Hear Meow-t! How Cats Communicate

People think I’m crazy when I talk to my cats. What they don’t understand is that my cats are constantly talking to me. It would be rude to not respond!

In all seriousness, cats are always communicating with their humans.

The humans are just rarely listening. 

That’s because our cats don’t use words to speak to us, but instead their body language and actions. Okay, and a little bit of their voice, too. 

Hear meow-t. 

Cats talk to people in several ways:

Cats Talk by Meowing

Have you ever heard a feral cat meow? Probably not. That’s because cats typically only meow at humans. This seems to be a learned social skill that domesticated cats picked up over their time with their guardians. 

That’s why it is so important that you listen when your cat meows. If they go through the effort of meowing at a human, it means they need you to know something. Whether they’re demanding food, wanting snuggles, or simply saying hello, meowing is one of the most popular ways cats communicate with the people around them. 

Belle always has a lot to say—and her trills are the cutest!

Cats Talk with Their Tails

Tail language is one of the most effective ways that cats let people know how they are feeling. Like how eyes are the windows to the soul, a cat’s tail is a window to their mood. 

When a cat holds her tail straight up and down, it usually means she’s happy and confident. If her tail lays parallel to the ground and in line with her body, she’s inquisitive and exploring. When her tail falls low to the ground—or even between her legs—she’s scared and unsure. Your cat’s tail speaks volumes!

Cats Talk through Their Actions

The actions your cat makes also say a lot about what she is thinking, feeling, or trying to let you know. These can include scratching, biting, hissing, or even peeing outside of the litter box. Typically, these specific actions mean your cat is upset or something is physically wrong and she should be seen by a vet. 

On the other hand, your cat can show paws-itive feelings through her actions! Purring, nuzzling, and kneading her paws to make biscuits are all signs that your cat is comfortable and loves you. 

Rainbow is a biscuit making pro!

Listen to your cat. 

This just scratches the surface when it comes to cat communication. Your cat may talk to you in all of the ways above, one of the ways, or in an entirely different way. What matters is that you pay attention, listen, and respond appropriately. 

Rainbow will talk to me often with a lot of sweet meows, while Belle will make her point clear with the position of her tail. Both cats are their own unique individual, and we’ve learned to hear what each is saying—even if they say it in a completely different way. 

How does your cat talk to you? Leave your favorite story in the comments below!

I know a lot about cats, but I’m not a veterinarian. Please don’t take any of the statements I give as medical advice and do always take your cat to a trusted vet for an appointment, especially if your cat is experiencing behavioral challenges.

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