This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Petra Ott - Katzen - Verhaltensexpertin

Have you ever wondered if your little darling understands you when you talk to him? Sometimes it almost seems as if our furry friends can understand every word we say – even if they seem to ignore most of it. But can cats actually understand people, and how well can humans interpret the language of cats?

Does your cat understand you?

A study by Japanese researchers on the human-cat communication, published in Nature magazine in the article “Domestic cats (Felis catus) discriminate their names from other words” (Sci Rep 9, 5394 – 2019), suggests just that: Domestic cats actually react when they hear their names – even when a stranger calls out to them. Cats are probably even capable of interpreting human gestures (e.g. pointing to the bowl of fresh food) and behaviour.
Nevertheless, you should not expect too much understanding of your darling: Cats have a mind of their own and sure they like to push it through. Instead, you should ask yourself how you can learn to understand your little darling properly. If you try to learn the cat language, you will soon be able to put yourself in your cat’s shoes.

How good is your “felinese”?

Do you know what your cat wants to tell you with her meowing, poking or other behaviour? Actually our house cats communicate a lot with humans, but often they are simply misunderstood. Behavioural research in cats not only helps to understand their language, but also to improve their habitat. By paying more attention to the needs of your velvet paw, you can avoid many problems in advance.
Observing your pet will also help you to better interpret her everyday behaviour. Watch your darling intently and find out what your cat likes to do, what she likes less and note how she behaves.

Learn to understand the body language of your cat! This is important to interpret the cat’s language correctly and to communicate with them successfully. For example, a calm wink, freely translated from feline, means that your pet is smiling at you.

Green Rubin - Katzenangel

Die nachhaltige und langlebige Katzenangel aus Sisal und Holz.

What problems can arise from misunderstandings?

Even our smallest roommatesfeel the negative consequences of work pressure or stress in families. Many cats and other pets suffer from too little attention. Neglect leads to “deficiency signs” and most consequently to behavioural disorders which can also affect humans in an unpleasant way. More and more pets have to see the vet due to the impacts of inappropriate pet keeping, many simply suffer in silence. This means not only stress for the animals, but also avoidable costs for humans.

Some people think that behavioural problems in cats can simply be solved by rearranging the room. Admittedly, changing the furniture can sometimes work wonders. What is really important, however, is the interaction, i.e. the communication and behaviour between:

  • cats and human beings
  • cats and conspecifics (there are gender-specific, age-related and many other differences implementet)
  • cats and other roommates (such as dogs, rabbits, etc.)

During their lives, people have to learn to communicate with others in various ways to make themselves understood. As soon as an animal roommate moves in, many people assume that their new friend perfectly understands the human language but do not attempt to learn the language of the animals instead. In this way, misunderstandings occur. By learning to “listen” to the language of your cat correctly, irritating problems and dangerous situations can be avoided in the first place.

Kuscheln mit Katze


Cats have the ability to understand people partially, even if they do not always do what we want them to. However, this is mostly due to the fact that we do not communicate with them properly. In order to live together in harmony it is essential that you learn to understand the language of your cat.