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Understand Your Cat’s Behaviour

Understand Your Cat’s Behaviour

Photograph by @picturesque.pineapple

Cats are known to be mysterious animals as they are more reserved than our canine friends, and as September is dedicated to Happy Cat Month, we thought we’d explore some of our feline friend’s behaviours and what they mean.

You might notice that your cat likes to show you its behind, but don’t be offended! This is their way of saying hello. If their ears are forward, this means they’re pleased to see you, and they might even give you a little bump to greet you.

When your cat wants to play, it will roll on its back and expose its stomach, showing they trust you. Be careful if you try and tickle them because this position could also mean they are in the mood to play. If you notice their back is hunched up with tail and fur on end, it means they’re defensive and need some space.

Cats love to play with toys and treating them to a new fabric mouse is a great gift, as well as a cute bow-tie from one of our collections. They’ll be purring with delight as you understand their behaviours and show them love for this special month.

For more in-depth explanations to cat behaviours, check out Sainsbury’s Bank’s graphic below.



Just what is your cat trying to tell you?

Rubbing against your legs or furniture

This is my home, and I scent things to find my way around.

Showing you its behind

Don't be offended, I'm just being friendly. We cats say hello to each other by sniffing tails, just like dogs.

Ears forward

I'm pleased to see you. If you hold out your hand, I might give it a bump to say hello (or a sniff if I'm shy).

Slow closing of eyes/blinking

You're getting a kiss. If you copy me, I might just do it again. If I'm in the mood.

Ears upright, sitting
up and alert

I'm listening intently. Was it a bird or a mouse? I'm not sure, but I'm off to find out.


I'm getting comfy. Kneading you makes me feel good, as I think about how I used to knead my mum.

Rolling on back to expose stomach

I trust you, but watch your fingers if you decide to give me a tickle; I might be in the mood to play.

Back hunched up with tail and fur on end

I'm being defensive. I'm puffing my hair out to make myself look bigger, so whatever I'm scared of leaves me alone.

Cat in a box/bag

This might look silly to you, but it makes me feel safe; I can see you, but you can't see me!

Cat in a box/bag

This might look silly to you, but it makes me feel safe; I can see you, but you can't see me!

Cat 'gift'

I've brought you a mouse to try and teach you how to hunt. See what a good hunter I am.

It's your turn now.


I purr because of most things (dinner, strokes, sitting in sunshine), but mainly because you've given me some form of 'contact' and I like it.

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