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You might sometimes wonder how cats communicate with each other, especially if you have a bunch of them at home! The fact is that cat communication can be quite complicated. But there are a few distinct ways in which these animals converse with each other. Let’s find out!
Verbal Communication (“Meow” “Meow”!)
Meowing is the most commonly recognized form of cat communication. This is actually vocalization in cat world. But what most people don’t know is that there isn’t just one type of ‘meow’. Yes, if you notice closely, your cat will meow at a variety of different pitches, volumes and intensities as it helps in communicating different emotions. For instance, if the cat does a loud ‘meow’, then it is likely an indication of anxiety or fear. On the other hand, if a cat does an intense ‘meow’, she is trying to portray contentment and confidence.
Besides meowing, your cat may also use other verbal communication like purring, growling or even howling occasionally. Purring is usually taken to be an indication of contentment. However, mother cats may also purr to calm their baby kittens.
Non-Verbal Communication (Body language)
Cats have a very gentle body language that can be quite difficult to notice and interpret. All her movements and features need to be considered in order to make any sense of what she is trying to say. This includes the movement of her ears, tail and eyes as well as the specific body position.
Generally speaking, a cat will take on a different body posture for every distinct situation, whether it is communicating with humans or other cats. However, some of the basic movements showcased by cats as part of their non-verbal communication include batting of eyelashes, rolling over to expose the abdominal area, arching of the back and holding up of the tail among others.
Each of these movements is some sort of message. For instance, arching of the back usually means that your cat is ready for a fight and its best not to bother her!
The primary way in which cats communicate with each other is through scent markings. You may often find a cat rubbing her head against another cat’s cheek. This action is a way of saying that the two are comfortable and happy in each other’s company. A cat has specific glands on her face which produce chemicals called ‘pheromones’. These glands help them to communicate through scent.
You might be surprised to know that the ‘paw pads’ on a cat’s paws also release scents. The kneading action of a cat can be attributed to this. These animals leave a scent behind when the move from one spot to the other.