7 cat facial expressions and what they mean

What are the implications of learning facial expressions of cats?

Cats actually display different facial expressions, and these expressions vary, depending on how these cats are feeling, both negative and positive.


You often attribute purring with a good mood or contentment, right? Well, most times, this sign shows a cat is happy, but there are some situations where purring may be associated with a negative emotional state.

Offering friendship

Apart from contentment, cats may show signs such as slow blinking when they are open for friendship. The slow-blinking can be for a pro-social purpose.


When your cat is at alert, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhappy, but there are some simple ways to tell the difference. Your cat may react fearfully to some unfamiliar stimuli, like loud noises or sudden movements.

Ready to pounce

Cats are always at alert and they are very much aware of their surroundings. Little wonder you see them always in a state of alertness — but that doesn’t mean they’re in a bad mood.


Cats also get stressed and they often express this feeling by slumping their ears, tucking their legs in and laying down. They typically would avoid anything but still remain alert.

  • Mouth closed, but may still hiss
  • Eyes open with dilated pupils
  • Flattened ears
  • Whiskers pointed forward


It is important that you learn how to detect when your cat is angry to avoid being hurt. If your cat is angry about something, there are some facial expressions they give.


Pain can cause frustration in your feline friend. You already know cats are good at hiding pains, so it is important that you look out for some signs. For example, flattened ears are generally a good sign that shows that something is not right with your cat.


Cats are not verbal but they sure give non-verbal facial cues that you can learn and understand. Reading your cat’s facial expression help build a stronger bond with your cat. You’ll be able to help when you find out they are frightened or disturbed.

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