Talk to the Tail: What's Your Cat Telling You?

May 26, 2016 at 2:15 PM by Nikki Wardle

Pet care and you cats tail behavior

What's your cat trying to tell you? You've probably noticed that your feline friend won't come out and say what's on her mind—and least not by vocalizing. But your cat's body language is full of clues about what he's feeling, and one of the tell-tale signs is, well, his tail.

Here's your definitive guide to what your cat's tell position means.

High position: For a happy and content cat, this is a natural position. When your cat trots around with tail held high, she's feeling confident and ready to play.

Low position: It's a mood ring set to "aggressive" when your cat's tail is lowered. Remember that this is typical of most cats, while some breeds such as Persians often have a low tail position as a habit.

Tucked position: Like a dog with its tail between its legs, a cat with a tucked tail is afraid or showing submission. Something is bothering your cat when this happens.

Puffed up: A classic sign of a scared or startled cat, a puffed up tail is usually accompanied with hissing and a raised back.

Whipping: A tail whipping back and forth is a clear message: stay away, I'm agitated.

Swishing: A slow, gentle swish may signal that your cat is ready to pounce on a bug, toy, or another object.

The hug: You may notice your cat wrap his or her tail around another cat; it's like a friendly hug and signals camaraderie.

The tail can be a great glimpse into what your cat is going through, but you can't know everything from looking at a tail position. Remember to bring your cat in for regular check-ups to stay ahead of any health issues and keep your cat healthy.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.