Not only do Spokane cats speak with their tails, they also speak with their ears, fur, and whiskers. It’s easy to translate what they are telling you once you know what their signals mean.
There are five plain and indispensable ear signals, informing us if the cat is feeling tranquil, on the alert, nervous, protective or forceful. When the ears are pointed forward and a bit outward, the cat is calm and circumspectly listening to everything that is going on around her/him. When her/his ears are upright, rigid, and facing forward, the cat is ready to act and all set to investigate any sounds that have been heard. When the ears tremble nervously back and forth, the cat is restless or nervous, and prepared to defend his/herself. Twitching ears could also be coupled with two swift brushes of the tongue around the lips. When the ears are flattened forcefully against the head, the cat is signaling displeasure and is feeling defensive, and may launch an attack at the slightest gesture towards her/him, generally because she/he is preparing to protect her/himself if needed. A cat will hold down the ears back to shield them during a fight. When feeling antagonistic but not scared, a cat's ears will be in a position somewhere between alert and defensive.
When startled or distressed, a cat's fur will stand up all over his/her body. When feeling in danger, the fur stands up in a tapered band along the spine and on the tail. The hair will rise a little toward the middle from both sides, and will fashion a spiky ridge. This will make the cat look larger than she/he is to any close by enemies.
When whiskers are pointed frontward and fanned out, the cat is edgy, attentive, animated and on the ball. When the whiskers are clumped together and compressed to the side of the face, she/he is feeling withdrawn, hesitant, or bashful. When pointed sideways and not spread out, the cat is contented, cool, composed, forthcoming, pleased, or unmoved.
Cats are bright and mesmerizing creatures that seldom do something without good reason. It’s time we understand those reasons and pay them the respect they so richly deserve.