Your cat’s tail is actually telling you a tale. Animals communicate with vocalizations and body language. How your cat holds or moves its tail can be a good indication of their mood and what types of behavior to expect. Be aware that the following tail tales only apply to cats – some of these mean the exact opposite when applied to a dog!
Tail straight up in the air
This shows a confident, happy cat. When their tail is up like this, they usually welcome attention, snuggling, and interaction.
Question mark tail
When their tail is up and curled at the end this often means your cat is in a good and curious mood. This would be an excellent time for some interaction, perhaps a game, or some petting.
Low tail position
Back off when your kitty’s tail is low to the ground! This means your cat is unsure, agitated, and maybe feeling a little aggressive.
Swishing slowly back and forth
This means your cat is very focused. If your cat is looking at a toy, their next move may be a pounce.
Puffed out, arched tail
This often happens when a cat feels afraid, angry, or when they feel in danger. It’s often accompanied with an arched back and possibly some hissing! This would be a great time to leave your cat alone (as long as they are not in any danger).
Tail curved under them or around them as they sit
This is more of a submissive posture, and it could indicate your cat is nervous.
Fast moving flicking tail
When their tail slaps the ground or whips back and forth, they are irritated, angry, or feeling aggressive. This is a great time to give your cat some space and private time!
Humans are so keyed into verbal communication that we forget to try and read our pet’s body language. But, once you start reading your cat’s tail tales, you’ll quickly get good at knowing what your cat is trying to tell you!