Why is My Cat Doing That? Cat Behaviors Explained

Cat Behaviors Explained

Well, you probably already know, that when a cat is hissing that means to get the meow away. When a cat is purring it means love me or I’m injured but there’s a lot of gestures and behaviors your cat is desperately trying to tell you to no avail.

Let’s go over a few of them and hopefully you’ll be able to better understand you cat afterwards.


Sometimes you might be woken up in the morning to your cat licking your face. The licking is indeed very cute and cats does it for a few different reasons.

Show of affection – He might just want to show you some affection that’s what it means most commonly. If you pet him, he wants to return the favor and his way of doing it is to lick you. It means that he cares about you. Cat also lick other animals for the same reasons, it’s also a way for them to reduce anxiety, similar to when we hug someone.

Clean yourself – In some cases when a cat is licking you, they might simply be trying to teach you how to clean yourself. I wouldn’t recommend taking this advice, to my knowledge water and soap still works better. This is most common in female cats, they will consider you part of the family and think that you’re not really good at being cat. Cats have memories from their mother licking them and will revive them on you.

Get out of bed – your cat might think it’s time for you to get up so he might try to lick you until you’re up, or until you found a way to cat proof your blanket.

Showing You His Belly

This is the ultimate sign of trust. A cat will never show it’s belly to anybody in the wild they will always try to protect it from any lurking danger. When your cat is showing you his belly he is showing you his vulnerable spot. It doesn’t mean you should pet it, in fact do not pet it, if you do he might retract his decision to show you his belly and attack your hand. Just show him your belly in return.

Tail Expressions

Wagging the tail – If your cat is wagging his tail, it doesn’t mean the same as when a dog does it  which means happy Doggo, but if a cat does it that’s bad. It usually means that your cat is unhappy about something and that somebody is being annoying, if you try petting him at that moment you might get slapped. Be aware!

Curling up the tail in a circle – usually means he is happy

Tail standing straight up – Means that he is a very proud cat and a very confident one as well

Tail going straight down – even sometimes under his legs, can mean that he is scared or wants to be left alone. A cat will do that when you might be vacuum cleaning or if you sneeze very loudly.

Cat Ears

Ears pointing forward – Could either mean that your cat is interested in something or that he is feeling playful.

Ears pointing straight up – Would usually mean that he is being alert, his eyes would be wide open as well, he would either be standing straight up or standing still. That’s your cats way of saying, something’s going on.

Ears flat back against the head – That’s bad, this means that he is angry or aggressive, when your cat is doing this he is telling anybody don’t mess with me. Probably a good idea to leave this badass alone.

Eye Expressions

Blinking Slowly – Sometimes you might notice that when you walk into a room you look at your cat and see him slowly blinking whilst looking at you. You might think nothing of it, just that he is sleepy. In fact this is your cats way of greeting you, he is just saying hi to you. So next time you notice him greet you, greet him back.

Eyes Half Closed – Indicated that your cat is relaxed or very trusting of you.

Eyes Closed – This is a strong indication that your cat is sleeping.


Sounds dirty I know, but it’s not! A Piloerection is when a cats hair raises on his back or tail, I used to call it Punkcat before I knew the real name. It’s an involuntary reaction that happens because of the nervous system. When something happens that scares the cat, adrenaline will rush through the body, contract his muscles which results in the skin being pull and finally raises the hair. When your cat is doing this he is likely to fight anybody approaching him.


There is many more expressions that aren’t in here and it’s also worth noticing that each and every cat could be expressing themselves differently, this is merely a small guide for you to better understand your cat. Although you will never fully be able to understand your cat, they do some weird stuff sometimes that is just unexplainable, that also what contributes to why we love them so much.

Starring in this Article is my cat Simba the brown one and Ezra, the black one.

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