with your vet before you try anything else.

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      JackG1979 5 months ago

      I was googling why my cat always pulls away when I put him, and why he always cleans himself. I was upset that I didn't think my cat liked me, because he just seems annoyed by me, no matter how much nice food, treats, or attention i show him. He would rather I just left him alone. This article just confirms that he does hat me, and it just breaks my heart, because I love him so much. :.-(

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 6 months ago from Connecticut

      Cats cry for many different reasons; however if they didn't before, like your cat, there could be something wrong. First of all, cats will cry through-out the house looking for companions. They might cry because they are in pain and can't sleep or eat. I would check to ensure she is using the litter box for urine and stools and if that is okay, check to see if she has a bad tooth. A sure sign of a bad tooth is whether or not the cat is eating. Also, check for parasites-worms and fleas are the most prevalent. If none of these work, you might want to have her checked by a vet just to ensure she is well. Older cats get joint pain just like us only they can't complain about it. Finally, check for a hairball (I use a bag of 'hairball' food once a month to help my cats pass all that hair they ingest. jane o teske, I hope I have helped you with your kittie.

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      jane o teske 6 months ago

      my older cat that never meowed before, she was very quiet, now is meowing all the time. it usually starts at 3am and can last for hours. I have tried to ignore it but it seems to be getting back. Is she lonely, looking for something or getting just older. I think she is greater than 12 hrs. I adopted her as approximately a 2 year old and have had her for 8 to 9 years.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 6 months ago from Connecticut

      Although there are male cats that love the kittens, usually the male will attack them, especially the males ones because they will grow up to be his competition for the females so I don't think he is looking for the kittens. I do, however, think he might be 'tomming'. What I mean is that this is the best time for females to go into heat (ready to mate) and he is probably looking to mate again. If you haven't gotten him fixed, that could be the case. Most males who have been fixed will not tom. Another thing is--if he is not fixed, he might spray around, in and on your house to let females know he is there and to warn off other males. FYI-- an unfixed male can create many, many, many kittens. Hope I have helped, Marysol. Let me know if I can help you further.

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      Marysol 6 months ago

      My cat has been meeting a female cat outside our house. I think, it got pregnant, he has been with it the whole time, these past few days, he has been purring loudly and seems to be searching from the bushes all the time. I think, he is worried the female cat has given birth. How could I understand him?, help Please!!!!

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 6 months ago from Connecticut

      Your voice probably has a calming affect on her because you show her love. However, it is hard to know what is actually happening because cats can't tell us. I have had cats that behaved as though they had been abused, yet I had raised them from the day they were born; others who were abused have been the sweetest ever. I am afraid I can't tell you directly why she might be doing this, but you could try to change her sleeping area (it might remind her of something), change her food (she might be getting an upset stomach) or make sure she gets plenty of exercise during the day (she may have digestive issues that hurt when the food passes a certain point). And sometimes all you can do is give them lots of love and hope they eventually forget what might be bothering them. I wish you and her good luck. Sometimes a vet can help in these situations, so be sure to ask the next time you visit a vet.

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      Che 6 months ago

      I rescued a kitten when she was approximately 10 weeks..the female(Empress Luna) tends to always cry out when she's sleeping...like, she'll be sleeping and then all of a sudden she'll wake up and cry out and once she sees me and hears my voice she lays back down and sleeps..I'm very perplexed by this and wonder what the original owners did to her for her to always do this

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 7 months ago from Connecticut

      That could also be true. Either way, at least you know he wants to be with you. Thanks for telling me that.

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      Daphnne 7 months ago

      thanks for the reply! I spoke to some colleagues of mine who had dozens of cats. She suggested that maybe he was abandoned before (found at 5 months old) and is afraid i might abandon him?

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 7 months ago from Connecticut

      Daphnne, Let me first say this--cats are individual in their behavior so don't be surprised at anything your cat might do. Now the scratching and biting---yes, they learn by demonstration and in the cat world if you cry out in pain, they had better stop (unless it is prey and then watch out, lol). The inverted "U" just means he is content in his environment. My cats will often swirl their tail-tip around when they are content. The last one is a funny one, cats are babies at heart. They love your attention when they want it, but they will take off if they aren't in the mood for pets. Because you react by calling him and petting him, he cries for your attention when you are not immediately available to him. Once he finds you, he is happy. Don't be fooled by their baby-face though because they can be rotten when they want to be and devious as well. Your cat is most likely just trying to get you to pay attention to him. If it worked once, it will work again is their motto. Hope I have helped you. Be sure to contact me again if you have more questions and thanks for stopping by.

