What is your cat ‘tailing’ you?



Cats may not have the range of facial expressions as dogs, but they let you know how they are feeling in other ways. Cats use their tails to let you know their moods. Here’s what they are telling you:

Contented and Interested

  • Tail held high indicates confidence and contentment. It’s a friendly greeting to you or another kitty.

  • A raised cat tail, tip curved slightly forward, is an even better sign. Not only is your cat feeling relaxed and open, it actively is seeking interaction.


  • A loose horizontal tail implies a neutral state of emotion.

  • Gently waving means your cat is relaxed.

  • A wiggling tail held straight up means your cat is happy.

  • When cats caress you with their tails, it is a subtle expression of affection and fondness.

Unhappy, aggressive and irritated

  • When your cat's tail is straight down and parallel to the legs, it is a sign your cat is in an aggressive mood.

  • When the tail is swishing from side to side, your cat is upset, stressed or nervous and could become aggressive.

  • A puffed-up lowered tail means your cat is very upset and frightened and trying to appear bigger for self-protection

  • Tail tucked away beneath your cat’s body indicates it’s nervous or fearful. Probably doesn’t want to be touched.

  • If the tail is still but the tip is twitching, your cat is mildly irritated. More twitching indicates your cat is very annoyed and most likely about to attack.

Cats also swish their tail to get their balance before a big jump and to mesmerize their prey. They can’t see their prey unless it moves so they swish their tail to get their victims to move.

Sources:

How to Decode Your Cat’s Tail: A Masterclass

Cat Tail Language: What Your Cat’s Tail Says About Her Mood

Structure and Function of the Tail in Cats

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