Feline Body Language: What Your Cat Is Telling You

Feline body languageFeline body language speaks volumes if you know how to interpret it.  Here are a few common gestures and what they mean:

Rubbing Against You

Your cat is saying he approves of you, and he’s also marking you as his possession with his scent glands

Head Bump

This is the feline equivalent to a thumbs up.  It’s okay to reciprocate with a head bump back to your cat.  If you ask him a question and he responds with the head bop, he’s giving you his seal of approval.

Shaking A Paw At Food

This may mean one of two things, either your cat does not like the food offering, or he’s finished with his food and it’s time to take the dish away.


This ties back to your cat’s innate behavior of kneading his mother’s teat so it will express milk.  This provides a feeling of comfort and cats will often knead soft surfaces and purr to relax.


Cats use their paws much as we use our hands.  My cat Bo used to wrap his paw around finger and draw it to him.  Marty, on the other hand, uses his paw to tap me on the shoulder as if to say “hey, pay attention to me!”

If your cat sometimes sleeps with a paw over his face, don’t disturb him.  That sleep posture is a cat’s way of reducing the flow of oxygen to induce a deeper level of sleep.

Cat’s paws contain sweat glands, so if your cat is feeling overheated, he’ll feel damp paw prints when he walks.


Yes, cats do smile!  Scratch your cat under his chin and watch the smile appear.

What has your cat’s body language said to you lately?


Source:  Cat Lover’s Daily Companion by Kristen Hampshire, Iris Bass and Lori Paximadis

Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.

2 Responses to "Feline Body Language: What Your Cat Is Telling You"

    1. My guy will shake the paw if he’s rather bored with the food offering. I have to change it up for him, he definitely likes variety

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