Cats aren’t limited to just purring or meowing to communicate – body language is also a huge part of expressing their emotions and mood. Understanding cat tail language can help you understand your cat better and meet their needs. Here are the two ways your cat communicates with its tails – movement and position.
Cat tail movement and what it means
Unlike dogs, cats do not only wag their tails when they are happy. There are other reasons for cat tail movement or wagging.
Flicking or thrashing tail
This means your cat is agitated, aggressive, angry, or feeling threatened.
Your cat feels playful and maybe in a mood to pounce.
This means your cat is excited to see you or another cat.
Your cat may feel irritated or annoyed.
Tail wagging while sleeping
Your cat is most likely dreaming.
Some cats may experience involuntary twitching or tail twitch. The other reason a cat may tail twitch is an extremely rare condition known as feline hyperesthesia syndrome or twitch-skin syndrome.
What your cat’s tail position means
Wrapping tail around you
Like when we hug as humans, cats may wrap their tails around us as a friendly greeting and willingness to interact or bond with them.
Tail high up in the air
Your cat is feeling friendly and confident.
Curved like a question mark
An invitation to interact or your cat is focused on an object of interest.
Your cat is feeling agitated and aggressive; it is best not to try to pet or engage but instead try to neutralize why your cat feels upset.
A puffy tail that is lashing from side to side and arched back
Your cat is probably scared, angry, or agitated. It is best to leave your cat alone.
Your cat is nervous or submissive. Better to wait for your cat to come to you and be low-key with attention.