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      Daphnne 7 months ago

      My adopted kitty (7months old, I had him for a month) used to claw my leg till it bleed and when I cry and yell and show him my leg, he now only uses his paws to grab my legs, should this be encouraged?

      Also, sometimes he walks with his tail straight up but other times I noticed his tail is in inverted 'U' shape. Not directly between his legs, or low on the floor but it arches up and bends down low. What does it mean?

      Lastly, he doesn't like to be alone, I once left him in the living room and went to my bedroom (doors opened) for half an hour when suddenly I heard him yowling (like a crying sound) and I called his name and he came running and purring and rubbing against me , with me cuddling him and asking him " don't u know im in here? I am here with you good boy~"

      He doesn't like being alone i think, because if he realise he is alone in the living room while me and my sis went to our bedroom to lie down (again, our doors are never closed) he immediately run in and give off a frightened low growl or like an exasperated sound.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 8 months ago from Connecticut

      I hope I have helped both you and your cat. Thanks for stopping by!

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      Unknown 8 months ago

      Awesome thanks for telling me that

      I will remember this for next time my cat does something

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 8 months ago from Connecticut

      Julie, cats become aggressive for several reasons-change in environment like new people in the house is one; young children can make a cat's life miserable which could also cause aggression; sometimes it is as simple as getting them furniture of their own like a cat tree or scratching pad; if there are other cats in the house, you might want to ensure that there is a litter box for each of them; try having a different member of the family feeding the cat to get them used to the scent; try getting a toy to help the cat work out their aggression on the toy and not you-I like the laser lights and anything with feathers-if you play with them, it works better-try just before feeding time; I hope these suggestions help. Let me know if they don't and I will work to get you other ideas.

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      Julie 8 months ago

      My daughter has a cat that has become very aggressive towards every one except her,she has had her neutered but it has made no difference,she attacks for no reason scratches and bite's please help !!

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 9 months ago from Connecticut

      This answer will depend on many factors. How long have you had your cat? Being in a new environment could cause such behavior. Does he have toys and cat trees to play on? Since cats are normally nocturnal, if he has nothing to keep him busy, he is probably trying to let you know he is bored. Do you let your cat sleep with you at night, or does he sleep on the bed during the day? Sometimes the cat will sleep during the day on the bed and then stare at night because you are sleeping on their bed. Something you could try is to get the cat his own bed, kept near your bed so he is in the same room. Also, an unfixed cat will stare at night because they want to go outside to mate or protect their territory. An easy fix for that is to get him/her fixed. Let me know if I can help any further.

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      Mal 9 months ago

      My cat has been staring at me from the corner of my room at night and it is creepy! I was hoping this would help me with that situation and why he is doing so. Please help

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 11 months ago from Connecticut

      I am so glad I could help. Thank you for letting me know you liked it.

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      kittygirl 18 months ago

      i love this article! ive had multiple cats of my own[ they've all died or run away:( ] and it helped me understand a few things they did. THANKS!!!!!

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 19 months ago from Connecticut

      ma ma, it does happen. Quite often in fact. Each cat has their own set of quirks and personality traits just like us.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 19 months ago from Connecticut

      jbgjbj, sorry, didn't see this one when I asked the question above. I believe the cat is curious because of the flame dancing and giving off heat. Try using a spray bottle set on single spray to shock him away from the flame. Other than that, sometimes we just have to give in and use flame-less candles.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 19 months ago from Connecticut

      jbgjb, I had a cat that would go after my candles all the time. I wouldn't leave a lite candle in any room unless I was there for fear she would stick her nose in it and set herself on fire. I believe it was because the flame 'danced' and gave off heat. Sadly, she is not with me anymore. None of my vets could tell me why, and none of my other cats were interested in candles or any other type of flame, so I guess I have to wait for more info. What does your cat do with the flame?

