Your cat’s tail is used for more than just balance. Cats use their tails as a sign of emotion and communication, and also to signal what kind of mood they’re in.
Remember those trendy mood rings in the 1970’s? They made a comeback not long ago. Remember how the ring would change colors when our moods changed. Well, our cat’s tails can tell us what kind of mood they’re in. You just have to know what to look for.
In a sense, our cats talk to us with their tails. If we learn to recognize the different messages their tails send us, we can become a better communicator with our feline friends. We can understand their thoughts and feelings better.
Here is a list of various cat tail positions and what they mean. This is a general list of definitions. Remember, like everything in life there are exceptions to what something means. Are you ready? Let’s get started.
Held High– A content, confident cat will hold their tail high in the air. A tail that is erect usually signifies a happy and friendly mood. If a cat approaches you with their tail high in the air and the end of their tail quivers, this usually means that he/she adores you.
Almost every time my tabby cat Tiger sees me, his tail is quivering. That lets me know that he really loves me.
Laying Low- A tail that is positioned straight down, parallel to the legs, may indicate aggression. So, when you see this, be careful when approaching the cat. Now, some breeds are the exception to this mood indicator. Some breeds tend to carry their tails lower like the Exotics, Persians and Scottish Folds.
Question Mark?- When the tail is bent in the shape of a question mark, your cat is in a playful mood. This is a good time to find one of their favorite toys and play with them.
My tuxedo cat Midnight is notorious for showing me this tail position when he wants to play. His favorite game is bally ball (remember I talked about that in another email).
Tucked Underneath– A tail that is tucked away, under the body between the legs, says that your cat is fearful and nervous. You should be careful when approaching.
Whipping Motion- A tail that whips rapidly back and forth can indicate both fear and aggression. That tail is saying stay away!
Twitcher- When your kitty’s tail twitches at the tip, that means they’re in a curious and exited mood.
Swishing– A tail that swishes slowly from side to side usually means that their attention is focused an a specific object. They will display this tail position right before they pounce on something…like a cat toy, an insect, a moving object etc.
All Puffed Up– I’m sure you’ve seen your cat’s tail get thicker, and it looks fat and bushy…also called puffy or poofy. This means your cat is very agitated, scared or afraid. Cats do this to make themselves look bigger and scarier to other animals, usually other cats. It’s a defense mechanism designed to confuse and deter possible attackers.
Tail to Tail– When a cat wraps it’s tail around another cat, he/she is displaying feline friendship. It’s a sign of affection.
Well there you have it. You have just learned the tale of the tail. These are the secrets your feline friend is tryng to tell you with his/her tail.
Learning these tail positions will help you better under- stand cat behavior. This will help you and your cat grow closer. Pretty cool isn’t it?