Cat Lady 101: A Guide to Your Cat’s Expressions

So you’ve decided you’re going to be a cat lady.

Oh good. You ordered through Amazon Prime.

Oh good. You ordered through Amazon Prime.

You’re ready to sacrifice a dating life, a future family, a social life, and clothing free of cat fur in order to really commit to your new lifestyle. Now you just need to know a few more things about cats. For one thing, you need to be able to interpret their facial expressions. To support the growth of this up-and-coming lifestyle, I’ve created this handy guide to help you out.

"Photograph me, human, for I look regal here on top of your clean laundry,"

“Photograph me, human, for I look regal here on top of your clean laundry,”

The role of the cat-with-many-faces will be played by my cat, Newt. She is named after a movie character, not another animal. She totally volunteered for this, I swear. And by “volunteered”, I mean “has Stockholm Syndrome and humors me.”

1. “I Hear Treats”


“I am applying my cuteness liberally, in an effort to obtain bonus food.”

This expression is an essential one for every Cat Lady to know and truly understand. The perked ears, the attentive eyes, the nearness to your face…This cat hears treats. She doesn’t yet SEE the treats, and therefore is not displaying fully comprehensive interest – that would make her desires too obvious. When you see this face, you must know that your cat expects you to bring treats TO her.

2. “I Do Not Want Any Treats”

Also Meow

“My clear disinterest will force you to bring the treat closer to my face, silly human.”

This face is also known as “The Treats Are Too Far Away.” See the slightly lowered chin? The face turned both closer to you, and farther away from the possible treats? Your cat knows you caught her in an expression desiring treats, but she feels that too much enthusiasm will encourage you to make her do cute tricks to obtain the aforementioned treats.

3. “You Are Not Paying Attention to Me”

Also Also Meow

“Oh, is this your expensive new laptop? I’m going to chew the top and then sleep on it.”

Your cat pretends she does not like attention. This is not true. She does not like your attentions when you choose to give them to her. She does not appreciate it when anything else, such as your laptop, book, homework, work, or a medical emergency distracts you from longing to pay attention to her. This face first appears as she investigates the thing, item, or vicious wound that has distracted you from her. It reaches completion and fades into other expressions once she has bitten, destroyed, or laid across the object of your interest.

4. “You Are Paying Too Much Attention to Me”

Also Also Also Meow.

“Get. Away. From. Me.”

This expression naturally appears any time you have gotten too close to your cat, or have begun to dance attention on her. As she has not selected that this is the time or place for you to attend to her every wish, keep her warm, or entertain her, she will show her displeasure with this face. It is important to acknowledge this face, and not take lots of pictures of it for your own amusement,

5. “I’ve Done Something Terrible But Now You Can’t Be Mad Because I’m Cute”

Also Also Also Also Meow.

“I ate the laces out of all your shoes while you were sleeping.”

This is an important feline expression to know. She has surprised you with unprecedented cuteness. You are charmed, and are fighting the impulse to snuggle her. She did this on purpose, y’all. Somewhere in your home is a horrifying surprise. It could be the secret stash of bug corpses she has hidden. It could be the entire box of Kleenex she ate. It could be barf. But I promise you…It’s there.

Cat Lady 101 Course Complete. Great Job!

All the Meows.

“Hey, what’s that thing? What are you doing? Is it food?”

I hope this guide was helpful. You’re on your way to Cat Lady-Hood. Next you need to start taking a lot of pictures of your cat doing nothing interesting, and force strangers and friends alike to look at them.

7 thoughts on “Cat Lady 101: A Guide to Your Cat’s Expressions

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