Dogs we usually understand, mostly because they are so easy to understand. They have expressive faces and body language that we can read pretty accurately. Cats, on the other hand, are known for their emotional vagueness and standoffishness.
5 Keys to Understanding Cat Body Language - Vetstreet
There are so many fascinating ways that cats communicate with each other. Some of their methods are so subtle that we humans are not sensitive enough to understand what they are saying. Cats often use mild and controlled signs of body language. A minor flick of the tail or the slightest movement of the ears send messages that are worth a thousand words to another cat.
Cat Talk: Understanding Cat Body Language - The Spruce
A cat’s ears and tail (as we’ll discuss later) are a vital part of cat body language, and proper interpretation can help you better understand Fluffy’s moods and in some cases, keep you safe from injury.
Understanding Cat Body Language: The Tail
There are at least nineteen different types of "miaow" which differ in pitch, rhythm, volume, tone, pronunciation and the situations in which they are used. The familiar purr may be used for contentment, self-reassurance or an invitation for close contact. Injured or sick cats (and even dying cats) may purr because the sound frequency has been shown to soothe the cat and to promote healing. The "miaow" and purr are just two of at least thirteen different categories of sound made by cats: caterwaul, chatter, chirrup (chirp), cough-bark (rare in pet cats), growl, hiss (with or without spit). meow, mew (of kittens), purr, scream, squawk, yowl and idiosyncratic sounds (i.e. sounds peculiar to an individual cat). There are probably over 30 different sounds. The number of sounds a cat makes depends on how much the cat communicates with (a) other cats and (b) other non-cats e.g. humans. Cats which communicate with humans a lot have a wider spoken vocabulary because they learn that humans understand sounds but cannot easily understand feline body language. Cats learn which sounds elicit the desired response from their human companions and some cats have a wider "vocabulary" than others. Purring and vocal communication is discussed in detail in "". You may also wish to read ""Cats kept with other cats are communicating with each other all the time through body language and scent. They are communicating with their owners all the time too, it's our problem that we can't understand their language. Cats work out which sounds elicit suitable responses from humans (positive feedback) and learn to make those sounds in order to achieve a particular aim e.g. for a door to be opened. Since humans are in charge, it makes sense for the cat to learn to communicate vocally though it must sometimes be frustrating to a cat which has clearly communicated its mood using facial expression to have to explain things vocally to humans. It is the feline equivalent of speaking slowly and loudly to a foreigner!