What Do All Those Cat Emoji Mean?

In case you're somehow 15 years behind, emoji are taking over the world. But although there is an obvious benefit to having such a large arsenal of emoji with which to freely share your life with the rest of the world, the choices you have can become overwhelming. For example, what do all the cat emoji mean? Why do we need so many of them? What the heck am I supposed to use them all for? Well, if you're feeling overwhelmed, have no fear — I'm here to help you.

With about 722 emoji currently avalible to help us do things like flirting with a crush to debriefing the State of the Union Address, there are few things left that we can't communicate with emoji. All those differently colored emoji hearts allow us to express love in every color of the rainbow, and the Apple emoji keyboard has 12 different options for trains, which is arguably a higher number than the actual amount of trains I've taken in my entire life. We're clearly an emoji-driven society, and our pictorial vocabulary has expanded accordingly.

But out of all the emojis available on the Apple iPhone keyboard, one of the cutest and most versatile options is undoubtedly the cat emoji. It comes with a total of nine different expressions (perhaps representing each of a cat's hypothetical nine lives?), and they all, of course, mean different things. Not sure how to use all of them, or what makes them different? Check out this handy little guide to help you use them all properly, plus two or three different examples of the emoji in action:

1. Smiling Cat Face with Open Mouth

A happy cat is the best kind of cat, which is why the happy cat emoji is the most versatile. Think of it like a feline version of the regular old smiling face emoji. Here are some examples on how to use it:

2. Grinning Cat Face with Smiley Eyes

Like the smiling cat, the grinning cat seems to be pretty happy. The difference here is that this cat is so happy it can barely keep its eyes open. Not sure how to use it? Limit the grinning cat face to super smile-inducing events.

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3. Smiling Cat Face with Heart Shaped Eyes

People get all excited about puppy love, but there's nothing quite as wonderful as kitty love.

4. Kissing Cat Face with Closed Eyes

Cats are a selective animal — they don't just go around kissing everybody! Only use the kissy-cat emoji when you really, really mean it. You can also use it to indicate that you are (or your cat is) blowing something out your mouth.

5. Cat Face with Wry Smile

Because they can be just as sneaky as they are lovely.

6. Weary Cat Face

Also known as the emoji depicting a very, very surprised cat. In fact, it's so surprised that it's pupils somehow go entirely white. Does anyone else think it looks kind of like The Scream?

7. Crying Cat Face

Believe it or not, as sassy and independent as they might be, cats get sad too.

8. Cat Face with Tears of Joy

Cats don't only cry sad tears; in fact, more often, they're crying tears of joy because they're laughing at how dumb humans are.

9. Pouting Cat Face

Because a sourpuss is a real thing. This one, by the way, is sometimes referred to as the grumpy cat emoji, proving that Grumpy Cat really has taken over the world.

And now you know. Go forth and conquer all nine cat emoji with great pride and confidence.

Images: Emojipedia; Mehak Anwar (22)