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How Can Cats Communicate?
Cats communicate in many ways. They vocalize, use body language, take action and release scents.
1. The Vocal Cat
Cats make three types of sounds.
– which includes purrs, trills and chirrups
– which includes the basic “meow”, meows and calls
C. Aggressive sounds
– which includes growls, growls, hisses, howls, screeches and spits.
Purring is a continuous and soft vibrating sound that indicates a positive state in the cat. However, cats are also known to purr in stressful situations, such as when they are seriously injured, in pain, sick or tense. It is believed that cats purr when they are happy, need a friend, or thanking for care, like when the vet treats an injured or sick cat and gets a purr for it.
Kittens learn trilling from their mothers as she uses it to tell her children to follow her. Adult cats trill in greeting, usually to another feline. A trill sounds like a short purr and meow combined.
Chirrups are meows that roll off the tongue. Mother cats use chirrups to call their young from the nest. It is also used by friendly felines when approaching a human or another cat. Cats make excited squeals and chatter when watching or stalking prey.
The most well known sound that cats make is the “meow”. Kittens meow mostly for humans and can be whiny, assertive, welcoming, bold, friendly, attention-seeking, whiny or demanding. Sometimes the meow is silent with the cat opening its mouth but nothing comes out.
Mews are sweet, the first sounds kittens make and are used to attract the mother’s attention.
The calls are made by females in heat and are known as “caterwauling”. Males also make calls when fighting, especially over females during mating.
Growling, hissing, snarling, and spitting are vocalizations that cats make when defensive or offensive. These sounds of danger are often combined with the posture of the body to influence a threat, for example, when a cat puffs its fur and hisses at a dog that gets too close. When growling, the puss gives a warning to “get back before you get claws”.
Cats hiss when they are angry, scared, scared or hurt. A cat that invades another’s territory will be hissed and growled, and if it doesn’t leave, it can be attacked.
2. Body language
Cats use body language to express a wide range of emotions. To communicate fear or aggression, the cat will arch its back, puff its fur, and use a lateral position. And to signal relaxation, the cat’s eyes blink slowly or have its eyes half open.
This body language is communicated through the feline’s facial expressions, tail, body and coat posture.
When cats become aggressive, their backs are raised with stiff hind legs, fluffed tail fur, forward pointed noses and flattened ears. Such a posture indicates danger, and the cat will attack. This form of feline communication is intended to scare off an aggressor and prevent an attack. It’s a warning.
A frightened and defensive feline will shrink, lowering its body to the ground while arching its back and moving away from the threat.
Cats can show comfort or confidence when they lie on their backs and expose their bellies. However, this may also indicate that the cat has to defend itself with sharp claws and teeth.
The game is shown with an open mouth without exposed teeth.
A cat’s ears can reveal different states of mind. With erect ears, the feline is focused and alert. Relaxed ears show that the cat is calm. Flattened ears happen when the feline is extremely aggressive or defensive.
Staring communicates a threat or challenge and is an indicator of hierarchy with lower cats retreating from a look from a higher feline. This look is often used for territorial or predatory reasons.
A cat’s tail is a great communicator. For example, a tail that wags from side to side in a slow, lazy fashion shows that the cat is relaxed. A tail twitch occurs when hunting or when the cat is irritated or upset and can occur before an attack, playful or otherwise.
When playing, kittens and younger cats will put the base of the tail up and stiffen the tail except for an upside-down U shape, which signals excitement and even hyperactivity. This position of the tail can also be seen when chasing other cats or running by themselves.
Surprised or scared, a cat can erect fur on the tail and back.
Grooming & Other Forms of Affection
Cats show affection with other cats and some humans by grooming, licking and kneading. When a feline purrs and purrs at the same time, it communicates affection and contentment.
A friendly greeting between cats occurs when they touch noses and sniff each other. Head banging and cheek rubbing between kittens shows dominance towards a subordinate cat.
A friendly greeting with a human is shown by the rubbed face. The cat pushes its face into the person who relates the affection. The “head-bump” is another way that cats reveal positive feelings for a human. Leg rubbing is another form of affection.
As cats rub and push against another cat or human, they spread their scent, which is a form of marking territory.
Strong bites accompanied by growls, hisses or postures show aggression. Light bites show playfulness and affection, especially when combined with purring and kneading.
Another way cats use biting to communicate is through mating. The male will bite the scruff of the female’s neck, and enter the lordosis, revealing that she is ready for mating.
Cats use their own scent to communicate with other cats. By rubbing and bobbing their heads, kittens use scent glands on their faces, tails, paws and lower backs to spread their scent. In addition, they use feces, urine and spraying to leave a message to other cats.
Spraying marks the cat’s territory, both indoors and outdoors. Leaving urine and feces is also used to mark the cat’s territory. In addition, rub its scent on objects, such as a fence post, marking the territory.
Spraying males make the marking of the territory more frequent. Tomcats spray not only to mark their domain, but also to let other toms know that nearby females are theirs for mating.
Tomcat spray is a strong smelling marker. Sometimes the females will spray too.
And that’s how cats communicate.
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