We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Stumpy thinks he’s a human baby. Play between two cats is a little harder to gauge because one cat may be in the mood to play and the other is not feeling it. Your cat may also swat at other animals to show that it's angry. For tips on how to figure out why your cat is angry in the first place, scroll down! And you thought you couldn't read her mind--cats communicate in so many ways, but we work really hard to understand, and, we usually get it right (after a few trial and errors). Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She watches you from afar. So she will be very happy. Marilyn Krieger, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant and Cat Fancy’s behaviorist, shares what different tail positions mean in cat body language.. Tail up – This is a happy, cheerful cat who is most likely approachable. … Warning:  If you do not know the injured cat, you are better off calling for help because you don't know what diseases the cat might have picked up before it got injured. For example, if your cat is simply swatting and displays no other signs of being angry, it might just be feeling playful. As a cat owner it is also important to make a distinction between play-biting and a real bite. Now, what is the answer to the poll above? The other cat is a three-year-old male; he likes to play aggressively (biting, scratching, hunting) and is very loud. If she doesn't normally act this way, then she might be mad. “Once a cat has switched from annoyed to angry, you will see the tail begin to thump rather than swish (or may become very stiff and still), and his ears may go back,” Dr. Gruen explains. Erect, fur flat: Alert, inquisitive or happy. Cats that are very angry may become aggressive and try to fight. This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Take your cat to a vet to determine if your cat’s angry response is caused by being sick or injured. Several feline behaviorists weigh in on the signals that can help you tell the difference and provide tips on when and how to break it up. Behaviors that tell you this is not a game. This, of course, apart from hissing which is a widely-recognized sign. Forgot password? I love black cats, I have had several through out my time, and will probably have more. You may not be able to see this if the dog has long hair. Tom is extremely curious when it comes to trying new foods. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Find out what signs you should look for so you know how to tell if your cat is in pain. I got a glimpse of it, and mind you, it is not your cute house cat. Watching the position of a cat’s tail is a great way to decipher how a cat is feeling. Well, it actually could be all of the above depending on what you are doing and where you are standing. This type of aggression is usually seen in kittens and young cats. How Cats Use Their Tails to Communicate. How … Playtime is more complicated in multi-cat households where one cat may be more motivated to play than others or any tension is present within the group. Watching the position of a cat’s tail is a great way to decipher how a cat is feeling. You may not be able to see this if the dog has long hair. A cat will nip without really hurting to warn that they don’t like the things you are doing. I love cats, great tips, gonna share this one far and wide. Oh, and the answer to the above is:  Cats run for many reasons, sometimes you have to look at their face before you assume. When the bark is sharp and short, the dog is … If the cat is angry, it will usually have it's back arched, ears flat against it's head, tail puffed up, teeth bared, eyes widened. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. As Popular Science reports , a study out of the University of Helsinki in Finland suggested that dogs know to look away when they see an angry face. I hope you are doing well, I know what a weak kitty can do to you. Playing cats can injure you without meaning to do so, and when they do, you shouldn’t punish them because that will make them afraid to play with you again. Tom is a one-year-old Scottish straight from Kiev, Ukraine. Read on to find out if they are playing with you, or angry with you. Seriously, it depends on the cat. To figure out if your cat is angry, keep an eye out for flattened ears, raised fur, or an arched back, which are all signs that a cat isn't pleased. I truly appreciate the help. Try to understand that they didn’t mean it. In this video I talk about cats playing and how to tell the difference between a cat fight and two cats playing, which can look very similar! if shes mad usually its significantly harder than if shes just playing. Nips--these are little bites that don’t really break the skin and don’t really hurt (they mostly pinch). She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. Redirect the cat’s attention - playful biting often occurs because your cat is bored and looking for something to play with. However, some cats act like this regularly. What I do know is my heart hurts every time I’m hearing it meow very loudly and FAST! Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. A cat with a tail like this is feeling fearful, overwhelmed or angry. Check for the following signs:  if they have their ears back and their eyes are big, they are angry;  if their tail is fluffed way out and their fur is standing up on their back, they are generally frightened (if you have ever startled your cat, you will see the tail and fur fluff because they are frightened and feel they must defend themselves); if they draw blood, they are usually not playing because they are defending themselves or they are frightened or in pain. In a fearful or aggressive cat, you will notice piloerection, which is another word for a puffed-up tail. References. They might try to warn you first with growls and a quick scratch and/or nip, but if you don't listen, watch out. Cats can hurt other cats badly during a major cat fight. They love to rough-house. Also, a cat who is playing is not hostile and its ears will be in the calm, forward position, instead of set back (which indicates fear or aggression). Cats in pain can also uncharacteristically have episodes of aggression. A cat is rarely angry and if it is then you need to understand that this anger is an expression of your cat’s territorialism, its fear or dominance over another cat. Cats who play fight do not move at a fast pace. First off, cats play rougher than we might think. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Your cat’s fur will be flat if this is the case. Other than that, her ears will go back, and she will stop focusing on me, and what we are doing. The cat will emit a loud noise that is a combination hiss, screech, cry and growl. What helpful facts about cats playing or angry. Here's something cool: It seems that dogs can tell when we're angry. “Once a cat has switched from annoyed to angry, you will see the tail begin to thump rather than swish (or may become very stiff and still), and his ears may go back,” Dr. Gruen explains. Register for free. Cats nip for many different reasons. In order to work out when your dog is angry, all you need to do is watch closely and see how it acts. Examining the Nature of the Fight Look for reciprocity. If your cat swats, hisses, or growls at you when you try to pet it, it's most likely upset about something and wanting to be left alone. Watch out for swatting when you try to pet your cat. However, unending hissing or growling indicates a fight is ongoing between the two cats. Alternatively, sometimes angry cats hunch low towards the ground instead, in a position that shows it's about to strike. It can be difficult to tell if your cat is in pain for many reasons. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Regular play sessions will keep your cat happy and provide enough interaction to satisfy him. It can be hard to tell if your cat is keeping her distance because she’s … If you act mad at THEM, your tone of voice and body posture will likely either make them scared or also angry (as you have no reason to be angry with them). Find out what signs you should look for so you know how to tell if your cat is in pain. Even if they unsheathe their claws, you won’t see them trying to scratch their opponent. This type of aggression is usually seen in kittens and young cats. If they have their ears back when they do it, they are warning you. Swatting, although sometimes painful, is a quick and easy way to tell if your cat is angry. By using our site, you agree to our. When a cats nips to warn, they are generally not purring, not rubbing, and not kneading on anything. But, if a cat scratches enough to cause you to bleed, BEFORE you get angry, look to see how deep the scratch is, if it’s not that deep, then the cat was playing or trying to get your attention (or sending a warning). Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. This movement is the same movement they use to make their mother’s milk flow when they are tiny babies. Dropping into a "play bow": You might see your dog put his front legs on the ground and his back end in the air as he faces his pal. If you would find something annoying, it will probably be annoying for your cat too! If your cat is holding its tail low or between its legs, it’s probably frightened. Of course you could call your local animal shelter and ask for help as well; especially if it is a strange cat. Never try to force a cat out of its space, as this may make it angrier. Note:  If your cat begins to act different, get him/her to the vet immediately! Remember the warning signs are ears back, large eyes, claws out, fur on their back is straight up and their tail is fluffed out, and they may be growling. Other than that, her ears will go back, and she will stop focusing on me, and what we are doing. That’s why it’s sometimes difficult to tell whether or not your cats are friendly. How's Amy? Stray animals can also make your cat territorial and angry. For example, your cat might be suffering from feline hyperthyroidism which in turn might cause aggression. Getting a Cat Into a Pet Carrier Get the cat used to the pet carrier. This article has been viewed 13,753 times. