Reading feline body language can be difficult without a lot of experience. Even still, many long-time cat owners find themselves in the dark when it comes to understanding what their cats are trying to tell them. Since much of your cat’s communication comes from body language, it’s important to understand what their tails can tell us. Here, we’ll go through various tail positions and what they generally mean.
#1 – High
A cat that’s holding its tail high while walking around is a sign of contentment. If your cat’s tail is held high, your cat is likely very happy and comfortable, even expressing a willingness to be social.
#2 – Low
If your cat’s tail is positioned low, you’ll want to take it easy. Although some breeds carry their tails low naturally, it’s often a signal of potential aggressive behavior.
#3 – Curved
Have you ever noticed your cat’s tail curled like a question mark? This is a playful gesture and means your cat is looking to have some fun. Take a break and enjoy some playful time with your cat.
#4 – Tucked Away
A tail that’s tucked away is often a sign of stress, so you might want to look out and see what’s making your cat anxious.
#5 – Whipping
If your cat is whipping their tail back and forth quickly, you’re looking at signs of stress and potential aggression. Something is bothering your cat and they are going to take some action if needed, so back off and see if you can’t make your kitty feel more comfortable.
#6 – Swishing
On the flip-side, your cat’s tail swishing slowly from side to side generally means they’re concentrating on something. You’ve probably seen this behavior when your cat is ready to pounce on a toy or waiting for you to fill the food bowl.
#7 – Puffed Up
Cats puff their tails up when trying to scare away danger. Your cat is afraid and is acting aggressively, trying to look larger by puffing out their fur.
These quick tips will help you communicate with your feline friend more effectively. Hopefully you’re already doing a good job, but it doesn’t help to freshen up your cat body language reading skills. After all, you are your cat’s advocate and need to make sure that they’re happy and healthy all the time.
Cover photo: Sean Hobson via Flickr