Understanding Your Cat: 6 Head Postures & What They Mean
Published: August 18, 2020
understanding Your Cat: 6 head postures & What They Mean

6 Head Postures & What They Mean

As part of understanding your cat, it’s important to identify the different head postures your cat may exhibit and to be able to understand what they mean. This enables you to have a better understanding of how your cat may be thinking/feeling. The good thing is that many of these, you’re probably picking up on already without even knowing! Also, it is worth paying attention to the tail position and body posture to get a good overall picture. Let’s take a look at the following head postures:

Relaxed/Neutral

Eyes: Open/Closed, slowly blinking. Pupils are slit to normal size.

Ears: Upright/forward, possibly turning in direction of any sound.

Whiskers: Relaxed and facing forward

Alert

Eyes: Usually open, pupils normal

Ears: Normal to pointing upright

Whiskers: Normal to facing forward

Tense

Eyes: Wide open, pupils normal to partially dilated

Ears: Upright, pointing forwards or back

Whiskers: Normal to facing forward

Anxious

Eyes: Open, pupils dilated

Ears: Partially flattened

Whiskers: Normal to facing forward or back

Fearful

Eyes: Pupils dilated

Ears: Flattened

Whiskers: Flattened/facing back

Angry

Eyes: Pupils narrowed and focused

Ears: Flattened back against head

Whiskers: Straight out, facing away

Resources

https://walkandwagchapelhill.com/cat-body-language/

https://www.purina.co.uk/cats/behaviour-and-training/understanding-cat-behaviour/cat-body-language

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