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Table 2 Feline emotions ethogram/guide [32,33,34,35,36, 38,39,40]

From: Development of an ethogram/guide for identifying feline emotions: a new approach to feline interactions and welfare assessment in practice

EMOTION BODY LANGUAGE ACTIONS RISK OF HANDLER INJURY RISK OF WELFARE ISSUE
EYES EARS TAIL BODY
Fear Wide open eyes [35, 39] with round dilated pupils [35].a
Blinking or half blinking [38].
Or eyes tightly shut [39] or avoidance of eye contact [33, 36, 39].
Gaze to left in mild fear states [38].
Flattened [34] to the side [33, 35, 36] or back [32, 35, 36, 38].
Ear pinnae are not visible [35].
Tucked under the body or wrapped around it [32, 36, 39]. Piloerectio n[36, 39].
Tense muscles [39].
Crouching [32, 38, 39].
Lowered head [36, 39]
Standing with arched back [35].
Left head turn in mild fear [38].
Vigilance [39].
Startle [39].
Trembling [32, 39].
Freezing [32, 38, 39].
Hiding [32, 38, 39].
Fleeing/avoidance [32, 38, 39].
Grooming [32].
No maintenance behaviours (eating, drinking, elimination)/sleep [39].
MODERATE HIGH
Anger/Rage Pupils oblong and dilated [35].a
Direct stare [32, 35, 36].
Swivelled sideways [33,34,35]. Inner pinnae are visible [35]. Lowered and rigid [35]. Held in inverted L shape [36].
Slapping against ground [32].
Rapidly moved from side to side (or up and down) [32] (Tail lash [33]).
Piloerection [32, 36] along spine and tail [36].
Leaning forward [36].
Elevated rump [36].
Standing with arched back [35].
Exposing teeth [32].
Launching at/chasing individual [32].
Attacking with paws or mouth [32].
Displace others [32].
HIGH HIGH
Joy/Play Pupils dilated/round due to arousal [35].a
Or relaxed/soft [32].
Upright and forward facing [36]. Vertical [33]. May take an inverted U shape [35]. “Play face” in kittens: a half- open mouth [32, 40].
Arching spine [32, 40].
Body posture varies.
Locomotor play [40]
Climbing [40]. Running.
Social play [40]
Approaching cat [40].
Jumping [40].
Patting, pawing playmate [40].
Grabbing playmate with forelimbs [40].
Biting playmate [40].
Rolling/presenting belly [32, 40].
Wrestling playmate [40].
Kicking/raking playmate [40].
Chasing playmate [40].
Side stepping or running away from playmate [40].
Object play [40]
Rearing to reach object [40].
Pawing [25, 40], batting object [40].
Holding object with paws [40].
Sniffing, licking object [40].
Biting [25, 40], chewing object [40].
Throwing object [40].
Wrestling with object [40].
Predatory: Stalking, chasing, jumping, pouncing on object [40].
MODERATE MODERATE
Contentment Pupils are small miotic vertical ovals [35].a
Half open [36].
Upright and forward facing [32, 36]. Tail relaxed and still [36].
May be erect and slightly curled [32, 35].
Sitting [32].
Lying curled up in circular formation [32].
Stretching [32].
Yawning [32].
Grooming self or other (allogrooming) [32].
Kneading/treading paws [32].
Friendly greeting (nose touching/sniffing, head butting, rubbing face and body against object/individual-allorubbing) [32].
Rolling onto back or from side to side [32].
Nuzzling [32].
Eating [32].
Clawing object [32].
LOW LOW
Interest Dilated/round pupils [35].a
Gaze to right [38].
Observing an individual or object [32].
Upright and directed forward towards stimulus [32, 36].
Ear flick [36].
Depends on context.
Horizontal [33].
Tail up/vertical in friendly greeting [33].
Standing on hindlimbs [32].
Resting forepaws against object [32].
Stretching head out forward [36].
Head turn to right [38].
Exploring the area or objects [32].
[32]Sniffing .
Lickin g[32].
Pawing [32].
Friendly greeting (touching noses with another cat or rubbing face & body against object/individual-allorubbing) [32].
Hunting (stalking, chasing, pouncing, grabbing, biting) [32].
MODERATE MODERATE
  1. aPlease note that pupil size and shape may also be influenced by arousal and ambient light levels