VCA Wrightsville Beach Animal Hospital
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. 


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.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours please Animal Emergency & Trauma Hospital of Wilmington at  (910) 791-7387.