How many times have you wished your kitty could speak? We all talk to our cats, sometimes meowing back at them in reply. As weird as it may seem to some, your kitty can understand you, picking up on facial cues, the tone of your voice, and your body language.

Your cat has ways of communicating with you too. We have compiled a handy guide to help you decipher their language, so you can easily understand and communicate with your furry friends.

Facial Cues

If your kitty:

  • Raises, then lowers, their head: Someone is getting too close.
  • Closes their eyes, turns their ears to the side, and purrs: Your kitty is happy.
  • Raises their ears, turns them back, and contracts its pupils: Be careful—it’s likely a warning.
  • Points their ears and opens their eyes wide: Your cat’s in the mood to play.
  • Lays their ears flat back, closes their eyes halfway, and turns their head away: Your cat doesn’t want to hurt you and expects the same in return.

Physical Cues

If your kitty:

  • Rubs their head, cheeks or body against you or other cats: They are comfortable.
  • Lies with their belly exposed: They trust you.
  • Arches their back to scratch things: They are cleaning her claws, stretching and/or marking territory using the glands on his/her paws.

Vocal Cues

Well, what about your cat’s voice? The English behavioural scientist Dr. Michael Fox has observed three different groups:

Talkative sounds

Purring and meowing

Kittens often purr when cuddling with their mothers, and meow to gain attention. Therefore, as your little one grows up they use these sounds to communicate with you as they would their mothers.

A loud meow could indicate that your kitty is scared, while a persistent meow indicates your kitty is demanding something like “feed me!” A joyful meow and a delighted purring signal that your cat feels happy. Only in some situations, such as a visit to the vet, will cats purr as a self-soothing technique.

Calling sounds


These sounds are often used by mother cats to call out for their little ones. Some experts suggest that spayed females often chirrup to us as they see us as their kittens, which also explains why they feel the need to hunt for us. These sounds are also used when hunting and expresses excitement or frustration.

Excited sounds

Growling, screeching and hissing

A hiss, screech or growl shows that your cat is warning you or other cats to back off as he/she is preparing to fight.

Your kitty uses all of these facial, physical and vocal cues to communicate with you and other cats.

Picking up on these cues will take time, and will get easier as you get to know your kitty. And the closer your cat feels to you, the more he or she will use their voices and actions to communicate. For more tips on your kitten, adult, or senior cat, visit the Whiskas website.