Features

April 2015 Issue

Content, Agitated, Fearful, Aggressive?

Emotion is evident in their body language from nose to tail if we learn to read and interpret the subtleties

Scientists estimate that cats have lived with us for at least 9,000 years, and surveys show that many of the 45 million households in the U.S. today consider their 96 million cats bona fide members of the family. Yet after all these years, how well do we really understand cats?

It turns out not that well, says Katherine Houpt, VMD, Ph.D., animal behaviorist and professor emeritus at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Catsí body language is daunting for many of us to interpret, particularly because of their anatomy.

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