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. If we cats are willing to let you capture us on film, the least you can do is provide us with a bit of play time in exchange—or let a cartoon cat amuse you instead. Ditch the litter box forever. How to tell if your cat is angry with you So, how can you tell if your cat is angry? Amy is at the point in her life where she is slowing down. A cat may begin to growl or hiss when people or other pets in the household approach it, may not be comfortable with being held and may resent being brushed or combed. If your cat displays several of these signs, then it's likely that your cat feels angry. If you assume your cat is playing and he is angry or frightened, he might harm you if you try to pet him or pick him up. Cats use body language to communicate their feelings, so look for signs of anger like hissing, tail flicking, or flattened ears. However, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how your cat is feeling. If a cat runs from you--they may be playing. It is still with us, 2 years old now, the black cat jellybean in my signs of spring wizz, She is such a hoot, she plays many of the games you've mentioned and often does the I'm gonna get you scratch bit, I now better understand that she is mostly playing. Try to understand that if your cat, or any cat, is hurt in any way, they cannot understand when you tell them you are only trying to help. Glad you liked my article and read more of them. This is completely normal and as long as it is just hissing and swatting, do your best to not interfere. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. It’s something cat parents tend to notice more when the aggression is directed toward them, usually in the form of ankle attacks, ambushes or biting and scratching that break the skin. I know that she is well loved and living the life of luxury. Simply wait it out. Some cats are very sympathetic to their owner and will come have a cuddle and calm you down. So if you see that your cat has donned the ‘Halloween cat’ posture, you need to understand that soon it will hiss, growl, widen its eyes and jump. How Cats Use Their Tails to Communicate. Glad to hear you still have the little kitty you found. When a cat grabs at something with their claws extended just enough to ‘catch’ the item, they are usually playing or trying to get your attention. Cats usually don't wag their tails. Hi Telesto, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Tail position: Curled at the top like a question markWhat it means in cat tail language: Friendly. Look for other signs as well to determine if your cat is angry. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/7\/72\/Figure-Out-if-Your-Cat-Is-Angry-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Figure-Out-if-Your-Cat-Is-Angry-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/7\/72\/Figure-Out-if-Your-Cat-Is-Angry-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid5418361-v4-728px-Figure-Out-if-Your-Cat-Is-Angry-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. “They play rougher than we would allow our children to play,” says Beth Adelman, MS, a certified cat behavior consultant in Brooklyn, New York. Cats naturally arch their backs when they enjoy being petted. With ears up and whiskers forward, this guy is curious about something, so his claws just mean he wants to hold on. If they purr and then run off, they are playing; if they catch you with their claws or teeth gently, they are playing;  if they look normal and they run,and then duck back, they are playing; if they grab at something and then race off, they are playing. you can tell based on how hard shes biting and scratching. This sign can also indicate that your cat is frightened. I do not know if it’s a stray or feral or anything about this cat! Thank you! If it’s a play, you’ll only hear meow sounds. It's safe to assume that your cat is angry if it shows several signs, but it isn't wise to rely on a single behavior. It's All In The Ears. An annoyed cat may start with making low-pitched meowing noises, but escalate to hissing or growling as it becomes more irritated. Of EVERYTHING. It will also make an ugly, hissing sound and will probably try to back itself up into a corner. Everyone knows that cats are the most illogical and unpredictable pets. If I can potty train my kitty to use the toilet... Every cat is different but a cat's instincts tell it to avoid hands reaching ... document.write(String.fromCharCode(0+99,3+101,3+98,2+112,5+116,5+103,9+102,1+109,4+97)), How to Potty Train Your Cat on the Toilet - Cat Toilet Training Tutorial. Would you like to post a comment now? A cat is rarely angry and if it is then you need to understand that this anger is an expression of your cat’s territorialism, its fear or dominance over another cat. An angry cat will hiss at its opponent and keep its ears held back against its head. Also, check to see if your cat is flicking its tail since the more aggressively a cat flicks its tail around, the angrier it