When a dog wags its tail, we know it’s excited. Cat tails tell us a lot about what cats are feeling as well. By paying attention to the way a cat’s tail is moving and where it is on the body, we can know how our cat is feeling and get a better idea of what our cats needs.
Now, keep in mind that these movements and placements are only part of the puzzle. Cats, like dogs, also show their emotion with their hair and mouth. It’s important to pay attention to all feline movements, and chances are you can easily pick up how your cat is feeling at any given time.
Cat Tail Positions and Meaning
- Natural Resting Position – Often, you’ll find that your cat’s tail is calm and resting on the ground. That is the natural resting position. It is a sign that your cat is feeling calm and satisfied.
- Straight and Upright Tail – Straight and upright is the ideal tail placement for an active cat. It means they are feeling happy, confident, and content.
- Tucked Tail – Like dogs, if a cat’s tail is tucked in, it means that your cat is feeling fearful. Usually, cats will also show they’re fearful in other ways.
- Puffed Up Tail – When a cat’s hair stands on its ends, that is usually a sign that your cat is feeling anger or aggressiveness. It may also mean they’re fearful, but considering an attack.
- Vibrating Tail – When a tail vibrates, it means that a cat is excited. It is typically, although not always, a positive excitement rather than a nervous one.
- Flicking Tail – Flicking tails signal irritation or annoyance. Like people, cats flick away the things that they do not like.
- Twitching Tail – Interestingly, when a cat tail starts to twitch (but not vibrate), it means they are intensely focused on something ahead of them.
Tail Wagging and its Different Meanings
One of the most complex tail movements for cats is tail wagging. Unlike dogs, which wag their tail when they’re excited, happy, and anticipating something, cats wag their tail for a number of different reasons. Some of examples of tail wagging in cats include, but are not limited to:
- Tail Low, Slow Wag – A low tail wag that occurs slowly may mean a relaxed cat.
- Tail High, Fast Wag – A high tail wagging quickly is an excited cat.
- Tail Wagging Forcefully – Fast, forceful wagging indicates an offensive aggression.
Tail wagging can mean that the cat is curious, and it can mean that the cat is confused. You may need to review the cat’s other body postures to get a better idea of what emotions they are trying to convey.