HomeCat Behaviorcat body languageWhat facial expressions does your cat make?


What facial expressions does your cat make? — 19 Comments

  1. Thank you Michael…IMO don’t have a cat if you are going to torture them..they need their claws just like I need my fingernails and toe nails come to think of that..I’d hate to be without any of them!

  2. The pain shown by the poor cat above who has a bandaged paw due to being declawed…so cruel and totally unnecessary. We have had persians cats for the past 20 yrs and never ever have any of them scratched any furniture as we had suitable scratching posts for them. Being declawed would be the same for a human if they had their fingers taken off to the knuckle!! Please think about declawing before inflicting this barbaric torture on your cat.

    • Jennifer, this is a great example of an expression which says I am bored. I think this is very supportive of the article or simple fact that cats do demonstrate facial expressions. Thanks a lot for another fantastic photograph of your fantastic cat.

  3. I think it’s that we can read our own cats expressions through instinct because they don’t smile or frown like we do, but all the same we know what they are feeling, if they are happy or sad or in pain or whatever.
    I was just watching Walter and Jozef this morning, it’s pouring with rain and both had a quick trip out, then dried, then their breakfast and then they sat pondering what to do next. Jo looked from the window to the couch, then looked again and I knew the moment he’d chosen the couch. Walt jumped on the windowsill but I just knew he didn’t really want to go, to me he looked to be saying ‘rotten weather’ and it looked like he was planning to stay in and sure enough he’s now on his high chair by my computer.
    I think with time and close friendship we can read our cats emotions and wants and they can read ours too.
    They don’t need words or facial expressions, they are far cleverer than we are.

    • we know what they are feeling, if they are happy or sad or in pain or whatever…..I think with time and close friendship we can read our cats emotions

      Absolutely, well said. Reading our cat’s feeling comes from a long, close relationship. You develop a full understanding each of the other. You don’t need facial expressions. In fact when I think about it human facial expressions can be irritating.

  4. Cats definitely don’t exhibit “FACIAL EXPRESSIONS” akin to humans but have a very clear “BODY LANGUAGE” which can be studied to predict their behaviour.”Circus Big Cat” trainers and handlers control these “BIG CATS’ shby their own personal fear as well as reading the “BODY LANGUAGE” of their circus exhibits. Same applies to the domestic cat, only difference is that cats can’t physically harm their human care-takers. I can easily anticipate the feelings and wants of my 2 pet cats by their body language and purrs.

    • Thank you Rudolph. I am pleased to agree with me broadly speaking. I agree with you that we can read a cat’s feelings from other sources such as voice and body language.

  5. my cats can meow differently from when they talk to me or one another. when pumpkin wants something he can actually do the sad kitty eyes, and when they are angry the sigh and give a withering looks.

    • Monty has started talking to himself. I talk to myself all day long and I think he is picking up the habit. A couple times now he’s meowed a meow not directed to me or anyone– he was just sitting out there by the garage and once he did it in the house.

      He does have a “starving baby kitten” meow he will pull out when he’s hungry. I just realized he does seem to have a different expression when he’s trying to get me to feed him.

      I think there is a difference in his facial expressions, but it’s all from the eyes. Once I accidentally hurt him and he looked very surprised that I would do that. Very hard to tell a cat you didn’t do something on purpose. Tuna smooths things over.

  6. I wish I could have taken a picture of Monty’s reaction to my playing my autoharp and singing yesterday. I was practicing an upbeat, fun song to do with my students at school and I was really getting into it, strumming a complicated strumming pattern and singing really loudly. I stopped and caught sight of Monty sitting on the arm of the futon, slightly puffed, with a mystified look on his face. It’s as if he was asking, “What the hell are you doing?” It was really cute. I just ignored him and sang it again.

  7. Can you notice the difference in a person’s expression through a slight change in the eyes? My Fold was VERY expressive through his eyes… whether he was looking at you directly or aside, how wide his eyes were, the pupils especially. I would ask him if he wanted a treat – one expression, then I would ask him if he wanted to go out into the garage – got an entirely different look from the eyes!!


    • Like Ruth, I think the eyes are the most expressive part of a cat’s face. I believe you’ll find the same thing with dogs. Dogs raise their eyebrows slightly and that gives a signal. I am not sure what it means though!

  8. Maybe only cat lovers can see it, but my cats have expressed joy, humor, mischief, shagrin, embarrassment, annoyance, rage, aloofness, insult, coyness, shyness, fear, pain, courage, warning, bravado,…. well, the list goes on. Animal psychics will tell you they DO FEEL as much as we do, others just think we are anthropomorphizing… clearly they don’t have a cl–, er, pay close attention.

    Oh well, we get what we get. I get that my Scottish Fold was exceptionally expressive to me and others.


    • Thanks Cass. I am a cat lover and I personally don’t believe cats do show that much in the way of facial expression. Yes, they may show these emotions but it will be through body language.

      Don’t get me wrong. What I state does not mean I don’t like cats. It just means I like to state what I think is true and if I am wrong, that is OK. I don’t mind being wrong.

      There are many photos of cats showing what appears to be facial expressions but they are always moments frozen in time that give the appearance of an expression but are in fact something else like a yawn.

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