Cat Body Language – Decoding the Ears

Cat’s are complicated creatures, but they do communicate with us; it’s up to us to decipher what it is that our cat friends are trying to tell us


Over the years, many experts in the field have studied cats and their behaviour; carrying out in-depth tests on their body language. They have found that one of the most expressive parts of the cats body are their ears!

There are a million and one fascinating facts about cat ears – for example, did you know that each ear contains well over two dozen muscles. These muscles enable your cat to independently move each of his or her ears 180 degrees, like little radar dishes scanning for sounds.

Proper interpretation of your cats body language will help you bond with your feline friends – this can only be a good thing!

You will be able to understand their moods, when they are suffering and you could even spot the very early signs of illness before they develop into something more serious.

“Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos .Aenean non turpis vitae ligula tristique sagitt isras varius erat pulvinar eros pretium”

Your Cat in Relaxed Mode

Your cats ears will point slightly to the side and forward, this indicates that he or she is content. There will also be a sense of well being and there should not be any signs of aggression or fear seen in your cats behaviour when the ears are in this position.

Your Cat in Alert and Interested Mode

Cats are very sharp and lots of things will catch his or her interest. This could be a small garden bird taking flight or even some leaves being blown around by a gust of wind. When your cats interest has been aroused, it’s ears will assume a straight upright position and they will sit forward along with the rest of your cats body – ready for action.

You will often also see your cats ears do this when you walk into the room they happen to be in. Its a friendly greeting, a little happy ‘hello’ to you after you get back from work, or come home after a shopping trip.

Your Cat in Nervous Mode

If your cats ears twitch its a sure sign that they are nervous and more than a little agitated. When this happens it would be a good idea to reassure him or her with a gentle embrace, maybe a few soothing words. However this twitching should only last a little while; any longer than a few hours it would be a cause for concern and it would be sensible to have your cat checked with their vet.

Your Cat in Aggressive Mode

When your cat moves their ears from a front facing forwards position to a backwards one – its an aggressive gesture.

When they move from a front facing to a flat position (where they lay down against the top of your cats head) this is also a show of aggression. These signs will normally be noticed if your cat sees another cat in your garden. This is just one of the ways your cat will be preparing to fight.

If your cats ears move from an upright standing position to a flat position down against their head, then its a sign for you to leave them alone. They are annoyed or frightened about something; watch out, because they could be planning to attack you too!

Look at the rest of the body language your kitty will be exhibiting at this point. Are they getting ready to pounce?

The reason your cats ears will be flattened down is to protect it’s ears from the claws of other cats – or from other sources of harm. It’s your cats way of streamlining him or herself so that they are fully prepared when an attack does happen – they could be preparing to play fight with you!

If you notice that your cats ears are constantly in this position there could be something more serious going on. Perhaps there is an ear infection, maybe ear mites or ticks. In this case it would be advisable to take kitty to the vet and have their ears checked.

When your cats ears indicated that they are in an attacking mood then it really wouldn’t be a good idea for you to pick your cat up. Leave them to calm down by themselves, this is often the best way. Although we love everything about our cats, it is also worth bearing in mind that they do have some very sharp claws – they can really do some damage!

Your Cat in Confused Mode

Cat’s ears are clever and move independently;  occasionally one will move while the other one stays still. When the two ears are in different positions it means that your cat may be confused. He or she maybe unsure of how to respond to you or something that has happened. They are most likely to withdraw to a place that is safe and away from the situation. Don’t worry, you can rest assured that your feline friend will come back to you once he or she is comfortable.

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