Loading... Please wait...

test

Blog - undercover pet houses

Cat Tail Language: What It Means and How to Handle It

Posted by


Do you know how to read and decode your cat's tail body language? It’s an essential cat parent skill. While your cat can't talk, they provide clues to help you understand what they're communicating.

Your cat relies on an array of body language to get your attention. In particular, your cat's tail position provides one of the most significant insights into what your cat is feeling. Cats tend to have different tail movements to express different needs or emotions. But all tail movements have different meanings.

To help you decipher your cat's tail movements, here are some tips to help clue you into what your cat may be saying:


1. Upright Tail/ Hooked Tail

Sometimes your cat's tail looks like a hook or a question mark—it stands upright and curls at the end. This indicates happiness and confidence. It's an indication that your cat may be approaching amicably and an invitation for interactions, a good time to pet or play with them.

2. Tail Quivers

Tail quivers signify excitement, especially when your cat is excited to see you or another cat/pet—their tails quiver to signal readiness for interaction. You'll also notice them rubbing their face on you or other cats, purrs and happy meows.

3. Flicking/ Lashing Tail

If your cat suddenly thrashes their tail or thumps it on the ground, they are agitated or angry. Something might be bothering them. Give them some space and make the environment cat-friendly.

4. Twitching the End of the Tail

Cats may twitch the end of their tails when playing, hunting or when slightly upset and frustrated. You'll need to carefully watch your cat, read their mood and act accordingly.

5. Waving or Swishing Tail

Quick swishing indicates that your cat is intently stalking or focused on something like a toy, something outside like a bird, etc., and they may be about to pounce on the subject. Such predatory behavior is a good source for cat enrichment.

On the other hand, slow swishing may indicate irritation. You may need to give your cat some space.

6. Wrapping Tail

Tail wrapping demonstrates a willingness to interact and affection. Your cat may occasionally display love by wrapping their tail around your hand, arm or neck.

7. Puffed Out Tail

Also known as the Halloween-cat posture, cats fluff up their tail when they feel frightened, triggered, startled or in danger by a sudden, severe threat. As a defensive tactic, your cat will also puff their tail and arch their back to appear larger and scarier. Give your kitty some space and eliminate provocative triggers to decrease the occurrence of cat stress and aggression.

8. Low Wagging or Tail Held Low to the Ground

When frightened or anxious, your cat may lower and wag their tail below their back. Besides, if your cat's tail is tucked between their legs or curled around the body, they may be frightened or experiencing some pain, defensive or feeling unwell.

They may also pin back their ears and crouch their body low to the ground when lying down. If such tail movements persist, visit your veterinarian to rule out pain, stress or illness.

9. Quick Twitch

Usually short and fast, your cat may quickly twitch their tail to imply concentration. This can commonly be seen when watching something through the window ad may involve cat sounds.

10. Sleep Twitch

Your cat may twitch their tail when sleeping. In such a case, they're most likely entering the REM phase of dreaming and are trying not to wake up. Don't wake up your cat. The REM stage is followed by deep sleep, which is crucial for your cat's health and wellbeing.

Although cats communicate using other body parts and sounds, your cats' tail is one of the most communicative parts of their body language. Now that you know how to read and interpret your cat's tail language, you can better understand and interact with your cat. 

Is Your Cat Bored? 6 Top Tips to Entertain Your Feral Cat

Going out is great for your feral cat, but they sometimes get bored and want to stay home. Should you notice any signs of boredom, there are lots of ways you can entertain your cat to provide them with mental and physical stimulation.Here are six top tips to keep your cat entertained. 1. Get Them Some ToysNo conversation about entertaining cats [...]

Read More »


Why Your Cat Licks You: Everything You Need to Know

Every cat parent a cat has had their cat adorably try to lick them, and with this comes many questions about why your cat licks you. While most associate it with affection, there are several reasons why your cat licks you.Here is everything you need to know about cat licks. To Show Affection, Social Bonding, [...]

Read More »


8 Cat Breeds That Could Get Along With Your Dog

If you love both cats and dogs, it's not easy choosing between the two as your companions. Given the general opinion that cats and dogs can't get along, you may be concerned about adding a cat to the family. But should you? Certainly not. Cats and dogs can peacefully coexist and even become inseparable friends. However, choosing the right cat breed [...]

Read More »


5 Tips for Having a Safe Easter Holiday with Your Cat

Easter holidays are a time for celebrations with family and friends — our felines included. With a wealth of surprises, including festive baskets, goodies, cute bunnies and pretty flowers, it promises to be an exciting festivity. But a few Easter goodies are toxic to cats.From potentially toxic foods and décor to stressful environments, here are five tips to ensure you have [...]

Read More »


​5 Easy Homemade Treats Your Cat Will Absolutely Love

If you're a cat owner, you know that treats are one way to get to your cat's heart. However, when most cats think of treats, they think of commercial treats sold in pet stores. But what if you can spoil your cats with homemade cat treats? Yes, you can share the love with your feline friends by making them [...]

Read More »


Cat Nutrition: 6 Essential Nutrient Requirements for Your Cat

Have you ever wondered which food is right for your cat? Cat nutrition is a sensitive subject, mainly because we all want to see our lovely cats growing and glowing with excellent health. Like you, your cat needs to be nourished with the right nutrition to thrive. But what exactly are your cat's dietary needs?Check out the basic nutritional requirements [...]

Read More »


Top 10 Tips for Caring for your Feral Cat in Winter [Part 2]

In the last article, we did an introduction and covered 5 tips on how to help your feral cat stay safe and warm during winter. If you have yet to read get it here:  Caring for your Feral Cat in winter [part 1]This is part 2, and we’ll cover the remaining 5 tips. Let’s dive in. 6. Use Pet-safe Ice MeltsMost [...]

Read More »


Top 10 Tips for Caring for your Feral Cat in Winter [Part 1]

Winter can be a very rough time for people. And it's easy to think that cats aren't affected by the cold, given their furry bodies. In truth, freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall also present many risks for our feline friends. Particularly those who like exploring the outdoors. Cat owners must therefore protect their cats from elements and colder weather.This article [...]

Read More »


Food Allergies and Intolerances in Cats

Adverse food reactions (AFR) are quite a common problem in cats of all ages. Adverse food reactions are comprised of food intolerance and food allergies, which trigger an adverse response by the body to an ingredient found in food. With cats, food allergies involve an immune system response to amounts of an ingredient in particular food and can lead to [...]

Read More »




Recent Updates

Sign up to our newsletter