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Learning to Speak Cat: What Your Kitten’s Behavior Is Trying to Tell You

shutterstock_105920375Kittens are cute. It is an undeniable fact that the little balls of soft fur that are clumsy in their own kittenish way are probably one of the cutest animals on the planet. When you bring the kitten home, you may be thinking that there is nothing to know about raising cats as they are often portrayed as being pretty self-reliant.

Cats, however, do talk to you and you should have an understanding of what they are trying to say. These communications are not always going to be verbal displays, they will also include the animals’ mannerisms, or how it presents itself.


You may be tempted to try disciplining your kitten in order to break it of any bad habits that may be present. Some suggest making a loud noise by either clapping or banging something, while others suggest using a spray bottle to stop undesirable behaviors.

Whichever method you choose you will want to be sure that you never shake, yell at, or kick the kitten. Kittens, much like human babies, are incredibly delicate. Shaking, hitting, or kicking the kitten can cause serious problems. You will also want to be careful to avoid doing things that cause your kitten to become skittish or afraid of you.


shutterstock_138907445Meows are probably the cats’ most well known means of communication. Though many people do not understand that the cat is indeed letting them know something. The reason most of the time for a cat’s meow is because it wants cat food or attention, or you have just arrived home and the cat is letting you know that you were missed. The meow that accompanies these feelings will be of a higher pitch.

A lower octave cry may signal you that your cat is not feeling well.  Paying attention to your cat and its meowing habits will help you connect with how your cat is feeling. A cat that meows often that suddenly is not meowing, may be an indication that something is wrong. The same is true of the opposite situation as well where a cat that is normally quiet suddenly begins meowing a lot.


A cat uses it’s purr to tell you that it is happy, or at the very least, content. You will notice that the cat will often purr at times when it is being petted, rubbing around your legs, or even just lying comfortably taking a nap. Cats’ will sometimes use their purr as a means to comfort themselves when they are scared, nervous, or anxious.

Show some love…

You may notice that there are few things your cat loves more than simply being at your feet, and rubbing up against you. This is your cats’ way of showing you that they love you. It could be said that this is the cats’ way of petting its human.

Hissing and Growling

Cats demonstrate their fear and disdain in any combination of ways. If your cat is hissing or growling, it’s a pretty good indication that they are scared. The cat will often puff up and all it’s fur will stand on end as well. This is the cats’ way of making itself seem bigger and scarier to whatever is frightening it. This reaction is quite common when the cat comes into contact with another animal, such as a dog. Approach your cat carefully because in fear they may lash out t you.

The whole tail…

Tail TalesMuch in the same way that a dogs tail can indicate how the animal is feeling, a cats’ tail is used to indicate what the cat is feeling. When the cats’ tail

  • Is straight up, your kitten is happy.
  • Is tucked between the legs, the kitten is scared.
  • Is widely swishing, the cat is annoyed.
  • Is moving rapidly side to side, the cat is agitated.

When the cat is agitated you need to be weary and stop whatever is bothering the animal, otherwise someone could end up getting bitten or scratched.

It is important that you acknowledge and are aware of what the signals that your cat is sending mean. This can help you to avoid problems and better interact with your pet. Their cues are the best indicators of what they need and their wellness.


This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and a full time pet lover from Wisconsin. When she is not working she likes to travel and read as much as she can. If you have any question feel free to leave a comment.

About hcrotsley

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Currently an owner of 3 dogs and 2 cats, I’ve gained a plethora of pet-related experience over the years. I strive to provide the best home I can for my little terrors, and you’ll read all about our trials and tribulations as I continue down the rewarding yet rocky road of pet parenthood.
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