Understanding the Body Language of Cats and Dogs

Most of us have a pet of some kind, but some of us see a companion in our pet. That extra body in the area that can provide entertainment, closure, security, purpose and even friendship. Whether, dog, cat, fish, ferret or elephant, some of us have that pet that means something to us and would go the extra mile to care for.

All of us love to pay our pet attention, love and affection but how do we know if our pet is really responding positively to our attempted affections?

My Cat Loves Me…I Think…

More often than not, pet owners confuse the messages that their pet gives off. And, at times, rightfully so, as there are many different and similar explanations for what animal behavior actually means. Since animals can’t speak to us, understanding these behaviors can seem daunting and confusing more often than not. All we have to work with at this time is a “best guess” situation based on endless observations and testing to see what stimulus comes out at what time because of what.

Compound this with a torrent of expert opinions and query results on Google from interested pet owners all around the world as to what their cat is saying to them when they roll over. When you have a moment, Google “what is my pet saying?” and note all of the results that come up. One example I stumbled upon was what does it mean when a cat puts it’s butt in the air. A cat putting it’s butt in the air can mean it is in estrus or it just wants to have it’s butt scratched. Whose to say it can mean one or the other – or both of these things. Certainly difficult to say.

Animals Are People, Too!

More often than not, we want to believe that our pet is loving us back in the same capacity that we are loving it. We want to believe that if we hug our dog, he is happy and is “hugging us back” and returning our friendly gestures and affections. As a result, we naturally see our pets through the eyes of what it means to be a person. According to Psychology Today, we tend to anthropomorphize our pets and believe they share the same set of human emotions and feedbacks that we do. Sure this mentality is not unique but probably the most common string among all pet owners. I’m guilty of even do it with my cat!

She's happy...or is she...

She’s happy…or is she…

So the next time your cat or dog is wagging their tail, yelping, scratching or showing you their tummy, remember this cool infographic courtesy of PETA on understanding what your pet might actually be saying to you.

what is my pet saying


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