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      ma ma 19 months ago

      That does sound wierd , are you shore that this is true

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      jbgjbj 19 months ago

      my cat keeps going near fire and geting burned

      i try to punish the my cat or stop lighting candles, i dont know if hes trying to get attention or what

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      jbgjbj 19 months ago

      what happens if your cat likes fire

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 2 years ago from Connecticut

      Grand old lady, I am so glad I was able to give you some good advice, it took me years to figure them out. Thanks for joining us cat lovers.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Cats have such interesting personalities. I learned a lot from your article, it is most informative.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 3 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you so much. Sorry it took so long to answer you, we have been moving and several incidents happened along the way. I am on line now and will be keeping up with my blogs and hubs (at least I will be trying to keep up). Thanks for the great comment.

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      Cheryl Simonds 3 years ago from Connecticut

      loving my cat, I love it. Many of mine will climb under the blankets, but they are usually trying to see what is under there. However, I have to tell you this: there is nothing like waking up all warm and cozy from the furry creatures laying on you! Thanks for reading and writing.

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      loving my cat 3 years ago

      my cat sleeps underneath my cover with me if i fall asleep before she can get under she will wake me up by pulling my arm open with her paws no less until i raise the covers for her lol its so cute bute sometimes i wake up with a face full of fur

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      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you fellow Connecticuter. I figured since I knew cats and their behaviors (from long experience) that I would share. Happy Holidays to you as well.

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      Melanie 4 years ago

      I love this! Thanks so much for sharing. It's great to see a fellow Connecticuter posting such an insightful hub! ;-) Happy Holidays!

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      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      I know how you just feel about that (ewwwwww), but the cat was actually asking you to join the hunt and play. When cats bring you things they are considered by the cats to be gifts. I personally wish they would learn to read my wish list once in awhile... :)

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      hobophobic 4 years ago

      ye my cat brought me a rat that was still alive.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you, pumpkin, for stopping by and enjoying my hub.

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      pumpkin 4 years ago

      haha so cute

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      @Kendra, You are so right and I thank you for adding this for my readers. A cat, when close to you, will turn their back, and more importantly their rump to you as a sign of trust; but when they are angry, they will walk a small distance away from you, sit or stand with their back to you and flick their tail several times. Thanks for helping me with the distinction.

      @buddhaanalysis, glad you thought it was interesting. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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      buddhaanalysis 4 years ago

      Very interesting hub.

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      Kendra 4 years ago

      Actually a cat turning it's back on you is not an insult, it's a sign of trust!

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      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      @wvugirl2007, Glad you enjoyed my article.

      @FlourishAnyway, You are so right about why we love our kitties - well at least one reason.

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      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Cats do have a mind of their own, but that's why we love them so much. Good observations!

    • wvugirl2007 profile image

      wvugirl2007 4 years ago from Virginia

      Great article. I have been watching the Animal Planet show "My Cat From Hell" and learning a lot about them. This article though gave me even more insight. Great work and I will be following your work.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      @Tinsky, I know what you mean about the feral behavior, however it is just your cat telling you he/she loves you. The slit eyes you would think were signs of anger, right, but the cat is, as you guessed, means contentment, but it also means they are 'watching' you, probably to see if you are going to get up and get them some food :). Glad you enjoyed my article and took the time to write back to me.

      @Veronica, I am so glad I could help. Knowing what your cats are trying to say sure makes it easier to pamper them, doesn't it? :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      @Kittymeowmeow, from the sounds of it you have your cats all figured out--ie-they own the place :), I'm glad you liked my hub and I am glad I could help you understand your cats better. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Kittymeowmeow profile image

      Kittymeowmeow 4 years ago from United States

      This was quite an informational article. It has made me realize many things about my cat that I didn't know. Dang cats always walking around like they own the place.

    • profile image

      yassin 4 years ago

      good job

      and there is a helpful articls about cat


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      Veronica B. Sullivan 4 years ago from Toronto

      Very informative. I feel very intune with my cat, and we even converse sometimes. I'll say her name and she'll meow back at me. But sometimes I'm confused by her behavior. I've had cats all my life and this definitely helped me understand their actions a bit better.

