According to scientific studies, feline body language has six main forms of emotional response. Cats have specific types of posturing that indicate emotions like fear, anger, happiness and excitement. So what is your cat really trying to tell you?
- I’m Relaxed
Sitting or lying down with a loose tail and extended legs; normal pupil dilation and ear position.
- I’m Alert
Sitting or lying down with tail and legs close to body; ears and whiskers may twitch to detect disturbances.
- I’m Tense
Sitting or “slinking” down with a tense tail; partially dilated pupils and erect ears.
- I’m Anxious
Lying down or “slinking” with a curled or twitching tail; dilated pupils and partially flattened ears.
- I’m Fearful
Lying on belly or “hovering” over paws, possibly trembling; fully dilated pupils and flattened ears.
- I’m Terrified
Crouched “hovering” over paws, shaking, with fluffed-up fur; fully dilated pupils and flattened ears.
These postures are not universal to all cats, but are the general behaviors felines exhibit while experiencing the above emotions.