What Do The Motions Of My Cat’s Tail Mean?

You can learn a lot about what your cat is thinking by observing the motions of his tail. The way your cat is swishing his tail is a good indicator of what kind of mood he’s in. Here’s our handy guide to understanding what your cat’s tail is trying to tell you!

Tail Held High and Straight

This tail position means that your cat is strutting his stuff. He feels confident, friendly, and content. If there’s a little twitch at the end of the tail, he’s feeling especially happy at that moment.

Tail Held Out Straight at a 45-Degree Angle

A cat with his tail held out at a 45-degree angle is feeling unsure about you. He’s neither welcoming nor threatening. Talk softly to him and offer some gentle reassurance and you’ll probably make a new friend!

Tail Held High and Curved Like a Candy Cane:

It’s playtime! This tail position usually indicates that he is in the mood to play. Time to break out the cat toys!

Tail Held Low and Straight

This tail position can be a sign of aggression, but most often it just means kitty is in a serious mood. You don’t want to get in his way!

Tail Tucked Away Between His Legs

This tail position is a sure sign of a scaredy cat! When a cat tucks his tail between his legs, he is nervous or scared. Talk softly to him and reassure him if he’s willing, but be careful because a scared cat can go on the defensive fast!

Tail Puffed Out Like a Porcupine

If you see a cat with his tail puffed out like a porcupine, consider heading the other direction! A puffy tail is a sure sign that a cat is seriously mad or frightened and he wants you to back off.

Tail Whipping Quickly from Side to Side                                                      

When a cat’s tail is whipping quickly from side to side, it’s a sign that he’s agitated or mad. He may be getting ready to take a swat at something, so it’s probably not a good idea to hit him up for cuddles!

Tail Swishing Slowly from Side to Side

The slow, side to side tail swish is common when a cat is stalking something like prey, a toy, or even another cat. Stand back and watch, and you’ll probably see him pounce!

Tail Wrapped Around His Buddy

Think of a cat wrapping his tail around his friend as the same thing as you wrapping your arm around a person you care about. It’s a sign of love and friendship, kind of like a kitty hug!

As you can see, the language of a cat’s tail can be pretty complex! How does your cat usually hold his tail? Tell us what you think it means in the comments below!




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