    • Tinsky profile image

      Tina Dubinsky 4 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      We have a 9 year old cat named Tabitha who isn't the greatest attention seeker. I helped her mother give birth to her when she had a litter of three kittens (they weren't mine at the time but I was looking after Leah who came to us pregnant and then went back to the original owner). Occasionally I have some great interactions with Tabitha, like a staring contest of wills where she tries to assert her dominance ready to pounce (she actually did pounce once but I won that cat fight ;)). We see her close her eyes so that they are tiny slits a lot and look at us. From what I understand means contentment and happiness? As to rolling over, I have discovered with Tabitha that she is very cheeky. She lets us rub her belly and out of no where her mood changes to what I describe as ferrel. In these situations, she will grab my hand, begin rabbit keeping my arm with her back feet while holding my hand in place with her claws and bite, sometimes this will end with licking or with me pulling back because of scratches etc. I know if she really wanted to she could bite a lot harder, but there at times when I think this is an affectionate move as I often saw her mother doing this to her when she was a kitten... so when prepared I put a sock on my hand! My cat has also learnt to knock. We don't have a cat door her, but she sits patiently at the doors and uses her claws to make the doors rattle to let us know she is ready to come into the house. And yes, we have received the occasional field mouse and many lizards - most of which I rescue when she isn't looking. Thank you for such a great hub, I really enjoyed reading it and learning some new things about my cat.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      @bisnar6665, Thank you for the support. Yes mine are often irritated at being roused unless there is a meal waiting for them.

      @Empathetic Advisor, I love your experiment. I see you have some unique 'specimens' of your own with which to work. I love cats in all shapes, sizes and attitudes--keep up the good work, and tell me what you find out.

      @nArchuleta, Thank you for the compliment. I also have cats lying on my things, I think they are trying to tell me something--like 'stop working'!

      @ Chris Achilleos, Cats and all animals seem to have a sixth sense that tells them when we are happy, sad, or in pain. I love how they always seem to know when you need some cuddles.....Thanks for the votes!

      @stuff4kids, Cats do seem to read their owners minds, but I think it is more their senses than actually reading minds--of course I could be wrong---Wizzard Cat first class at your service :)--but I don't think cats are alone in this. Many animals seem to know their owners feelings. Thanks for the blessings, blessings on you and yours.

      @Princessa, I am glad you enjoyed (and benefited) from my hub. I hope you have a very warm and rewarding relationship with your feline, just be careful--they seem to read minds and could be cuddly way too often :)

      @ Rebecca Furtado, I think your cats are just being the entertaining and unique felines that they were meant to be. A wagging tail usually indicates interest--if it is casually wagging it usually means they are 'chilling out', but if it is more intense they are watching something--watch out it could be you! The cats are also having fun with their housemate - the dog - which is fun for them. Don't worry, they have more tricks up their sleeves--oops, I mean paws.

      @ Trish 1048, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I have had to do the same for many of my cats and it never gets easier. About the other little bundles, they are all showing their own uniqueness and feline behaviors. I think that is what I love best about them, they all have a different personality!

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 4 years ago

      Cats, love them all. Currently I have three. My last cat, Sasha, had to be put down 1 1/2 years ago at age 19. A very, very sad day. I called her my velcro kitty. She was with me constantly, either next to me or on top of me. At night she'd lie right next to my face and purr her little heart out. I miss her terribly.

      Now, my oldest is about 8 yrs old. I found her as a kitten in upstate NY. She is extremely affectionate, however, hates to be held. She will let you pet her all you want and always sleeps with me, or hangs out with me while I'm in bed watching tv. The second cat was adopted from a girl whose cat had kittens. He is our aloof cat. He likes life on his own terms. And lastly, our adopted stray cat is the sweetest. He was a neighborhood cat and had been coming around for about a year. When the hurricane was approaching, we decided to bring him in. That's all it took. We took him to the vet, he got a clean bill of health and is now ours.

    • Rebecca Furtado profile image

      Rebecca Furtado 4 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

      So when a cat wags his tail is he impatient? When the cat jumps obessively over the dog again and again what does that mean? I the cat feeds the dog out of the cat food bin one kibble at a time is it entertainment or his he caring for the dog. My cats are just weird I think.

