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Pet News

How do cats communicate?

How do cats talk to one another?

How do cats communicate
Cats and humans have lived together for more than ten thousand years. We have domesticated them. They taught us how we should behave best with them.
We made them understand that we were happy to have them around us, that we like to feed and pet them, that they can expect warmth and protection from us, as long as they are pleasant for us.
In addition, most domestic cats seem to like living with humans. In this sense, they are social creatures that communicate in different ways with each other and with us humans:
  • Perfume: Olfactory.
  • Postures and body movements: Visual.
  • Touch: Contact.
  • Sounds: Acoustic.
Perhaps that's why cats and humans have developed a form of acoustic language that both species are capable of understanding. Cats have understood that sometimes the finest and quickest way to get what they want from us is to speak with sounds, meowing for example.
They understand that we will react immediately, and we understand in most cases what our cats need from us:
  • Deliver food to them.
  • Open a door.
  • Collect a favorite toy mouse under the sofa
  • Spend only half an hour of our time petting, cuddling or playing with them.

Contact: Communication

Our cats know very well that sound is the best way to communicate with their humans. Despite this, they maintained other forms of communication.
  • Touch the nose,
  • Bang your head,
  • Rub against us: face to face, head to body and body to body.
Sometimes they also show us that they are fed up with their claws or a bite. These are all examples of tactile communication.

Postures and body movements: visual communication

We need to pay much more attention to the visual cues of our friends. The postures, and movements of the whole body or of individual parts of the body such as the tail, the head, the face and especially the ears, the eyes, and the whiskers provide clear indications on the momentary mood or the needs of the cat .
In aggressive, or defensive situations, increasing the volume of the body by arching the back and lifting the hairs mainly means that the cat feels threatened and is intended to signal.
Cats, before attacking, often take an upright position, and with an arched back, bristle their fur and sometimes open their mouths, so that they seem as big and scary as possible. This is how they defend themselves against any potential attacker.

Slow movements such as closing your eyes, yawning, cleaning, or even running in slow motion demonstrate peace and security. Fast movements, on the other hand, wagging your tail, stepping on your feet, and running towards or away from an enemy are mainly signs of excitement. They indicate that this can become serious at any time and that a fight may be in progress.
The tail signals are fascinating:
  • A tail held vertically is most often explained by “I am sweet, young, and friendly.”
  • A straight but swollen tail can often mean “I am tall and impressive.”
  • On the other hand, an erect tail with a slight fold or hook resembling a question mark often means “I am happy, curious, and friendly.”

Spraying and rubbing: olfactory signals

Unfortunately, we humans cannot perceive all the scents that our cats leave behind. Perfumes essential to communicate between cats persist longer than sounds.These signals can describe the cat's sex, age, health, and readiness.
Olfactory marks disappear over time and must be continually renewed. Urine, stool and stripes are among the olfactory signals. Scratching or rubbing with the head or body also leaves decisive scent marks, as cats have olfactory glands on their paws, as well as on their head and cheeks.

When cats spray urine around or scratch furniture, we often take it wrong, and suspect malice. And we do a lot to prevent this behavior in our cats.
Cats have learned that humans respond well to the sounds of cats. We humans don't have the same good noses as cats, and our eyes are also often elsewhere, so, we don't notice, for example, when our furry friends snuck into the kitchen and sat in front their bowl of food.

When we work, are occupied by our computers or our smartphones or sleep, the sounds are particularly effective. The four-legged companions understood this, and adapted to us. This is why many cats develop with their humans a kind of spoken language which is mutually understandable.

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