What Are the Signs That Your Cat Is Angry?

Pet Care, Pet Type


April 20, 2020

People who love their cats are often very, very loyal to them. People buy their cats treats, toys, and other things for the cats to play with. Cats also enjoy being on soft piles of blankets in the hottest corner of your room.

With this being said, many people enjoy owning and caring for their cats. If you already have cats of your own or you are planning to adopt a cat, there are a few things that you will always want to be on the lookout for. For example, you will always want to keep an eye on how your cat is behaving or if there are any sudden mood swings from being a happy cat to an angry cat.

If you find yourself dealing with an angry cat on the regular, you might begin to wonder how to know when a cat is angry. Once you know what you are looking for in a cat that is angry, you will be able to step back from the issue at hand. What is most important is understanding the basics. First things first; you will need to understand what kinds of cues and body movements your cat is making to try and communicate with you.

How Do Cats Communicate?

Cats communicate almost entirely through nonverbal cues. A swish of the tail, a slow blink, and even running up and down the hallway of your home are all types of cues that your cat might use in an attempt to communicate with you. Nonverbal communication and body cues are how cats communicate with each other and cats do attempt to communicate this way with people, but once they realize that we do not pick up on it, they sometimes try other methods. The type of nonverbal communication that cats use will be dependent on the cat’s behavior and the situation at hand.

Some cats might never pick up on speaking to people verbally through meowing and other cats are constantly meowing from the moment they are born. Some cats are good at getting the attention of their owners, standing up and trying to lead their owner to the problem at hand, while other cats might get frustrated that you are not picking up on their body language.

Sometimes, if they are frustrated enough, cats will switch to verbal communication and will meow at you. Some cats will prefer to stay silent and never utter a meow unless something truly distressing is going on while other cats will meow constantly. Cats have actually developed meowing as a way to “talk” to humans specifically as they do not meow to their own kind.

The main ways that your cat will communicate with you through body language is through its tail, ears, and the fur on its body. The tail is one of the more noticeable ways that your cat will communicate even if it doesn’t wag the same way that a dog’s does. Cat tails can signal fear, excitement, anger, contentedness, and just about any emotion that the cat is feeling. A cat’s ears can show you whether or not your pet is focused on a target, content with life, or fearful and angry. The cat’s fur and body position doesn’t play as big of a role in general communication, but when your cat uses these cues, you will know that something is not right. The most obvious example of this is when cats are scared. They will straighten the fur on their back, muzzle, and particularly their tails and they will often arch their backs. This is done in an effort to make the cat look larger to try and ward off the threat at hand.

In addition to these nonverbal cues, cats do actually have a few ways of using their voices when something needs to be communicated. Cats are known to purr both when they are pained and content. Cats will hiss at you if they feel threatened and they want you to stay away. They are also known to growl loudly if they feel that you are encroaching on their personal space when they want to be left alone. These are all ways that your cat will try to communicate with you before resorting to meowing.

What Kind of Communication Cues Are Used When Cats Are Angry?

Because most cats will be communicating nonverbally to you, it is up to you as the caretaker to your cats to determine what they are trying to say. Cats will often begin trying to show their anger at you by trying to stare you down at every opportunity it will get. For some cats, this would be keeping a watchful eye on someone who might be a threat. For others, it might be out of fear of what you will do next. Most cats will also end up flicking the tip of their tails from side to side.

In a sense, a tail that is flicking back and forth belongs to a cat that is not quite angry yet, but it is a cat who is getting well on its way to being an angry cat if the behavior annoying the cat continues. Some cats will vocalize if they are angry with you, and they have a few distinct sounds that they will use. This vocalization could come in the form of hissing, yowling, grunting, and so on.

Finally, there is the language of the body itself. There are numerous ways that a cat will physically show you that it does not want to be touched or played with. Generally, this will include lowering itself down to the ground, an arched back with fur sticking straight up, and a tail that has been puffed up to look larger. The ears will be pointed directly toward the back. Because some cats lower themselves toward the ground to pounce on things, you will want to make sure that you check the ears to see if they are flat and pointed backward as well. These are just some of the things that you can do to try and work with a cat who is seemingly angry with you.

Making Sure That Your Cat Is Healthy

It is always going to be important for you to make sure that your cat is healthy. A sudden, long-lasting change in your cat’s behavior can be indicative of something much more dangerous to your cat than a sour mood. If you notice that your cat is becoming increasingly sicker, the first thing that you should be doing is calling a veterinarian.

More often than not, the vet technician will ask you a variety of questions about your cat, the condition that it is currently in, its age, what problems it is having, and so on. For some people, this visit could be as simple as just learning that your cat had a minor cold and didn’t want to be bothered. In some situations, choosing to take your cat to the vet at the right time is going to be a life-saving choice and mean that your cat gets to live for an extra few years.

Some of the biggest warning signs to look for in a cat that is seemingly annoyed with you is the ears, whether or not the cat is growling at you, and whether or not the fur on the cat’s back is standing up. These are all telltale signs that your cat is moving beyond annoyance and anger and that the cat is ready to attack anyone who comes too close.

What Causes an Unhappy Cat?

Cats are generally renowned as peaceful creatures, which is why some people might not know what annoys a cat to the extent that it might lash out at you. For one, poking and prodding at the wrong areas of the cat plays a large role. Many people see an open, exposed stomach and they think of it as an invitation to pet one of the most vulnerable parts of the cat. Cats can also get moody if they become jealous of another animal in the house, which is completely normal for most multi-pet households.

Another concern that can cause an unhappy cat is an unhappy household. While a lot of people say that cats are heartless and do not care about their owners, they do react to the stress of their owners. If you are stressed out, then there is a good chance that your cat will become stressed out as well, which is something that nobody wants to have happen.

One of the main things that you will need to watch while caring for your cat is how much food your cat is eating. If your cat has begun to lose its appetite, then that is a bad sign that there is an underlying problem causing your cat’s irritability.

In the end, there aren’t actually that many different things that can cause an angry cat. Sickness, problems in the household, and being mistreated are all the biggest problems of a cat being angry. It is important for you to know how to care properly for your cat to make sure that this doesn’t happen so that you can reduce the chances that you will be scratched the next time you try to pet your cat. By making sure that you are keeping your cat healthy, both you and your cat will be able to live enjoyable lives together.