VCA Animal Hospitals

What do my cat's ears say?

Published: Oct 30, 2012

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Cats may not be able to speak English, but they can convey their feelings clearly enough with their body language. Flicks of the tail and arching of the backs can say plenty, but one of the best indicators of how your cat is feeling is his ears. When your furry friend seems to be having cat behavior problems, it could very well just be that you are reading his moods all wrong. Learning your cat's body language may also make it easier for you to discover issues in pet health. Here are some common positions you may see your cat's ears in, and what they mean.

Alert and interested
When your cat's ears are completely upright, this means the cat is alert and interested in something. Is it dinner time? Are you playing with a new toy? When your cat's ears are in this position, he is most likely not interested in cuddling because he is otherwise engaged, so it's best not to force petting or other cuddly behavior - unless the cat is greeting you.

Relaxed, happy cat
A cat's ears may quickly go from alert and upright to pointing slightly to the side. This state means the feline is relaxed, happy and content - ready for cuddling, petting or being picked up, because he is not feeling scared or aggressive.

Aggressive or displeased
If your cat's ears move from a forward position to flattened down or backward, it likely means he does not like what is happening. This could mean he dislikes being scratched where you're scratching him, he's annoyed, or he is afraid. This position is important to keep in mind because it is often a precursor to aggression in cats. If your cat's ears are down, it's a good idea to give your feline some space to cool off. 


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.