One of the most popular household pets, the cat, has a very special (and somewhat complex) way of communicating. But it’s not impossible to understand, and if you pay special attention to her ears, eyes, tail, etc., you’ll be able to understand what does a cat’s body language mean.

As these animals communicate in many different ways, the key to understanding them is in interpreting their language as something global while also getting to know what different parts of their bodies express. But if we pay attention in certain movements to the following, it will be easier to understand what a cat is feeling:


  • Belly up: this position indicates that your feline friend is comfortable and trusts you, in addition to feeling relaxed. Nevertheless, this doesn’t have to be an invitation for you to stroke her belly. Cats aren’t usually fond of this and they might scratch or bite. That’s why it’s better to stroke her head.
  • Arched back: this posture isn’t a good sign, because if your cat is trying to make herself look as big as possible, it means she’s scared or annoyed.
  • Standing up on back legs: if your cat does this, she is greeting you or inviting you to stroke her or play with her.
  • Face down, curled in a ball: it’s most likely the cat doesn’t want any contact if she’s curled up in a ball with all her body close to the ground, because that’s how they protect themselves from possible attacks.


  • Tail erect: if the animal has a straight tail with a small kink at the end, this usually indicates he’s in a friendly mood, but still alert. When it’s completely straight, it usually means the cat is excited.
  • Moving tail from side to side: slow movements suggests wellbeing. In contrast, if the cat moves it quickly, it’s probably feeling uptight.
  • Tail down: it’s not a positive gesture and mostly a sign of fear, usually meaning the cat is scared, angry or sad.


  • Upright:  the cat is attentive and alert to all that’s going on, but it isn’t usually a bad sign.
  • To the back or side: this is characteristic of a defensive or offensive position, so the animal is most likely scared or angry.

Although we’d love to fully understand everything our feline pals are trying to communicate, the fact is it can be a fairly tricky quest. But these gestures will help you to understand all about what does a cat’s body language mean.

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