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Positive Cat Parenting™

by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Body Language of Love

Normal Body Language

Normal Feline Body Language

Did you Know?

Do you know how cats "find their way home"? Study in England with "blindfolded" cats in a van theorized, Bio-magnetic particles



Most pet aggression
is fear-based

The goal:  happy relaxed relationships with no fear or aggression.

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                          Communication - How to Talk Cat!

What is normal feline behavior?


Have you ever wondered why your cat wakes you up in the middle of the night. Has your cat ever pounced on objects that didn't appear to exist?  Does your cat rub against your legs or the couch?  If so, you will be happy to know that these are all normal feline behaviors! 

Feline pretend play and prey


From the cat's point of view, it is natural to practice night-time hunting behaviors with prey oriented play which may result in cats chasing, even attacking moving parts of a person's body. Cats are nocturnal and hunt at night.


Sudden changes in mood and behavior is business as usual for cats. In nature, cats rest most of the day interspersed with stalking and explosions of rapid pouncing and biting prey or escaping sudden dangers. Cat attacks are normal facets of enjoyable play-fighting and prey-killing behaviors. 


A fine line exists between pleasure from stroking and irritation with handling, similarly between hugging and restraint.


Allow cats to approach you first. Hold a finger out for sniffing. This is proper greeting behavior for humans introducing themselves.


Cheek and paw marking


Cats claim territory with marking behaviors. Cats mark with paws and cheeks to place pheromones (their feline scent) on favorite objects and people to communicate to other cats, "This is mine!  Scratching to sharpen a cat's claws also helps satisfy the cat's need for stretching.


Urine marking


Urine Spraying is when the cat backs up to a vertical target with the tail straight up and quivering.  Small amounts of urine  sprayed up and out mark objects.


The better the pet parent can read a cat's body language, the more capable the pet parent will be in determining when to back away and when to continue social contact.


Tails, ears, and roll-overs


Your feline's tail has a tale to tell. When your cat's tail is held straight up, she's happy to see you and wants to be greeted. Cats raise their tails like flags when they feel confident and alert. As a cat's mood drops, so does the tail. Consider your cat's tail her mood barometer. When your cat explores, read a high tail as bravery and a low tail as uncertainty or fear. When your kitty arches her back with a skunk-like tail, she is saying, "Please pet me, now. I'm in the mood for love." As her tail lowers with waving or twitching, back off, she's getting annoyed and putting up the no trespassing sign.

However, a twitching tail, ears that flick backwards and any other sign of muscle tension tell you your cat is getting annoyed and best be given solitude.


Many cats roll over to greet their owners exposing their vulnerable bellies.  Some cats like belly rubs. This position shows trust.


Never try to hold a cat against its will. Unlike dogs, cats don't give up and are less likely to forgive and forget.


What to do


Communication between the species (cat and humans) enriches the cat's spirit and creates a wonderful relationship. Positive cat parents teach cats how to express natural behaviors within acceptable house rules.

  • Learn how to read your cat's body language.

  • Stroke your cats cheeks from front to back to show friendship

  • Encourage cheek marking to prevent urine marking

  • If you have multiple cats, increase favorite objects to reduce marking

"Helping you raise a fabulous feline friend for life."

Improving Relationships between Pets and People!

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