Just like humans, cats can be aggressive at times. So how do you know when your cat is upset or angry? Do not worry! I will show you some Signs that cats are angry below.

You and your cat use different languages, but you can still understand what they mean through some gestures. These expressions will reveal to you what his feelings and intentions are. Just pay more attention to the cat; you can completely recognize these signs and understand their inner thoughts easily.

Signs that cats are angry
Cre: Pixabay

1. The sound of growling and hissing

Angry cats can make a variety of noises to signal their displeasure, including growls and hisses. Growling and hissing are one of the main ways cats tell someone they are angry. If your cat growls or hisses when you get close, you can speculate that he’s not happy with you or what you’re doing.

A low-pitched growl (or a low, raspy sound, different from a normal meow) is often a clear sign that your cat is uncomfortable and unhappy. And the same goes for the hiss. 

2. Purr is one of the Signs that cats are angry.

As you probably already know, purring sounds mainly occur when cats are happy and satisfied. But sometimes, this sound is the cat’s expression when scared or in pain, and some cats do the same when angry. Have you guessed “Do cats purr when they are mad?” The answer is yes. So pay attention to this sound!

If you notice that your cat is purring along with some of the other body language cues I’ll list in this article; it’s a sign your cat is angry about something.

3. Tail wagging

Emily Parker, a cat behavior expert at Catological, asserts that one of the first subtle signs that a cat is angry is when you see its tail low, wiggling from side to side.

Cats don’t usually wag their tails much. Most cats don’t wag their tails as happily as dogs. A fast jerking or slapping tail (looks almost like a dog wagging its tail) is usually a sign of a cat being irritable. At the same time, the tail feathers can also stand up. So, unlike a dog that wags its tail to express joy or pleasure, a cat swinging its tail back and forth is impatient, aggressive, and possibly poised to pounce!

3. Avoid you

Being with you and even following you when you move is a sign that your cat shows affection. Conversely, when you see the cat avoiding you, you can predict that he is unhappy about something. Cats who get angry at someone will usually avoid being around them. If the cat gets mad or upset with you, he may leave the room or even jump off the couch or get up high and stare at you from afar. The best thing to do right now is to give your cat some space to calm down.

4. Signals in ears 

Cat ears are one of the ways cats communicate with you — and other animals.

Cre: Pixabay

Your cat’s ears will flatten and point to the side or be at the rear of his head when he’s angry, resembling an airplane wing! Do not approach your cat when you find his ears in that state because your cat is really feeling unhappy and annoyed.

5. Cat’s body

The cat’s posture is also a telltale sign. An angry cat is usually in two positions: arched back with fur upright or body close to the ground. That may be a defense mechanism for cats. An angry cat’s fur will often stand up, which makes him appear larger and more intimidating. Conversely, your cat may instead try to make himself appear smaller by crouching low to the ground and hunching his shoulders as if the cat is in a state of being ready to attack the opponent at any moment!

6. Staring

Although cats can’t create all facial expressions like humans, they’re perfectly capable of letting humans know they’re angry by making eye contact. In the animal kingdom, prolonged eye contact seems to be an act of aggression and dominance. As a result, when you realize your cat is glaring at you, he may be expressing anger at you.

In addition, pupil size is also a factor that you should pay attention to know if your cat is upset or not. Dilated or constricted pupils can both indicate anger. However, in some cases, the size of the pupil does not mean the cat is angry because the cat’s eyes can be affected by many factors. A cat’s eyes may also dilate to adjust to the amount of light in the room instead of showing a sign of anger. Therefore, you need to combine many different signals to determine the cat’s emotions accurately.

7. What should you do with an angry cat? 

Often it is possible to handle a cat’s anger and calm them down. Start by giving him space and slowly doing things that will create a positive relationship, such as feeding, playing with toys, grooming, or speaking softly. Remember, it’s perfectly normal for your cat to be upset with you sometimes, but it’s best to find out why they feel this way if it happens frequently. Are there any factors that make your cat feel stressed or unhappy? Here are some possible causes to consider. 

  • Environmental changes, such as the birth of a new family member or change in the physical environment. 
  • Sudden change in daily routine 
  • Cats perceive the indoor environment as “dull” that does not allow the cat to have normal behaviors such as hunting, scratching, and “marking” territory
  • The conflict between cats or other animals due to the introduction of new pets into the family 
  • Loss of a companion pet or owner. 

Also, notice if the cat seems annoyed when you touch specific points on its body. Some of these reactions may also indicate that your cat is in pain rather than just angry. Therefore, check with your vet if anything seems amiss or happens frequently. 


The Signs that cats are angry that I listed above may not be all. Each cat can express anger in different ways. Usually, when cats are mad at you, they will tend to let you know through signs. 

Just as cats use body language and different vocalizations to show that they are comfortable around you, they do the same to indicate when they feel angry or upset. The ability to recognize when your cat is angry will allow you to understand your “furry friend” better, thereby knowing how to please him. Last but not least, watch and listen more!


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