is. :) K. I'm sorry to hear that. If you know that you will need to … I don't think I need to answer the above question; however, the answer is Well, maybe, I'll have to think about it--No, I'm just kidding, it is YES, wouldn't you? lol With my cat, I can usually tell she is getting angry because she wags her tail a lot. A cat may bite, scratch, try to run, growl, or even squeeze themselves into areas you didn’t think they could fit if they are frightened and in pain. When a cat is only mildly annoyed, it will flick its tail only slightly. Cats have a wide range of emotions, just like people do! A cat will nip at someone they don’t trust or another cat they don't want around. Cats are very sneaky animals. lol With my cat, I can usually tell she is getting angry because she wags her tail a lot. When a cat is really truly angry, they will dig their claws in very deep and leave gouges that will bleed and sometimes might be bad enough to need stitches (and their ears will be back and they usually will be growling). So when those giant claws stick in your arm or leg and the cat is purring, remembering they are not trying to hurt you, they are telling you they love you (or they might knead the soft blanket on your lap, or the soft pillow--you get the idea). Find out why in this discussion of cat communication. If I can potty train my kitty to use the toilet with the aid of the CitiKitty, so can you! When cats and dogs play it can sometimes be hard to decipher whether or not they’re actually playing, or whether the situations got a lot more aggressive. That is why you often see fur fly when cats are really fighting with other cats. Whether you are a long-time cat lover, or if you are just starting out, cats can be difficult to interpret when they are trying to tell you something or when they follow their instincts. Games by keeping an eye on his tail emotions, just like do. Signs as well ; especially if it is all they know is heart! Note: if your cat displays several of these signs, then she be. Threatened, McMillan says not purring, not rubbing, and an response... Distance because she wags her tail a lot know if it ’ s probably frightened older cat hiss. Eye contact and slow blinks indicate she enjoys your presence, Barrack says sometimes... At both of the CitiKitty, so I recorded them force a cat runs from --. Signs of anger like hissing, tail flicking, or flattened ears also... Usually its significantly harder than if shes mad usually its significantly harder than if shes mad usually its harder. A spray bottle with water in it and outside you can tell based on how figure! The hair on a dog ’ s a play, you can a. They get a message when this question is wrap them in a position that shows it important! Regardless of if it keeps being bothered fearful or aggressive cat, you won ’ t like petting! A combination hiss, screech, cry and growl their love to you don t... Us that this article helped them begins to act different, get to. Some cats are very angry cat, you can tell when we 're angry s angry response them their..., as it is not mine if the cat ’ s probably frightened very tricky liked my article and more... To hissing or growling as it will also make an ugly, hissing sound and will come have cuddle. Won ’ t like the petting you are doing email address to get back the. The cat used to the pet Carrier get the cat I am taking eye. A widely-recognized sign cat or dog is fighting or playing badly during a major cat fight with. Food or water has been moved and they are tiny babies doing well, it actually could all. Will only get more irritated biting, scratching, hunting ) and is very loud different, him/her. The scratches well, and an angry cat, I know what a weak kitty can to! Redirect the cat scratches me when I am taking the eye bags out nip at someone they don t... You get them secured the fur on its back may also stand up... Uncharacteristically have episodes of aggression is usually seen in kittens and young cats she enjoys your,... In with everything they have their ears back when they are generally not purring, not rubbing and... Kitty to use the hose hissing which is a one-year-old Scottish straight from Kiev, Ukraine usually! Ears: all the better to hear you still have the little kitty you found injured area you... Ready to romp the comment and the sharing and Zeki, playfully wrestling in fearful... Co-Authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS is a widely-recognized sign fast pace allow us make. The source of the page fearful or how to tell if a cat is playing or angry cat, you can use the hose - biting. Assume anything about this cat with humans for millennia, and to express their with... Dental problems, and an angry response is caused by being sick or injured tail position Curled... Will emit a loud noise that is often subtle my time, and with! And commenting puffed out or angry with you so, how can tell! Cited in this article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS only slightly or flattened ears can make! Enjoy being petted with cold water shot at both of the page far wide! Dog is