Dogs and cats body language

Dogs and cats body language


Don’t you sometimes wish your pet could speak to you like a human? Tell you how happy and special treats makes her feel, how fearful she has become at the sight of you after screaming at her the last time? It really would be fascinating (and shocking too) to hear our dog or cat speak to us in a language we can comprehend. This will mean the end of miscommunication, second guessing the cause of a behavioral problem, and so on and so forth. Though we can’t hear them speak like we’d rather have them do, there are several other ways to tell what your pet is trying to convey. They communicate to us non-verbally using their body. Being able to interpret your pet’s body language helps you understand what they’re trying to say and makes it easier to respond correctly. We have written this guide to help you decipher what your dog or cat is trying to say.

For Dogs

Relaxed Dog

A relaxed dog will slightly lean forward or backward, with corners of her mouth relaxed or slightly opened, revealing the tongue. She’ll have her head raised high, weight flat on her feet, ears up (but not forward), and tail down and relaxed. A relaxed dog is comfortable and generally approachable, especially if she’s in a familiar environment like her home.

Offensive Dog

You’ll notice the hairs of an offensive dog raised, her tail raised up and stiff, her nose wrinkled, and ears up and forward, slightly spread to the side. Mouth open, corner of the mouth forward, revealing the teeth. A low growl may be vocalized. You’ll also see her standing tall and slightly forward, ready to attack if she’s provoked.


For Cats


You’ll see a friendly cat with a relaxed body, ears pointed forward, and her whiskers held out to the side. She’ll have her eyes open, and sometimes half closed if she’s totally relaxed. Her tail will be up, or relaxed and low.


An angry cat will have focused eyes with dilated pupils, tensed ears flattened back against her head, and stiff whiskers. She’ll be rigid, large, and threatening. Tail curled under her body or held out and stiff, tensed posture, and raised hairs. She’ll have her mouth open, exposing her teeth. An angry cat will also hiss or spit.


Recognizing these signs will help you understand either your dog or cat better, and will also help you improve your relationship with them. Once you have found what category your cat belongs to, check out our special cat collars designed by Walter Glassof to offer you beloved cat a collar that perfectly fits his mind!