Tips for how to communicate with your cat

by | Cat Care |

June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat-Month, so we want to help ease your communication worries for when you bring that new furry friend home.

Here are some tips for communicating with your cat, from our fact sheet, Adopting a Shelter Cat – What You Need to Know.

Communicating with your cat

Forming a bond with your new cat is one of the most exciting and interesting components of adoption. If your new cat or kitten doesn’t already have a name, choose one as soon as possible and begin using it. Your cat should learn his new name quite easily. The trick is to call for him frequently at the beginning, rewarding him with a food treat (not too much, though!) and affection, when he responds.

What your cat is trying to tell you

Your cat’s main methods of communicating with you are body language and vocal sounds. This means it’s important you can recognize these visual and audio cues. Here are some hints to get you started:

  • Purr: Happy or contented.
  • Hiss: Angry or afraid.
  • Loud or constant meowing: Attention-getting – he’s lonely, anxious or bored.
  • Relaxed, gently swishing tail: Pleasure.
  • Lashing or twitching tail: Angry.
  • Tail straight up with the tip turned over: Content.
  • Tail Straight up and quivering: A greeting for someone to whom he is strongly bonded.
  • Ears pricked forward: Curious.
  • Ears laid back: Fear or Anger.
  • Laid back ears, back arched, hissing, fluffed-up fur: REALLY angry.
  • Rubbing up against your leg: Welcome or greeting behaviour.

For more information on adopting a shelter cat, read our fact sheet; Adopting a Shelter Cat – What You Need to Know.

To see cats available for adoption across the province, visit;


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I stand behind SPCA with my monthly gift. I am so happy there are folks like you to care for those who can’t help themselves.  My family and I have had animals all our lives and know what a comfort they are.  Thank you SPCA.