Updated: Mar 21
Dr. Rose, the owner of Peaceful Waters Aquamation, was recently featured in a POPSUGAR article detailing the many reasons why your cat's ears may go back.
Many cat owners have experienced seeing their cat's ears pin back in response to something. What that something is -- many cat owners are unsure. The article goes over why you may see this behavior and what else to look out for this behavior arises.
According to Dr. Rose, "Cats may pin back their ears for reasons including fear and anxiety paired with avoidance, fear and anxiety paired with repulsion, frustration, and lastly, pain."
When a cat's ears are turned back or flattened with a furrowed brow, it can mean that they are fearful and anxious. You often see this behavior when the patient is trying to steer clear of a perceived threat. Check out the environment. Is there another cat looking through your window? Did you recently add a new piece of furniture or decor to the room that may look threatening? Sometimes what may seem minor to us may be a big deal to your cat.
Another reason your cat's ears will pull back is when they are repulsed by something. "Ears flattened and out to the side can indicate fear and anxiety in an effort to get rid of the perceived threat," says Dr. Rose. When your cat is repulsed by something in their environment, you may also notice hissing or hair standing up on their back. "We often see these behaviors displayed when a cat is disgruntled with its housemate cat," Dr. Rose explains.
"Flattening or rotating the ears outwards can be an indication of frustration or when something is not meeting your cat's expectations," says Dr. Rose. In the article, Dr. Rose notes that when a cat is annoyed, you may notice that they are vocalizing more, rubbing themselves on you, or even moving their tail back and forth in a swift motion. Address their needs. Did you recently take a toy away? Did you move their favorite pillow they sleep on? Maybe its time for a meal, and you lost track of time?
Lastly, Dr. Rose points out that a cat's ears may pin back when experiencing pain. Signs of pain are tough to identify in cats as they are skilled at hiding it. Seek the help of a veterinary professional when you think your cats pulled back ears are indicating pain.
To read the complete article, click here.