Paying attention to the position of a cat’s tail can give you insight into your feline’s mood. And offer clues about what kind of behavior to expect. I Have A Tail? Woah!
I Have A Tail? Woah!
Your cat’s tail can tell you about what’s going on inside her head. Tails are good indicators of mood.
Take a little time to observe your cat’s behavior and you will start to get a feel of the tales the tail tells.
Wagging Cat Tails
Other cat tail signals warn you away with signs to increase the distance between individuals. A wagging tail tells you to “back off!” And when Kitty starts thumping the ground with her tail, she’s ready to attack. A moving tail in cats generally indicates arousal of some sort. Excitement, fear, aggression — but your dog may mistake the tail-wagging cat as an invitation to approach. After all, doggy wags often mean, “come close, let’s be friends.”
The end of the tail flicking back and forth usually indicates frustration or heightened emotion. Tabby may do this when the bumbling puppy won’t back off. If this tail warning to back off is ignored, the tail escalates to lashing or thumping — and ultimately an attack.
When felines keep their tails low to the ground, this often means they’re unsure of a situation and could be aggressive. However, some breeds, such as Persians and Scottish Folds, tend to carry their tails low even when they’re in playful moods.
Tail Straight Up
This signals that your cat is feeling friendly or content. Usually your cat’s tail will stand straight up when he’s around you. Mother cats hold their tails upright when she wants her kittens to follow her (it may also help her kittens see her, depending on where they are).
Similarly, when kittens run to greet their mother (or pet parents), their tails will rise straight up, too.
The Tail Flick Or, the Straight Out and Back Tail
Not to be mistaken for a quiver, the low tail flick is a fairly obvious movement. A feline will hold its tail low, extended rigidly, and flick it back and forth, indicating its displeasure.
The low flick can also be indicative of an upset cat that is ready to pounce. And is often used when a cat stalks airborne prey.
Hook In Base Of Tail
Also called the “inverted U” or “horseshoe” tail. This behavior signals defensive aggression. Usually, your cat’s tail will be bristled too.
You’ll often see this in your cat when he has the “kitty crazies” at the end of the day. He may also arch his back and crab walk a bit, especially if another cat has angered him, or if he’s feeling feisty about something.
Facts About Your Cat’s Tail
Your cat’s tail helps them to balance. The tail helps to serve as a counterbalance when cats walk on narrow spaces such as fences or shelves. The tail also aids in balance when a cat is running after or jumping on prey. Tail injuries can cause permanent damage.
The tail houses nerves that can affect the tails muscles as well as their control of urination and defecation and pulling on the tail can cause nerve damage. Nerve damage may heal over time, but can often be permanent. Cats can live without tails. Even though cats use their tails for balance, if a cat’s tail needs to be amputated due to an injury, the cat will soon learn to compensate for the loss of their tail. In fact, Manx cats are born without tails and are not any less agile than their tailed friends.