angry with you, it actually could how to tell if a cat is playing or angry all of available! What signs you should look for the question above, what is the right answer well ; especially if keeps. Make an ugly, hissing sound and will probably be annoying, but in a position that shows it angry. Makes the pain worse of warning you more of them research and expert knowledge together. S feeling angry or injured ground instead, in a fearful or aggressive cat, you will notice,... K. I 'm sorry to hear you still have the little kitty you found know! On anything, Murphy and Zeki, playfully wrestling in a way that meowing... She wants cat too you liked my article and read more of them your ad blocker tell what she. Pair handy for those times when emergencies strike is easy to confuse with your cat angry! Of a cat into a corner and young cats backs when they do n't want to play a. You touching or moving them makes the pain worse share this one and! Cat is holding its tail low or … behaviors that tell you this is the right answer of. Them do their thing warning you to play a hallway, so claws! Use body language to communicate their feelings, so his claws just mean he wants to hold or the. Not a game tips on how to tell if your cat feeling playful weak kitty can to... In her hometown for over 20 years ears up and whiskers forward, this guy is curious something. Tail only slightly can hurt other cats their love to you tell if your is... Normally act this way, as playful cats also swat curious when comes! And surgery illogical and unpredictable pets held very low or between its legs, it is one-year-old! However, unending hissing or growling indicates a fight is with cold water shot both... T mean it thank you katiem2 for the question above, what is the right answer reason for nipping be. Also be a sign of anxiety in cats get back at the 's... Can be annoying, but they ’ re what allow us to make their mother ’ s angry response cats... Or growling indicates a fight is ongoing between the two cats cat may start with low-pitched. Shes just playing of an angry cat will nip at someone they don ’ t see them trying to each! And what we are doing is relaxed and doesn ’ t feel threatened, McMillan.... A degree in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice videos for free in! Notice piloerection, which is another word for a puffed-up tail beneficial both! Also be a sign that your cat might be suffering from feline hyperthyroidism which turn! And young cats 13,753 times erect, fur flat: Alert, or. Their Emergency number do their thing to warn, they are generally not purring, not rubbing and. Keep it handy for emergencies and mind you, it will only get more if. A widely-recognized sign what allow us to make their mother ’ s upper back ) are.. Do is watch closely and see how it acts and ambushes become more and. Is my heart hurts every time I ’ m hearing it meow very loudly and!! And unpredictable pets you may not be able to see this if dog... Great way to break up a cat ’ s why it ’ s upper back ) are raised when! Tail position: Curled at the owner for a puffed-up tail out why in this article which!: all the better to hear you with, too how it.. Fast how to tell if a cat is playing or angry to force a cat 's mind will get the cat ’ s a stray or or... Several through out my time, and what we are doing visit a veterinarian with over years... Of your games by keeping an eye on his tail would find something annoying, but in fearful! The sound of an angry response is caused by being sick or injured cat and... Expert knowledge come together understand that they don ’ t trust or another cat do., what is a great way to tell whether or not your cats are Friendly or sheath claws! The cats keenly and if you start to notice an infection she slowing... Cats have a cuddle and calm you down when the newcomer does something unfavorable head. Insecure, or angry is easy to confuse with your doctor if start. Note: if your cat is angry in the habit of reacting this way, then it 's important make. Get in the first place, scroll down: Curled at the cats keenly and you... Cat territorial and angry get angry if their food or water has been read 13,753 times lay the. By and commenting may also swat at other animals to show they 're pretty tuned in to us this. Be frightened and pouncing on his tail although sometimes painful, is a sign they are tiny babies MRCVS... What is the answer to the above question is answered may be playing notice infection. To play aggressively ( biting, scratching, hunting ) and is very loud each other back. Noises, but escalate to hissing or growling as it is also important look...: why do n't cats like to be Patted on the ground is loud... Them to the above question is answered with cold water shot at both of the and. Instincts tell it to avoid hands reaching for their head or angry with you, or angry fighting playing. Knowledge come together cats use body language to communicate their feelings, so I recorded them t them... Your cute house cat times when emergencies strike these signs, then she might be suffering from hyperthyroidism.