Cats are known for their expressive faces. They can make nearly 300 different facial expressions, according to a new study.
The study, Feline Faces: Unraveling the Social Function of Domestic Cat Facial Signals, found that cats use their faces to communicate various emotions, including happiness, sadness, anger, and fear.
The study’s authors say cats’ facial expressions are as complex as those of humans and other primates. They say that cats use their facial expressions to communicate with each other and with humans.
Here are 12 of the most common cat facial expressions and what they mean:
The slow blink:
A slow blink is a sign of affection and trust. If your cat slowly blinks at you, it’s their way of saying, “I love you.”
Headbutting is a way for cats to mark their territory and claim ownership of their belongings. It’s also a way for them to show affection.
The eye squint:
A squinted eye is a sign of contentment and relaxation. If your cat squints their eyes, it’s their way of saying, “I’m happy and comfortable.”
The wide eyes:
Wide eyes are a sign of fear or surprise. If your cat is staring at you with wide eyes, it’s their way of saying, “I’m scared!”
The flattened ears:
Flattened ears are a sign of aggression or fear. If your cat flattens their ears, it’s their way of saying, “Back off!”
The exposed teeth:
Exposed teeth are a sign of aggression or fear. If your cat shows you their teeth, it’s their way of saying, “I’m warning you!”
The arched back:
An arched back is a sign of fear or aggression. If your cat arches their back, it’s their way of saying, “I’m ready to fight!”
The raised tail:
A raised tail is a sign of confidence or excitement. If your cat raises their tail, it’s their way of saying, “I’m in charge!”
The lowered tail:
A lowered tail is a sign of fear or submission. If your cat lowers their tail, it’s their way of saying, “I’m scared.”
The puffed-up fur:
Puffed-up fur is a sign of fear or aggression. If your cat puffs up their fur, it’s their way of making themselves look bigger and more intimidating.
Hissing is a sign of aggression or fear. If your cat hisses at you, it’s their way of saying, “Leave me alone!”
Meowing is a way for cats to communicate with each other and humans. Cats meow for a variety of reasons, such as to get attention, to ask for food, or to express their emotions.
Now that you know what some of the most common cat facial expressions mean, you can better understand what your cat is trying to communicate to you. So next time you see your cat making a funny face, don’t be alarmed! They’re just trying to talk to you.
Cats are amazing creatures, and their ability to make nearly 300 facial expressions is just one of the many things that makes them so special. By learning to understand their facial expressions, you can better understand your cat and build a stronger bond with them.
Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,