Cat Communication 101

Stop reading now if you don't like cats. :)

Soooo...I was surfing the internet over the weekend trying to figure out why Rafa keeps meowing at me and I came across some fabulous information about interpreting your cat's verbal and non-verbal communications! I had no idea that there were specific ways tell your cat you love him, get him to stop scratching your furniture or interpret his meows.

Here were my favorite bits of information, lots more info here and here

1. Cats don't meow to communicate with other cats, they started meowing as a means to "speak" with the humans in their lives. Short meows usually mean something like Hello! or Happy to see you! whereas long drawn out meows are more likely something along the lines of YOU FORGOT TO FEED ME!

2. Cats communicate a lot with their eyes. They are spooked by people staring at them, hence the fact they are usually drawn to the person least interested in them in the room (ie non-"cat people"). Also, it is a sign of trust for them to close their eyes in your presence. My favorite tidbit is that when your cat blinks slowly at you it is his way of saying "I love you" or blowing kisses! Blink slowly back to show him you love him too.

3. Purring is often seen as a sign of contentment, but it can also mean that the cat is in pain, ill or afraid and seeking comfort. 

4. Unlike dogs, cats are not necessarily asking you to rub their bellies when they stretch out on the floor and expose their stomachs. For some cats this is just their way of relaxing or trying to get you to play and they may "attack" when rubbed on the belly. 

5. Licking and digging their claws into you repeatedly are signs of love and affection. You are a part of their family now. 

6. If you want your cat to stop doing something don't use force or many words. Simply say in a firm voice "NO" or "DOWN" and remove him from the situation. Don't use his name or pet him as this will confuse him and he won't understand what you are asking. Cats don't relate violence to doing something wrong so never hit or throw your cat. 


  1. (ie non-"cat people") - I know this one all too well, because I am in fact not the world's biggest cat person. I am starting stare downs with them!

  2. We always joke about how our cat, Bandit, loves anti-cat people, I guess there's some truth behind that! I'm also going to try some "slow blinks" ;)

  3. Aw! Yes, I'm going to slow blink back! I hope my Fiona knows how much she means to me :)

  4. My female cat Splodge is with me at the moment rubbing my laptop and me. LOL! And now my other cat kitty which is a female is with me! I must be the cat queen! LOL! I do ALOT of research about cat communication! PS: Your right! Thanks for sharing it!