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      Wendy Iturrizaga 4 years ago from France

      Fascinating, I understand a lot better now my kitty's behaviour. She is under a year and it is the first time I've ever had a cat (or should I say: the first time a cat had me?) sometimes the way she behaves is a total mistery to me. Thanks for the entertaining read.

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      Amanda Littlejohn 4 years ago

      Well how fascinating!

      I've never had a cat but I know people that do and most of them will tell you that not only do their cats communicate with them but that they can also read their owner's minds!

      Interesting read. Thank you and bless you :)

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing such an amazing hub cherylone. I really believe that animals have their own ways of communicating with us but we really need to pay attention to their behavior. So we just need to listen to what they say and also pay attention to body language, as we would do to understand an other person :) I have had pets all my life and I have also noticed that they tend to stay by your side when your feeling ill or moody, it's like they can sense it.

      Voted up, useful and interesting! Looking forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 4 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Very informative. My sweet Lindemann does all of those things. My favorite, though, is how he'll lie on anything that's mine -- even books and newspapers, which can't be comfortable.

    • EmpatheticAdvisor profile image

      Ruth Laughery 4 years ago from Montana


      Great hub on cat communication. I have my own little experiment in cat behavior and communication going on in my home and have taken it to a new level over the last 10 years.

      It all started out when I ended up keeping all of the kittens from my original "first cat" years ago ( I live on a ranch so space is no problem)

      So even though I had an intensive spay program, inevitably there was always an "oopps" litter, until the last several years.

      At first I would try to find good homes for my kittens, and then got disgusted after the people I trusted would let things happen to them as they were initially outside cats.

      Anyway, with the last litters, and a few added friends that needed homes ( one a shelter cat), I have a cat "pride" and they live much like the big cats do in the wild.

      They have their own groups and clicks ( with human moderation of course) and all cooperate when it is meal time. taking turns at the food dishes, with some even eating side by side with no fuss.

      There are also different little groups that like to lay and snuggle together, and invariably, I can have as many as 7 lying in their own little pecking order around me in bed each morning, depending on who is not out hunting or traveling around outside.

      As far as the purring though, my cats do not purr all the time. My cat Rockstar, hardly ever purrs, and sometimes after I snuggle her a little while, she will purr softly for a few minutes and then want down.

      Another cat, Sara Moon, she likes to lie on my chest and then reach out a paw and touch the side of my face for attention. If I try to move her paw, she just puts it back where she had it, and I feel this is her way to tell me she loves me. There are times when Sara will make stay like this for over an hour as she just does not want me moving her paw.

      Yes cats and really all animals can communicate, we just have to take the time to listen.


    • bisnar6665 profile image

      John 4 years ago from Irvine, California

      Mine is trying to tell me that there is no legitimate reason to wake her up... unless an amazing meal is in order.

      Ignore the weird cat commenters, this was a great post!

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      @whatswhatnow, glad I was able to help you learn about cats and their 'language'. They do have their quirks, don't they?

      @C S Cart, I am sorry to hear you did not like my hub; however, I can't help but wonder why you read it to begin with since the title clearly states what the hub covers. Perhaps some of my other hubs would be of more interest to you.......

      @FlourishAnyway, give Samuel a great big hug for me (just because I love to hug cats). I am very glad you both enjoyed the hub. Perhaps you are right in thinking the previous comment writer had a hairball :) or perhaps he was just having a bad day.

      Thank you everyone for stopping by and commenting!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Samuel (the kitty sitting on my lap) and I enjoyed your hub. I think the previous commenter with the ugly remark must have a hairball.

    • profile image

      CS Cart 4 years ago

      As if the internet needs more pointless crap sitting around. I thinkyour blog is cancer You should just stick with twitter; twit. Jeeze, I gotta clear my history now…

    • whatswhatnow profile image

      whatswhatnow 4 years ago from Spain

      I really enjoyed reading this - I have had as many as eight cats at one time (down to three now) but I learned a lot!

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      @ Sonya, thank you for your wonderful comment. Yes, a cat with a tail held high is definitely an attention grabber. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      @ dreamseeker, so glad you enjoyed my hub and voted on it. My kitties are all big babies wanting attention when they want it and racing off to play when the don't.

