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How Do Cats Communicate With Each Other?

In contrast to dogs, who express their emotions by slobbering and waving their tails, cats frequently appear intent to keep us guessing about their thoughts.

When cats meow at humans, they may be communicating anything from "I'm hungry!" to "Get off my sofa!" Even purring, which is commonly seen as a sign of contentment, might signal that a cat is agitated or ill.

Cat communication may be puzzling to humans, but what about for cats themselves? How do cats interact with one another?

Cats interact with one another primarily through body language, scent marking, behavior, and vocalizations. Continue reading "How Do Cats Communicate With Each Other?" on BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to learn more about each of these ways cats communicate with one another!

Body Language

For cats, their tails are frequently the key to understanding their body language. In part, cats who feel peaceful and secure with one another may indicate this by keeping their tails erect, frequently with only the tip twitching.

In contrast, cats express fear, wrath, or uncertainty by tucking or lashing their tails from side to side.

As a gesture of trust, cats who are comfortable with another cat may turn over and expose their bellies. By making eye contact and sluggishly blinking, cats also communicate their approbation and affection.

If a cat feels unsure about another cat, it may move more slowly, arch its back to seem larger, or flatten itself closer to the ground.

Ears pressed against the skull or legs drawn close to the body are signs that a cat feels intimidated enough to engage in aggressive behavior. It would be prudent for the other cat to escape this predicament.

Scent Marking

Smell is one of the most essential means of communication between cats. All cats have smell glands on their faces and heads, allowing them to leave a scent on things, humans, and other cats by rubbing their faces and heads.

When cats leave their smell on an object, they are communicating to other cats, “This is mine.” Leave it alone.”

Additionally, cats leave their smell to identify their territory and warn other cats to keep away. In the best-case scenario, your indoor cat will settle for face rubbing to mark its territory because the other typical method cats use to communicate with smell, urine spraying, is undesired.

Outdoor cats, particularly males, spray urine to mark their territory and deter other males from entering. Sometimes, indoor cats will also spray. Typically, this occurs when the cat gets stressed, such as when a new cat moves into the house.

Spraying is the first step in a cat’s communication of territorial ownership to an invader.


Cats employ certain actions to express their emotions to one another. By grooming and licking one another, cats, for example, express affection and occasionally dominance.

Touching their noses and rubbing their heads and bodies together are further ways in which cats demonstrate acceptance and affection for one another.

Cats who are affectionate and kind may even intertwine their tails, similar to how people clasp hands.

In addition to grooming, cats may assert their dominance over another cat by sitting on them, driving them out of rooms or off furniture, and forcing them away from their food.

Indicators of fear or hostility in cats include stalking, swatting, or fighting other cats, as well as furious vocalizations.


Cats rely less on verbal communication than on the strategies we’ve just explored. However, this does not imply that they do not employ linguistic ways of expression.

Cats utilize hissing, growling, spitting, and yowling to indicate hostility, rage, and fear.

Kittens meow to indicate hunger or pain to their moms, while adult cats utilize this way of communication less frequently. In fact, mature cats meow more frequently with people than with one another.

Apparently, cats believe that people can only comprehend them if they speak in “baby language”

Why You Should Care What Your Cats Say To Each Other

Now that you know more about how cats communicate, you may wonder why this is significant.

Now that you have a better understanding of what you’re seeing, observe the interaction between your cats. What habits take on new significance and provide greater insight into the interaction between your cats?

Perhaps you believed that your cats’ constant grooming was a sign that they were getting along well, not that one was bullying the other. Or perhaps you have brought home a new cat and now recognize the fearful behavior of your old cat.

Understanding how your cats communicate enables you to identify potential issues with your cats before they worsen.

Behavior issues are a leading cause of cats being surrendered to animal shelters, and the sooner any potential problems are identified, the greater the likelihood of resolving them.

Consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about your cat’s behavior towards other cats or even humans. They will be able to assist you analyze your cat, diagnose any medical concerns that may be contributing, and if necessary, send you to an animal behaviorist.


Communication is difficult with cats and people alike. Even having the gift of language, humans can have difficulty understanding one another at times.

Understanding what our cats are saying, particularly to one another, may be difficult. However, it may play a crucial role in ensuring that our cats live happy, stress-free lives.

We believe “How Do Cats Communicate With Each Other?” on BestForPets (bestforpets.org) will assist you to study how cats interact with one another, so enhancing your relationship with your pets and maybe allowing you to discover new ways to communicate with them!

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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