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7 things that will help you understand your cat

By Emilie Heyl Content Writer

Updated on the

Despite not speaking a human language, cats can communicate both with us and their fellow felines. Noises, body language, particular gestures: it is up to us to translate them and ensure their happiness. 

It is not always easy to understand our feline companions, but know that nothing is impossible. With practice and patience, deciphering your cat’s language to meet his needs can be child’s play. The proof? Here are 7 explanations of feline behaviours. 


Purring is without a shadow of a doubt what characterises a cat. A clear sign of happiness, it is most often heard when the cat is snuggled up. It is a way of showing his owner that he is enjoying their moment together. 

However, be careful:it is not always the case that purring is associated with peace. A cat who purrs ceaselessly and without any particular reason may be suffering. A phenomenon especially observed when a cat is giving birth. 


Did you know, a kitten has 16 different ways of meowing but an adult cat has just 9. These vocalisations are also divided into two groups: positive meows - when the animal meows in a loop to show that he is happy - and negative meowing, which are short sounds with silences in between and sound like they’re calling for help.  

A wagging tail

When your cat looks at you, does his tail swing slowly? Don’t panic: this is a way of showing you that he is happy to see you. On the other hand, if the movement becomes nervous and more lively: it is better to leave him alone. Your feline will show that he is angry and ready to pounce. Don’t wait for him to start growling and spitting or scratching. 

Rubbing against your legs

When your cat rubs himself against you, as surprising as it may be, he is showing his affection. It is a way of marking you, by rubbing himself against you he is leaving behind territorial pheromones.


As humans, we yawn to refresh our brains, cats on the other hand, yawn when they are completely relaxed. 


Cats are precious: in the animal kingdom, they are probably those that care the most about personal hygiene. When not hunting or sleeping, it is not uncommon to find your cat grooming himself. As long as he is taking care of himself then this is a sure sign that he is well. 
However, like with purring, this must not be excessive: if he constantly licks the same area to the point of removing his fur and / or hurting himself, he may be in pain or stressed. If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult your vet.


This is the way your cat uses his paws to massage or knead pillows, beds and even you. Insticitive, even innate, this act is developed at birth and is used by kittens to help draw milk from the mother. As they grow up, this habit persists: it’s a way of relaxing. So when your cat massages you, he is showing that he is happy and well. 

But as with everything, excess is not necessarily a good sign: he could be stressed…

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