      @ lesliebyars, I am so glad I could help. Once you know what they are trying to tell you it is so much easier to meet their needs isn't it? Thanks for the votes!

      @ Amanda108, Glad I could help. Thank you for the votes. And I know what you mean about (evil) I have one that I swear knows what I am thinking.

      @ MomsTreasureChest, I am so glad you stopped by and can finally understand your feline companions!

      @ SidKemp, good for you. They will push and push and if you don't push back you will end up being the pet not the owner - sadly my cats own me and they know it :)

      @ You need to pay attention to when and how. When a cat bites while you are petting them it is usually gentle and that is a love nip. If the cat bites hard (or draws blood regularly) you might want to have the vet check their teeth. Also, be sure to push them away and ignore them for a bit to let them know they did wrong. Check their surroundings for things they may not like and think about any new colognes or soaps you are using, sometimes cats are sensitive to the smells and will bite if you wear it while petting them. Hope this helps.

    • BENNY8877 profile image

      Benny 4 years ago from Canada

      Any tips for preventing your cat from biting? My guy will sometimes bite my hand out of the blue, I'm really worried about him doing it to a house guest.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks so much! Voted up and interesting. Our cats just turned 10, and I think one of them is going through a change of life. (Both just got a clean bill of health from the vet, so no worries. )She went off her food until I pet and cuddled her a lot more (which she never used to like). Now she's jumping up on tables and other places she's not allowed - pushing for dominance and attention, it seems. I'm still cuddling her, but also teaching her she can't get away with just anything.

    • MomsTreasureChest profile image

      MomsTreasureChest 4 years ago

      Loved your hub, our cat does almost all of these things, it's nice to know why!

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

      I'm constantly trying to figure out what my (seemingly evil) cat is attempting to tell me. Maybe if I study this hub enough I'll be able to succeed! Voted up!

    • profile image

      lesliebyars 4 years ago

      I voted up, useful and informative. I always wonder what those signals meant from the cat.

    • profile image

      dreamseeker2 4 years ago

      Having had cats all my life and owning two from the time they were born, I know just what you mean. : ) I love my kitties. They can be such great protectors too. My male walks me to the bathroom at night and stays beside me when I check the house doors. My female, seems to know when I am sad or don't feel well. She stays beside me fussing over me like a little momma. Loved your hub! Voted it up, useful and informative!

    • Sonia Perozzi profile image

      Sonia Perozzi 4 years ago from California

      What a wonderful article! I love cats and have always owned one or more. They are great communicators if, as you so wonderfully point out, pay attention. I have heard that when a cat walks with their tail up they are confident and happy in their surrounding and as you said it is definitely an attention grabber! Who can resist a tail high in the air walking by:)?

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      @macteacher, cats do have distinct personalities, however they can always let you know what they are feeling, can't they?

      @marestanko, cats are sooo easy to love aren't they?

      @lesliebyars, thanks for the votes, and yes mine all have a mind of their own - and let me know all the time :)

      @Coolpapa, thanks for the compliment. Yes, cats are so much better when you know what they are trying to say.

      @Ikerot, I am so glad you love cats, but you really need to own one to enjoy all of their qualities.

      @Crispy Mom, thanks you for the compliment. I have a cat that is always trying to cover the food and drinks he gets near, I think he is trying to tell me they stink :-)

      @LoisRyan13903, I do believe you may be right. I hope you enjoy the love often ;-)

    • LoisRyan13903 profile image

      Lois Ryan 4 years ago from Upstate NY originally from Long Island

      My cat likes to put his paw on my face and sroke it. I think he is trying to pet me

    • Crispy Mom profile image

      Crispy Mom 4 years ago

      Too cute!! Loved every word! My cat scratches around my coffee cup the same way she scratches around her food dish. I read it was because cats don't like the scent of coffee but I wonder if she is trying to hide my favorite beverage the way she hides her favorite food.

    • Ikerot profile image

      Ikerot 4 years ago

      I actually never owned a cat in my life, yet I love them a lot more than dogs. Funny. My cousin had a cat and I was sleeping over at her house. The cat was quite the alarm. She came into my room at seven in the morning... and sat on my face xD

    • Coolpapa profile image

      Coolpapa 4 years ago from Florida

      Great piece. You never get your money's worth with a cat unless you learn how to communicate with him/her.

