A new book from National Geographic, How to Speak Cat: A Guide to Decoding Cat Language, helps children gain a better understanding of cats by explaining feline body language and behavior. Veterinarian and President and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA Dr. Gary Weitzman serves as the guide throughout the book.

Examples include

  • Almost everything you want to know about what a cat is thinking is being communicated by their tail.
  • When a cat’s whiskers lie flat against their face, watch out because fur is about to fly! But not for Persians — they have such flat faces they can’t move their whiskers at all!
  • Listen up! Cats rotate their ears when they are angry. And yes, they have terrific hearing so when you call and they don’t come they CAN hear you, they are just ignoring you!
  • A cat’s eyes are open windows into their hearts and a slow blink of one or both eyes means “Yes, I like you and I feel safe with you!”
  • With time, practice and patience, you CAN begin to hear the difference between the “I Want To Go Outside” meow from the “Pet Me” meow. They DO sound different.


This well-organized and beautifully illustrated book is aimed at children ages 8-12, but even adults can learn something new from this comprehensive guide. It includes fun facts, findings from scientific studies, and myth busters.


I think this book is a must have for anyone who shares life with cats and children. It’s a fun way to educate kids and foster the bond between kids and cats. Highly recommended!

How to Speak Cat: A Guide to Decoding Cat Language is available from Amazon.

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4 Comments on How to Speak Cat Helps Children Understand Cats

  1. would be great if the same thing was done about dogs too, especially teaching children to recognise the signs of an angry or vicious dog and advice on what to do and not to do when confronted by one ! it could literally save lives ! i think the dog thing should be taught compulsorily in primary schools.

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