Cat Communication is a subtle language of sight, sound, and scent. It is both simple and complex. The cat’s purr for example, usually means that she is happy and content but it can also mean that she is suffering or in pain. In a large, multiple-cat household, it is important, even vital, to recognize and understand how cats communicate not only with you but with each other. Not understanding this unique ‘cat language’ can lead to all sorts of misunderstandings.
By learning cat communication, you will be able to stop a disagreement before it turns into a bloody battle, and maintain a calm and secure environment so that even the shy and timid cats will feel comfortable enough to come out from under the bed!
Utilizing the same natural methods of communication that cats use will aid in modifying undesirable behavior, ease the transition into the group for a new arrival, and strengthen the bonds of trust between you and your cats.
As humans, the most natural method of communication we use with our cats is vocalization – In other words, we talk to them…all the time! And, the more we speak to our cats the more they speak to us!
Cats will learn to use a variety of sounds to tell us what they want. It is up to us to learn to correctly interpret the meaning of these Cat Sounds.
While talking to our cats feels natural to us, our cats have to learn to communicate vocally with us. Cats, by nature, rely mostly on body language and scent to get their point across.
Cat Body Language is the primary method of communication that cats use, both with each other and with us. Once you understand what a cat is saying via body language, you will quickly be able to tell if two cats are engaging in friendly play or getting ready for a huge catfight.
Many cat owners have suffered scratches or bites because they did not recognize the ‘I’m getting irritated!’ signals when petting a cat. Also, cats will use body language to pay you their highest compliment. If you don’t recognize it, you may think something else is going on, get upset, confuse the cat, and damage the bond you’ve developed with him!
Cats are very honest when it comes to their feelings and cat body language never lies!
Scent marking is another major method of communication cats use. Rubbing, scratching, licking, and the dreaded urine marking, are all forms of Scent Communication among cats. Learning the meanings behind these scent-marking behaviors can help you to put a stop to the unacceptable ones and encourage proper cat scent communication etiquette within the household.
Developing good cat communication skills will help you to maintain a positive, happy and safe environment for all of your cats. And once you understand them, your cats may even let you in on a kitty secret or two!
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” – Ernest Hemmingway