Cat Body Language Chart

  • By: Ufaq Jibran
  • Time to read: 9 min.
Ufaq Jibran
I am a marketing graduate and love to play with words. I have been writing for 2 years with an awesome manner of telling things without bragging too much. That's best! My readers admire my quality of producing impeccable content pieces.

From the swish of a tail to the slow blinking of their eyes, have you ever wondered what your feline friend is trying to communicate? At times, it’s hard to understand what your cat is trying to say, but there are a lot of gestures they make that help you to understand their mood.

Cats are not as expressive as dogs; therefore, it’s critical to recognize even the tiniest cues and shifts in their body language. Like humans, cats have many emotions; they get happy, sad, afraid, and excited according to their experiences. 

Understanding cat behavior and cat’s body language meanings can help develop a strong bond between you and your furry friend. We have compiled a cat’s body language chart for cat lovers to build a strong relationship with their furry friends.

Cat’s Body Language Chart – Brief 

cat body language chart with postures meanings explained

Meaning of a Cat’s Body Language 

Cats’ body language can be subtle; however, if you focus, you will see that cats use various parts of their bodies to communicate their feelings. When your feline friend is in a good mood you might find him stretched out, blinking slowly, or curled in a comfy spot. A soft purr is the ultimate sign of contentment and a cat’s way of showing his love.

But watch out for changes, a fearful cat crouches low, ears flat, eyes wide. Their tail might be tucked or lashing, but it’s their way of showing fear and agitation. Cats’ Aggressive body posturing is usually displayed when threatened or provoked. Hissing, growling, and extended claws mean your cat is threatened. 

However, a playful feline friend is easy to spot; their body posture is characterized by animated movement. Ears are moved forward, eyes bright and focused, and tail held high. Excitement and happiness are visible with playful chirps or trills roaring.

The cat’s posture chart below illustrates several postures of cats with the interpretations.

Cat PostureMeaning 
The tail held high and upright This indicates that the cat is happy and relaxed. 
The tail tucked between the legs This indicates fear and anxiety in the cat. 
Eyes wide open and pupils dilated This indicates cars are happy and contented 
Constricted pupil This indicates that the cat is aggressive and stressed. 
Soft purrIt shows that the cat is happy and content. 

Body language of a Kitten 

Kittens tend to have more playful body language than adults. They differ from their elder companions regarding developmental stages and social experiences. Kittens are more explorative and curious. 

Kittens use everything to make playing exciting, from renegade socks to feathery toys, pouncing, stalking, and hitting with happy ferocity. They tend to play with smaller objects that they can manipulate with their hands or hold with their mouth with ease.

By observing these small details in a Kitten’s body language, you can respond appropriately and fulfill their needs, providing optimal care for their well-being. Let’s have a look at some of the noticeable postures of a kitten to look out for.

Kitten posture Meaning
Arched back and sideways stance Maybe a defensive display or play behavior
Rolling overAppeasement behavior may show that the kitten is comfortable and relaxed.
Unsheathed clawsSign of aggression, or usually part of the play.
A straight-up tailShows that the kitten is friendly or content.
Wide open eyes This means that the kitten is playful or indicates alertness.  

Body Language Of A Sleeping Cat 

Cats are some of the most adorable creatures in the world, but the truth is they look more attractive when they are asleep. Cats are popularly believed to be aloof. However, they tend to develop a social connection with their owners and with other pets. 

Their level of trust and love for the people or creatures around them can be seen in the cats’ sleeping positions. If a cat is curled up like a ball and its face covered with its tail, that means it feels safe and secure in that environment; however, if the cat is stretched out with its belly exposed, it is uncomfortable in your presence.
A relaxing cat’s body language says it all! From conserving body heat by tucking their paws and tails underneath their body. You know they are protecting themselves from the predator’s attack if they are curling up with their head tucked in their limbs close to their body.

From the chart below let’s see and understand the different postures of a sleeping cat with their interpretations.

Sleeping PositionMeaning 
Curled in a ballThis means that your cat is trying to conserve body heat which helps the cat stay warm.
On the backThis means they are trying to protect their vulnerable organs and that they feel safe and confident.
Side SleepingThis also means that the cat is very comfortable with you. 
Lying on the belly (Superman Pose)This indicates that the cats are relaxed. 

Body Language of A Happy Cat 

To give our beloved companions a fulfilling and enriching life experience, it is essential to understand whether our feline friends are happy or not. Happy cats are expressive, their relaxed muscles and slow blinking of eyes shout that they are comfortable. 

Even their meows soften, transforming into trills of delight. A relaxed cat normally exhibits an open and loose body posture with their tail in an upright position. Their happiness may be accompanied by kneading, which may not feel relaxing but your cat surely feels contentment in it.

A Happy cat’s posture and their meanings are mentioned below.

Cat’s Posture Meaning 
An upright tail with a slight c-curve at the tipIt indicates that your cat is happy and comfortable around you. 
Soft eyes (not wide open)This indicates that the cat is playful and happy. 
Staring and binding slowly This indicates that the cat is comfortable and wishes to play with you. 

Body Language of A Scared Cat 

A cat’s Body language is a complex mixture of facial expressions, ear positions, tail movements, and postures. When a cat is scared, she crouches down with its belly tucked close. This makes them feel protected as they are less exposed to the potential threat. 

