For example if you had a cat and running a mouse over its tail would make it angry, but running the mouse over it's head would make it happy. I thought it might be done by having layers on a button with 2 hit areas, I mocked it up quickly, but it just played both animations when I hovered over each button.
You need to work with a movieclip, not a button symbol if you want to have different areas clickable for different purposes.
how dyou do it with a movie clip then?
Take two different buttons/mcs and place them inside a movieclip and use them as buttons. I really don't know what else I can say.