Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Feline behaviour explained – recognising stress in your cat’s face

In the last of a three-part series of visual guides to cat behaviour, we’re sharing some examples of facial expressions that will help you to identify how your cat is feeling and when they may be getting stressed.

This is a general guide so your cat may not be showing all of these signs at the same time.

Here are some identifying facial communications:

Visual guide cat communicating stress

What should I do if my cat is stressed or depressed? 

Long term stress or depression can lead to other health and/or behaviour problems. If your cat appears stressed or depressed:

1. Get them health-checked by your vet.
2. Give your cat plenty of places to hide or get up high.
3. If you have more than one cat, make sure there is one resource (food, water, litter tray) per cat, plus an extra for choice.
4. Ask your vet to refer you to a qualified behaviourist (www.apbc.org.uk).

Should you have any concerns about your cat’s health or behaviour, consult your vet.

Please do print this visual guide for a handy reference or share it with friends who may find it useful!

You'll find the other two guides in our feline behaviour series here and here.

Want to see cat behaviours in action and learn more about what they mean? View our cat behaviour videos.

You can also read more about feline behaviour in our Essential Guide leaflet: Understanding your cat’s behaviour or access our free online e-learning course: Understanding Feline Origins.

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  1. Brilliant post. Thanks for sharing. I was told that cats have emotions, just the same as humans, and I really believe this. It's good to know what to look for in their facial expressions, and how best to react. Very useful. : )

    Carly's Beauty World - UK Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  2. I have a male 12yr old neuted cat who is mainly a indoor cat for the last 5yrs due to a rta. In the last 2/3 mths he seems to scratch mainly my carpets and some furniture at silly times of the day Inc 2.30am. I have tried anti stretch spray and feline plug in and nothing seems to work. We can I do to stop him doing this plse

    1. Hello, sorry to hear you're having a frustrating. Please have a read of our blog post on scratching behaviour which we hope you'll find helpful: http://meowblog.cats.org.uk/2015/08/behaviour-focus-scratching.html

  3. Thanks for this guide! One of my cats is having stress issues.