You can become an expert at understanding cat moods just by observing their face, ears, and eyes. Look at the position of their ears and whiskers, and check to see if their pupils are dilated or contracted. Each change reveals how your cat is feeling.
Here are some examples of how a cat’s face, ears and eyes indicate her mood:
- If your cat raises her head and then lowers it, someone is getting too close to her.
- If your cat closes her eyes almost shut, turns her ears to the side, and starts purring, she’s feeling pleasure.
- If your cat raises her ears, turns them back, and contracts her pupils, this is a warning to be careful.
- If your cat's pupils widen in spite of the light, she’s startled.
- If your cat points her ears and opens her eyes wide, she wants to play.
- If your cat lays her ears flat back, closes her eyes halfway, and turns her head away, she’s showing she doesn’t intend to hurt her companion and expects the same consideration.
As you get to know your kitten better, you'll become better at understanding her language – just like a mother comes to understand her baby. And, the closer a cat is to her human, the more she'll use her voice.
The English behavioral scientist Dr. Michael Fox has noted 16 different sounds within a cat‘s language, which he's divided into three groups:
Talkative sounds: A joyful "meow" and a delighted purring. These sounds signal that your cat feels comfortable and is content with herself, the world, and her human. Only in some situations, such as a visit to the vet’s, will cats purr because they feel helpless and want to comfort themselves.
Calling sounds: The cat is demanding something, such as, "open the door!" or "feed me!"
Excited sounds: A vigorous "Krrr" (when she is afraid) or a hiss "Ch-Ch-Krrr" when she is about to fight, up to shrill screeching.