In order to earn their Bronze Award, Girl Scout Troop 30583 decided to help educate people in our community about different issues involving pets by writing news articles for BRHS to use. This first article is all about Cat Body Language by Emma Grace.

“I love my cat and his irresistible softness and purring, but I want to respect him, too. I don’t want to pick him up and cuddle him when he is clearly stressed, angry, or annoyed. Cats cannot talk, but they still let you know how they are feeling.”

“Cats use their tail, face, and whole body to tell you how they are feeling. Cats who are displaying signs of stress, anger, or annoyance should not be handled out of respect for them. What do cats look like when they are stressed, angry, or annoyed? They may flatten their ears and their pupils (the black part of their eyes) may get bigger. Cats may fluff, twitch, or tuck their tail between their legs. Cats may puff their fur and tail and arch their backs to try to look bigger than they really are. Cats might also behave strangely, like hiding and hissing at you, and flattening themselves. When I pick up my cat and he doesn’t want to be picked up, he twitches his tail. When I put him back down, he stops twitching his tail. He tries to say to me ‘I’m annoyed. Put me down.’ ”

“I want to play with my cat when he is happy and relaxed. Happy and relaxed cats may hold their tail up in the air to say, ‘I’m glad to see you.’ These cats will be doing normal things like eating, grooming, playing, or sleeping. They will also have their whiskers forward, ears up, and their pupils are small. Relaxed cats will not flick their tails, because when cats flick their tails, they are annoyed and not happy like dogs. When my cat is relaxed, he likes to play. He also puts his tail up.”

“If you pay attention to what your cat is saying, you will respect him or her and your cat will be much happier.”