Interpreting a Feline’s Ears & its Movements

Similar to us, felines also make use of non-verbal communication in the form of body language to send a message across. Apart from its tail, he or she uses its eyes, ears as well as sitting or sleeping postures to communicate with you. Mind you, your furry one is pretty expressive and all that’s left for you to do is to understand and interpret these messages to develop a stronger bond with him or her.

If you pay close attention and begin to slowly interpret his or her behaviour, you’ll notice that his or her ears also emote and convey loads of emotion. Here are some of the common cat ear position and their significance in our day-to-day lives.



When your furry one is calm and his or her ears will face forward also known as the neutral position. Neutral ears indicate that he or she is happy, calm and relaxed. When he or she is seated with its ears forward in the neutral position, it is an ideal time to get some snuggles if you feel like it.

Straight up and forward

You’ll notice your furry one moving its ears to straighten up and pay attention to what’s happening around. He or she might look like they’re alert and ready for action. Sometimes, their ears are straight up and facing opposite and different directions only to find out where the sound came from. A furry feline who is playing might have its ears in a forward position as a means to pick up as much auditory information as possible.



A feline whose ears move in rapid movements may seem like a cat on a mission. This will be an extension to the straight up and forward position and your furry one might constantly try adjusting its backside as though getting ready for a pounce. This is an ideal time to encourage his or her hunting instincts by playing treasure hunt or hiding away his favourite toy or treat.

Low and Sideways


In this position, your furry one’s ears are flattened against the head as though they’re in a flight and it’s about to take off. This position indicates fear, nervousness and could lead to aggressive behaviour. If your furry one’s ears are in this position, he or she is non-verbally trying to tell you to give it some space and that he or she is uncomfortable. He or she may hide in its secret space until he or she doesn’t consider the environment safe to venture out.


Low and facing outward

Felines are great at hiding away their illness or pain. But this ear position helps one determine that he or she is in pain or is under the weather. If this posture continues, observe other signs of illness and consult your veterinarian at the earliest.

Low and flat

There are no doubts that this ear position signals us to “back off” and leave the feline be. It is an indicator that your furry one is aggressive and that may include biting and scratching. This is often seen between two felines tussling while playing and then their play might suddenly become aggressive and rough. It is considered ideal to just walk away in this instance or else there is a risk of an injury. A feline’s ears move with emotion and purpose and understand this might strengthen your bond as well as your lines of communication.


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