Cat Tail Language

Cat Tail Language

Though often deemed as unsociable and introverted, cats have a complex social life revolving around their cat friends, favourite humans, and other animals. Being extremely intelligent, cats can be incredibly interactive, often relying on their tail and their voice as a tool for communication. Cat tail language is TAILored to express a wide range of emotions and feelings. For instance, cat tail language is majorly used among felines while marking territories and searching for mates.

However, as interactive cats are, the cat tail language remains a mystery to new cat parents, who would give anything to decipher the meaning of cat tail language. Since learning about the cat tail signs can also be immensely helpful while trying to bond with them, here’s a quick guide to how you can understand the meaning of cat tail movement.

Meaning of cat tail movements

  • Raised Tail

    Cats often raise their tail as cat tail signs of happiness, as well as to mean being completely relaxed. A cat also holds its tail high for suggesting confidence while marking its territory. Your loving little furry buddy can also approach you with a raised tail as a common feline way of affectionately greeting you.

  • Bent like a question mark

    Just like a tail raised up high, tails with a slight kink, or bent like a question mark is a cat tail behaviour with extremely positive associations. Cats are playful creatures and a tail bent like a question mark can help you in understanding cat tail movements that your kitty is being playful and wants you to bring out its favourite toy!

  • Keeping the tail down

    Unlike holding the cat’s tail up, holding its tail down and keeping it low does not suggest any positive associations. Rather, if your kitty is keeping its tail low, you might need to pay some extra attention to know if it is going through a difficult time. Cats do not do well under stress and keeping the tail down is perhaps the most obvious of cat tail signs of stress.

  • Hiding the tail

    Much like keeping their tail down, cats also tend to completely hide their tail under their legs whenever they are overwhelmed by stress or are extremely afraid of something. This can be triggered by sudden changes in their environment too, causing them to stay on guard while they are getting used to the new environment.

  • Puffed up tail

    Though cats usually hold up their tail while it is puffed up, it is far from being the friendly gesture we know a raised tail to be! Cats are often preyed on by larger animals, and by puffing up their cat tail, they try to ward off danger by appearing bigger. So, felines puff up their tail when they are feeling anxious or threatened, causing them to be alarmed and on guard.

  • Wraps tail around other cats

    Cats are incredibly friendly when it comes to their favourite humans and other buddies. And much like the human gesture of putting an arm around a friend’s shoulders, cats may wrap their tail around anyone they consider a friend. In addition to licking and grooming, wrapping the tail around other animals, cats, and humans has been widely accepted as a sign of love and companionship.

  • Wiggling tail

    Cat tail wagging is a common gesture when it comes to cat language. From being happy, focused, discontent, and angry, a wiggling tail can have a wide variety of meanings. Commonly cat tail wagging from one side to another is a gesture of confidence and satisfaction. Cat tail wagging or wiggling slowly is also a common sight while they are intensely focused on something, particularly during hunting.

What difference does understanding a cat's tail movements make?

Although it does not often seem like a big deal to be concerned about, understanding your furry munchkin's tail movements can reveal a lot about its personality and general well-being. As a cat parent, it is not surprising to be worried about your kitty, but understanding their tail movements will definitely help you earn some brownie points in this regard. As one of the most intelligent beings on earth, cats are undoubtedly creative when it comes to expressing their emotions and feelings, and the complexity of the meaning of cat tail movement is often sufficient to know how intricate their lives can be!

In addition to the verbal sounds cats make, such as meowing, chirping, and hissing, their tail language occupies a crucial part of their everyday communication.  The swishy, flexible tail does not simply add to the majestic, luxurious look of cats, but as a tool of communication, plays an integral role in expressing almost every kind of emotion.

Other than winning our hearts with their irresistible charm and sass, the cat tail language is a clever and creative way of communicating with other cats, especially when it comes to companionship, marking their territory, and finding a mate. And although human languages are inaccessible to cats, understanding cat tail movements can provide you with a lot of knowledge about your little kitty friend, offering a front-row seat into their lives.

Especially for new cat parents and trainers, being able to interpret the cat’s tail movements can give them some insight into what your kitty might be feeling at any point in time. This can be particularly beneficial in bonding with a cat and getting them to learn new tricks in no time. Cats are extremely sensitive and putting in extra effort to understand the cat tail behaviour will help you pave the way to a precious relationship that both of you will cherish for years to come.

To witness how the tail language of cats change with their moods, just shake a pack of your little munchkin’s favourite Temptations™ treat packet when they have their tails down or are hiding their tails.  You will see how the furry cutie instantly perks up and runs to you with its tail high up in the air or the end bent like a question mark!

Cat Tail Language - FAQs

  1. Why do cats flick their tail while lying down?

    While it means several things, cats usually flick their tails while lying down when they are content and relaxed. They also often wag their tail slowly from one side to another when they are intensely focused, such as when hunting.

  2. What are cats saying with their tails?

    Depending on the cat tail movement, cats can express a lot of different emotions and feelings, such as happiness, sadness, discontent, relaxation, anger, confidence, and affection. Emotions like being anxious and threatened can also be expressed by the cat tail language.

  3. How do you tell if a cat likes you?

    Feline furries always try to establish verbal communication through chirps and meows. However, cats can also express affection with their cat tail language. Cats would often approach their favourite humans with their tails held high as a form of affectionate greeting.

  4. Why do cat’s tails touch you?

    A cat’s tail touching you is an affectionate gesture that suggests companionship and love. In addition, when a cat loves you, it can often touch you with its tail to deposit its scent on you, claiming you as its own. 

  5. Should I touch my cat’s tail?

    Cat tails are incredibly sensitive. So, unless your feline buddy is comfortable, it is not a wise idea to touch or grab its tail tightly. Cat tails are delicate, and if injured, can be quite painful to our fur buddies. 


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