Dogs and cats are adorable to have as pets. But just as cute and cuddly they are to have; they can be just as difficult to understand through their corporal language. You might think that your cat is stretching its tail upwards because it is happy to see you, but for all you know, it is actually pissed off ( Never annoy a pissed cat or it will cover you with scratches. Trust me, I speak from experience). So, you surely want to understand what your dog or cat is trying to convey to you. While you might think that your pet is just being moody, it actually might be going through existential crises. Trying and knowing how to correctly interpret what your pet is trying to say to you is the key to a balanced relationship.
Tail Held High
When a cat holds its tail high, it means that it is relaxed and friendly. The higher the tail, the more confident it is. But if its tail is raised and the fur is erect and puffed out, it means that it is alarmed or might throw a fit, out of aggression. And as it becomes more fearful, its tail slinks lower. When a cat holds its tail high, it means that it is relaxed and friendly.
It is a known fact that dogs wag their tail when they are happy or excited. Now that could be under the context of seeing you or seeing food. If I were a dog, I would always be happier when I saw food rather than my owner because let’s be honest, food is bae. However, if your cat is wagging its tail, you got some bad news coming. It either means that the cat is having an unfriendly encounter with another cat or animal or a human being, or you are about to witness a predatory attack (hopefully it is not on you). During such situations, it is helpful if you just leave your cat alone, i.e. if it is having some problems with you. But if your cat is in predatory mode against another cat, then you can take your cat back home or support it during the fight. It’s up to you.
For cats, when they are friendly and confident, they will greet others with their ears forward and alert. But if its ears move towards the back and/ or twitch, it means that the encounter is not going well and that your cat is unhappy with whomever it is having an encounter with. On the other hand, a dog’s ears will move slightly backwards. If your dog is a submissive one, it is possible that its ears might move even further back. A lot of times the dogs might erectly prick their ears, this happens when they are in an alert mode or they are standing their ground. But this depends on the individual dog.
Side To Side
Both dogs and cats turn their body towards the side but it means different for each of them. Cats do it to show their larger frame and to try and dominate the rival. If your cat is always turning to the side whenever you come close to it, then you might be having some issues in you. You better find out quickly what it is about that tricks your own cat off or it might even escalate to scratching your left and right. However, a dog turns to the side to show that it means no harm whatsoever or that it is trying to avoid a potential threat. On a side note, dogs look adorable when they do this.
Dogs lie on their back as an act of submission to the owner or when it is in a playful mood. A lot of times the dogs like when their owners scratch their bellies. On the other hand, cats do it just to laze around or for some other reason. So, if your dog sees a cat lying on its back, it might see it as a submissive position and might approach it to play with it, but the cat, in turn, becomes defensive and may even try to scratch or bite. Good luck to your dog!
All in all, dogs and cats have very different ways to express themselves. You cannot expect the same behavior that your dog has (playful or hyperactive) from a cat.