We all know cats can’t talk – well, with words anyway… But they certainly do communicate with us through vocalisations such as meows, purrs, growls and hisses, but also through their body language. Cats and people have quite different social needs and sometimes we can misunderstand what our cats are trying to say to us if we’re not well-versed in “Cat Speak”. Here’s a quick, fun quiz for you to see how well you’re ‘reading’ your cat:

Number 1:
This cat is:

a) Smiling and happy

b) Playful and wants to have a scratch

c) Probably growling and wants to be left alone




Correct answer: C This facial expression and pulling back is typical of a cat that really wants to be left alone – it is probably growling!

Number 2:

This cat is:

a) Wanting to go to sleep

b) Relaxed but alert – may get up to play if you bring its toys out

c) Feeling unsure




Correct Answer: B This cat is quite relaxed but its ears are listening and it’s watching what’s going on around it. Despite feeling quite comfortable, this kitty may get up to have a play if you bring out some toys.

Number 3:

This cat would:

a) Like to have a scratch

b) Is relaxed and about to go to sleep

c) Would prefer you leave him alone




Correct Answer: C This cat is avoiding eye contact and turning its head away – two clear indicators that it would rather not have any interaction. It is also turning its ears sideways and away which also indicates that it’s starting to feel a bit anxious and uncertain.

Number 4:

This cat is:

a) Really enjoying this cuddle

b) Is feeling relaxed and happy

c) Is feeling tense and would rather be somewhere else





Correct Answer: C This cat is tense (tense facial muscles, whiskers pulled forwards and tense body with alert ears) and despite the woman enjoying the cuddle, he is not.

Number 5:

This cat is:

a) Feeling really scared

b) Is wanting to have a play

c) Is wanting to be picked up





Correct Answer: A This kitty is really scared (dilated pupils, crouched and hiding) and is probably feeling really nervous about what is happening in the environment. Leaving this cat alone and allowing her to come out when she’s feeling safe enough.

Number 6:

These cats:

a) Have just met and are making friends

b) Are already good friends and like spending time together

c) Are not familiar with each other – cats just like grooming each other




Correct Answer: B These cats would already be good friends – cats generally are not very good at ‘making new friends’ unless they are quite young and sociable. Some individuals may be happy to be introduced to others when they are already grown, but the is the exception rather than the rule.


If you have any questions about your cat’s behaviour, whether what it’s doing is normal or not, or if you’re concerned, feel free to get in touch vet@healthypetmobilevet.com.au or 0481 527 678 – we’ll be happy to help!