While some people may consider animals nothing more than pets, the truth is that the bond you can have with your cat or dog can be incredibly unique. Animals are loyal and will stay by your side through thick and thin. From your younger years into your older years, your animal is there when you need it most. And while animals may not communicate exactly the same way as humans do, that doesn’t mean they’re not communicating. It’s all about tuning into what they’re trying to say by understanding their cues. Here are some of the ways your animal communicates with you.
If you manage to touch a cat in the wrong way, they’re going to let you know by displaying a certain type of body language. Usually, they will pull their ears back, or start waving their tail—which in a cat’s case does not mean the same thing as a dog.
When a dog wags their tail, it’s a clear indication that they’re happy, whereas the cat is letting you know that you are pushing the limits of its patience. Lastly, look for puffed-up fur. Usually, this means they’re scared, or in self-defense mode. Observing your animal’s body language will help you better understand how they feel in their environment, and what their current emotional state is.
Animals may not have words, but they certainly have sounds! Dogs may bark, whine, or even growl to show you a wide variety of reactions or needs. Whereas cats meow purr or hiss at you to express what they’re trying to say. While a bark can mean various things, you can tell exactly what it means by paying close attention to the pitch. A happy bark sounds very different from an agitated or fearful dog bark.
The same goes for a cat. A cat who is meowing in distress will sound very different from a cat who’s meowing playfully or wants your attention. The more you pay attention to your animal, the more tuned in you are to what each vocalization means.
Eye contact is everything in the animal kingdom. Intensely staring at you is a powerful form of direct communication from an animal. A sustained gaze for a long period of time may indicate that an animal trusts you. While avoiding eye contact can be a signal of fear and submission. The truth is that it can vary depending on the animal, and only you will know what it means. The most important thing when it comes to eye contact is respecting your animal’s boundaries. Forcing an animal to look at you when they don’t want to may come across as a sign of aggression.