A scared cat’s ear flattens against their head, becoming a radar scanning for danger. Their Pupils dilate, as they process every aspect of the perceived threat. The ultimate warning signal of a scared cat is its vocals, they hiss and they growl with snarled lips and bared teeth.

The body language of a desperate and scared cat is illustrated in the table below.

Cat’s posture Meaning 
Crouching DownThis means that your cat is afraid. 
Tucked tail with their ears flat backThis indicates that your cat is in fight mode and may be scared as well. 
Back arched and hair raised hissing or growling with wide, dilated pupils.This also indicates that your cat is scared, maybe because of another predator. 

Body Language of An Angry Cat 

Anger is one emotion that is communicated through body language. When a cat is angry, all its postures are geared to attain attention and get what it wants. An angry cat is aggressive and noisy, meowing loudly, pacing, rubbing, or scratching itself. 

The worst part is they resort to biting or causing harm to whoever annoys them. Understanding the signs of anger is crucial for a harmonious relationship between you and your furry friend. It’s essential to identify the trigger and address it. 

By understanding the angry cat postures given below, one can navigate feline frustrations and help them overcome them, leading to a better relationship with them. Consult the chart below to understand your cat’s anger.

Cat’s posture Meaning 
Arched back and stiffened body This indicates that the cat is angry and trying to protect itself. 
Ears pulled back, pupils constrictedConstricted pupil is a sign of fear and anger in a cat. 
Whiskers pointing forward and teeth bared This shows that the cat is angry and may try to attack you. 

Body Language of a Warrior Cat 

Warrior cats aren’t your everyday average house cats; they are untamed felines living by a warrior code. Warrior cats rely heavily on communicating with their nonverbal gestures rather than verbal communication.  

These cats lick each other’s faces, showing trust and affection. Moreover, the warrior cat is hygiene-conscious so it regularly grooms and cleans itself. A warrior cat’s tail movements convey much information about its mood and intentions. A high tail indicates confidence and assertiveness, while a tucker and lower tail show submission or fear. 

An alert cat has forward-facing ears, while flattened or pinned-back ears signal fear or aggression. A bristling fur and an unwavering stare of a warrior cat signify aggression and a threat to trespassers. Communication within a clan is similar to domestic cats; slow blinking of eyes shows trust and peace between the clan-mates. 

We will be discussing some key aspects and the signals they convey from their body language.

Cat Posture Meaning 
A sharp flick and an agitated expressionIt means the cat is annoyed, irritated, or impatient.
Tail Held Erect and Sweeping from side to sideThis usually means that the cat wishes to retreat silently
Tail Pointing Low, Parallel to the ground, and sweepingThis means “Spread out” in the cat’s language. 

Body language of a Sick cat 

A sick cat tends to tuck itself into a ball with their head low; it can roll to a side when feeling weak. This hunched or crouched is a cat’s painful posture or lethargy, indicating that the cat is trying to conserve energy. 

the tail is a powerful communication tool and should be closely monitored. A healthy cat holds its tail high, however, a sick cat’s tail might droop, exhibit unusual twitching, or become rigid.

Usually, cats are playful, but when they are sick they look a little off than usual. They become lethargic with sluggish movements, lacking their charisma. Another sign to watch out for is a cat struggling to lift its head properly or exhibiting an unusual head tilt. Similarly, 

Some cat postures to look out for when cats are sick are mentioned below.

Cat’s posture Meaning 
Holding head low This indicates that your cat might not be feeling well or might be anxious about something. 
Squinting their eyesSquinting eyes indicates that something might not be right with your cat. 
Low-set earsLow-set ears are a sign of feeling depressed or sick for cats. 

Body Language of an Anxious Cat 

When eyes dilate and tails tuck, it’s time to recognize that something is wrong with your cat. It’s either stress or anxiety that’s making your pet feel uncomfortable. One of the most prominent signs of an anxious cat is a change in its posture. 

When your feline friend crouches low on the ground, attempting to make itself less visible to the world, it indicates their desire to flee. This way they follow their instinct to hide away from a potential threat. 

Similarly, when the tail is completely tucked in between the legs, this withdrawal indicates utter fear and a desperate attempt to disappear from the potential threat. 

Observe the anxious cat’s body language chart below and see what different postures mean:

Cat’s posture Meaning 
Ears tucked back on the head This indicates that your cat either wishes to fight or is experiencing some stress and anxiety. 
Ears held low and rotated to the sidesThis also indicates that your cat might be fearful of a predator. 
Squinty or wide, watching eyes with dilated  pupilsThis shows that they either are highly anxious or have seen something frightening. 


If you own a cat as a pet, it is paramount that you observe and learn your cat’s body language to foster a deep connection for its overall well-being. You can recognize their mood, sickness, and happiness by following their postures, eye movements, facial expressions, tail movements, ears, and overall demeanor. 

But why is decoding this feline code so important? Imagine your cat avoiding playing with their favorite toy. Brushing them triggers a growl. You will acknowledge your cat’s comfort or pain if you’re observant enough and have learned your cat’s body language. 

.Analyzing a change in their behavior allows the cat owners to deal with the pet calls 

Accordingly. Consult the cat body language chart to understand the body language of your feline friend and provide them with love, care, and a healthy environment for their well-being. 

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