Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cat body language - The ears

Cats may or may not vocalize much, although they have a wide vocabulary of sounds. Their main communication is through body language. Besides using their tails as a communication tool (see Tales of the cat tail), ears, legs, posture and eyes are all talking, giving us and other members of the animal kingdom clear messages.
  • The Flat Ears: These are seen on the defensive cat. They flatten them to protect them from the impending fight.
  • The Rotated Ears: A cat who is aggressive and hostile will flatten her ears slightly and rotate them forward to show the backs of the ear as near as possible. The ears are in a position where they can be flattened quickly. The cat is ready to fight.
  • The Agitated Ears: The ears may twitch when the cat is in an agitated or anxious state. The signal given off by this action is magnified if there are ear tufts.
  • The Alert Ears: The cat's eyes and pricked ears point forward towards the source of the sound. If there is another sound to one side the ear nearest will swivel to point in the direction of the source of the sound.
  • The Relaxed Ears: They point forward and outward slightly. Our cat listens passively.
  • Ears swiveled sideways like a swing-wing fighter – on the offensive
  • Ears pressed backward onto the head giving the appearance of a snake – extreme defense (ears folded back to protect them from harm)
  • One ear forward and one back – ambivalence
  • Ears rotating like radar dishes – listening carefully in an attempt to find the source of the sound.

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