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How to Read Your Cat's Tail Language?

April 30, 2023

Cats are fascinating creatures and understanding their body language is key to building a strong bond with them. One of the most telling parts of a cat’s body language is their tail. In this post, we’ll go over the different ways a cat’s tail can convey their mood and what each tail position means. 

  1. Vertical Tail: If your cat’s tail is held high and vertically, they are usually happy and alert. This tail position is often accompanied by a relaxed body and a twitching tail tip, indicating that your cat is in a playful mood.

  2. Flicking Tail: A flicking tail is a sign that your cat is feeling excited or curious. This can be seen when they are watching birds outside the window or when they are investigating a new toy.

  3. Puffed Up Tail: When a cat’s tail is puffed up like a bottle brush, they are feeling threatened or scared. This is a sign of aggression, so it’s best to give your cat some space if you see this tail position. 

  4. Tucked Tail: A tucked tail is a sign that your cat is feeling insecure or frightened. This can be seen when they are in a new or unfamiliar environment, or when they are being approached by a larger animal or person.

  5. Wrapped Tail: When a cat wraps their tail around their body, it’s a sign that they are feeling relaxed and content. This is often seen when they are curled up for a nap.

  6. Swishing Tail: A swishing tail is a sign that your cat is feeling frustrated or annoyed. This can be seen when they are trying to catch a toy that keeps slipping away or when they are being petted in a spot they don’t like.

Another noticeable behaviors of a cat is its tail wagging.

Why do cats wiggle their tails?

The tail wagging of a cat is a form of communication, much like their body language, vocalizations, and scent marking. The way a cat moves its tail can convey different emotions, moods, and intentions. Here are some of the reasons why a cat may wag its tail:

  1. Excitement: A happy, excited cat may wag its tail rapidly back and forth. This tail movement is often accompanied by other signs of excitement, such as purring, meowing, and rubbing against you.

  2. Aggression: When a cat is feeling aggressive or defensive, its tail may puff up and whip back and forth. This behavior is meant to intimidate other cats or animals, and it's a warning sign that the cat is ready to defend itself.

  3. Curiosity: When a cat is interested in something, its tail may twitch or move slowly back and forth. This is a sign that the cat is on alert and wants to investigate further.

  4. Discomfort: When a cat is feeling stressed or uncomfortable, its tail may twitch or shake. This is a sign that the cat is not happy and wants to be left alone.

Reading your cat’s tail language is an important part of understanding their mood and behavior. By paying attention to their tail position, you can gain insight into how they are feeling and respond accordingly.

The tail wagging of a cat is a crucial aspect of their body language and a way for them to communicate with others.

By understanding the reasons behind a cat's tail wagging, cat owners can gain a better understanding of their feline companion's moods and intentions.


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