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Cat Language 101

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Terms Cat Lovers Use to Describe our Cats' Habits and Body Language

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Picture of cat with annoyance ears

Cat lovers all have personal terms that we use to describe cat antics, their body language, and their individual idiosyncrosies. Does "annoyance ears" come to mind when looking at the picture above? Do you know immediately what a cat is doing when someone says "making bread?" Thanks to About Cats forum member Jacqueline (mlogica), our members came up with an assorted group of adjectives describing all kinds of cat postures and activities, all guaranteed to bring a vivid mental picture.

Term AKA Description
"Annoyance Ears" One or both ears laid back in disapproval
"Bum Down Commitment" Hunkering down to eat, after hovering over food
"Prairie-Doggin'" "Doing Meerkat" Standing on hind legs with front paws hanging down
"Henning Out" "Loaf of Bread"
"Buddha Mode"
Lying down with paws tucked under and only chest fur showing
"Purrin' or Endurin'" Kitty's attitude about being held
"The Butt" "The Tail" (with expressive movement) Portion of the anatomy shown to human to reveal displeasure
"Meatloafing" "Being a Meatloaf" Lying down, dozing, with all four paws tucked in and tail wrapped around body
"Surfer Dude" (Variation of "Meatloaf" Usually on a chair, with forelimbs extended straight forward so the "armpits" are on the edge and the arms are sticking out in space
"Zoomies" "Crazies"
"Chasing Invisibles"
"Banshee Cats"
Crazy racing around with "Airplane Ears"
Vulching "Doing a Snoopy" Hovering over something (potential prey?), usually from a high position
"Making Butt Face" Expression after two cats engage in mutual butt-sniffing (probably Flehman Response)
"Making Bread" "Making Biscuits"
"Marching" (When standing)
"Cat Dancing" or "Tap Dancing" (Kneading while Walking)
Describes cats' kneading activities
War Cry "Yipper Lips" Chattering at birds outside window
"Little Gaping Hole" Facial expression after sniffing (See "Making Butt Face")
"Boofy" Description of tail when alarmed (combination of "bristling" and "poofy")
"Butt Wiggle" "Winding Up"
"Digging In"
"Revving Up"
Anticipatory action prior to pouncing on real or imagined prey
"Squishy Eyes" "Lovey Eyes"
"Blinky Love Eyes"
The squinting look that indicates extreme pleasure and/or love
"Merfing" Faint, squeaky sounds which communicate approval (or desires)
"Hoovering" "Snarfing" Digging into Food with Gusto
"Snarf and Barf" Self-Descriptive
"Blanket Surfing" "The Mole" Burrowing into bedding (or a pile of clothing)
"UBDD (Under Belly Dingle Dangle)" "Slabs of Flab"
"The Udder"
The pocket of fat or loose skin that flaps from side-to-side when a cat runs.
"Chin Roll" Rolling chin-first to the floor (an indication of wanting petting)
"Elevator Butt" Raising that part of the body the cat desires to be scratched
"Dead Mousie" "Airin' it Out" Lying on back with tummy exposed and feet sticking up in the air
"Pitty-Pat" Gentle taps to a human's nose to get him to wake up and feed the starving cat

I hope you enjoyed our little cat language tutorial. I'm sure you have your own pet terms to describe your cat's adorable body language. Think about joining the About Cats forum; it's not only loads of fun, but also filled with helpful information for cat lovers.

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