The strict answer to the question “What Does my Cat Think of Me” is that we simply don’t know what cats, or animals, are thinking at any given moment. The reason for that lies within the fact that animals can’t express themselves in a way that we can unmistakably understand. However, using deduction and reasoning, we can guess what’s going on in a cat’s head. Keep in mind, though, that cats are, just like people, very different. What might be true for one cat, will not apply to the other.
Having clarified that, let’s examine the clues by analyzing how cats communicate among each other and with humans.
How do Cats Communicate?
Cats communicate in a variety of ways both with each other and with humans to include meowing, hissing, purring, body language (tail, posture, eyes and ears), and behavior (e.g. head-butting or licking). Let’s look at each of them individually:
Meowing is a placeholder that can stand for or all sorts of things: a greeting, an objection, a way to get attention, or an announcement signaling an event. Cats use the “Meow” much like Groot from the Guardian of the Galaxy uses his single sentence “I’m Groot” as a way to express himself: All the meaning is transferred by intonation and accompanying body language. It quickly becomes clear, what meaning is by reading the situation.
A cat will hiss, when (s)he is afraid or scared, that much is clear. It’s an instinctive expression that is often accompanied by a sideways stance, puffy fur and an arched back. This is all meant to appear larger and frighten the source of the scare in return. When it doesn’t, it is usually followed by a quick retreat.
Purring can mean different things. Humans are most familiar with the “I’m very content” purr when a cat is all curled up in your lap while your petting her. On occasion, it can also mean the opposite: some cats will purr when they are in pain or are feeling sick. However, this is relatively rare and is mostly reported by vets who tend to deal with sick cats quite often.
The easiest body part to read is the tale. Basically, in comes in three positions and goes corresponds to a certain stance or posture:
- Raised tail: Your cat is happy, excited and in an overall good mood
- Lowered tail: Your cat is fearful or is not feeling alright
- Somewhere in between, flicking at times: Your cat is on alert, ready to pounce or attack. If this doesn’t agree with other clues (e.g. ears and eyes), it could also mean “Consider me interested…”
In addition to general posture and tail position, the cat ears will give you further clues on what your cat is thinking
- If the ears are pointed towards you, your kitty displays trust and confidence toward your. If they are erect and swiveling, its a sign that your cat is on high alert trying to identify the source of a noise. Sideways pointed ears indicate usually indicate aggression in cats, for example before or during a cat fight.
This is straight forward: A cat that is curled up on your lab trusts you and enjoys the warmth and comfort that your body provides.
If your cat likes to lick you, take it as an honor. It considers you as adoptive parent and provides you with a grooming service.
If your kitty head-butts you, its marking you with its own feline sent through facial glands. It means something along the lines of “You are mine” and tells other cats that your are spoken for. If that makes you wonder who owns whom, you are not alone…
In order to figure out “What does my cat think of me”, you must observe and assess several clues that your cat displays. These clues can be found in your kitty’s vocalizations (the kind of meow, or hissing), its stance and body language, as well as its behavior. With time and practice, you’ll be able to read your cat like an open book and tend to her every desire 😉
If you’d like to learn “How to leash-train a cat”, click this link. More general cat-related information can be found here.