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      lesliebyars 4 years ago

      Cats really do have a mind of their own. I love my cats. I voted up and funny.

    • marestanko profile image

      Marija 4 years ago

      I love cats, tnx. :)

    • macteacher profile image

      Wendy Golden 4 years ago from New York

      Great hub, you really know cats. I have 3 with completely different personalities. The showing the belly thing is an invitation by some cats to pet their belly, it is a sign of trust. However, I have a huge male who likes showing his belly, but no one is allowed to touch it. I'm only allowed to pet him when he signals the ok. Cats are wonderful pets. Thanks for an informative hub about these wonderful creatures.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      @ yogawithbarb, Thank you for your comments, and yes they are great communicators.

      @girishpuri, thank you for your kind comments. I have spent most of my life around those furry creatures.

      @newusedcarssacram, I am glad I was able to solve some of the mystery of cats. It helps when you know what they are trying to say.

      @Ri9viera Rose, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you will soon get another cuddle bug to keep you company-they are worth it.

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 4 years ago from South of France

      As someone who's still in mourning (one year on) her special friend, I loved this hub. I most definitely got the snooty post-cuddle cleaning a lot! Very informative, thank you!

    • newusedcarssacram profile image

      newusedcarssacram 4 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

      Cats are complicated and magnificent; this hub solves the mystery a bit.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      very well researched hub, and yes cats are definitely most friendly animals, useful hub.

    • yogawithbarb profile image

      Barb 4 years ago from Tennessee

      Cats really are great communicators when we pay attention. Good points!

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      @ Diana Lee, Don't give up on him. He will come around, and it will be well worth the wait.

      @ Ella64, yes cats are beautiful creatures and so loving and they don't require any explanations when you are upset or something. I just love my kitties.

      @ Neinahpets, Thanks for the vote, I'll bet your cat is always getting into things to draw your attention. Mine love the computer keyboard and my crochet yarn the best.

      @ snakeslane, Yes, my cats have trained me very well over the years :), I have Great suggestions for Diana Lee. Thanks for adding your advice.

      @Deltachord, You are very welcome for the article, I loved writing it and hoped many cat owners would learn what their cats were trying to tell them.

      @Diana Grant, Sounds like you have already learned some of the cat-speak, your cat sounds like a cutie. Thanks for adding your advice to my article.

    • Diana Grant profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from London

      Our cat likes to sit and stare at us when we are lying in bed and sometimes miaaows several times. Then she'll wait there for a few minutes, continuing to stare. This is how she asks for attention. When I see her doing that, I get out of bed, and she gives a little skip to acknowledge it, then rolls over on her back to be tickled.

    • Deltachord profile image

      Deltachord 4 years ago from United States

      My cat does some of the things you discussed. Thanks for the interesting article.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 4 years ago from Canada

      cherylone, You make some very good observations, clearly you've been well trained by your cats. Thank you for the insight. A suggestion for Diana Lee: Do you sit outside with the cat when he's eating? You could try each time bringing the food bowl a little closer to your chair (do this over weeks or longer) so the cat slowly gets used to your proximity. One day he may accidently brush by you getting to the food and realize it is not so scary. If you can find a big feather (like an eagle feather), you may be able to touch him with that in a playful way to start him getting used to the feel of it. Just a suggestion.

    • Neinahpets profile image

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      Love this, voted up! My cat is always getting on my laptop in my way.

    • elle64 profile image

      elle64 4 years ago from Scandinavia

      Thanks a lot ,I talk to my cats all the time- they are truly beautiful creatures.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I have offered him treats and talk to him sometimes for long periods of time, but I need to keep working at it as he still doesn't quite trust me. I know my dogs barking on the other side of the house in their dog park doesn't help much, but he will look through the window at the dogs without being frightened by them as long as that glass is between them. Thanks for the suggestion, I appreciate it.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 4 years ago from Connecticut

      Try spending time on the porch talking softly to him. Offer him treats, one at a time, when he doesn't come close put the treat down and go inside. After a few days he might just decide to let you pet him.

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