Cat Body Language Tail. What are they saying?

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Cats are particularly very expressive in nature. However, it takes an observing person not to take note of any communication cues that your cat throws at you. Well, while there are many forms of communication among cats, their tails will tell you a bunch of things. It may take some time before you learn how your cat communicates but it is essential for easy coexistence with them. Below, we are going to discuss cat body language while focusing on tail communication.


How do cats communicate with their owners?


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If at all you are looking for an expressive and calm companion, adopt a cat. You will never have to wonder what he is feeling or thinking as you can tell from his entire body language. Do cats communicate with their owners? Absolutely, they do.

It is up to you however, to determine the message he is trying to pass across. Cats will use their tails to communicate their feelings with their owners. Just as you can tell a nervous person, it is the same way you can tell your cat is not comfortable.

Besides, a cat will use other body language cues when they want to communicate with their owners. This only means that if you want to create that strong bond with your cat, you must learn to understand him. For instance, he will meow in different tones for different reasons. Note that cats will most meow to communicate with their human parents as opposed to other cats.

Without much delay, let us discuss what your cat is trying to tell you through the tail.


Cat Body Language Tail

Understanding cat tail body language


Fortunately for you, researchers have made it easy for us to understand what our cats are telling us through their body language. It is not only about how your cat positions the tail, but it is also all about the movements and literally any change from his normal relaxed mood.

So what is your cat telling you when he moves his tail? Understanding cat tail body language is vital to anyone who has or is planning to get a cat. How else are you going to determine when he is afraid, happy or relaxed? We are going to look at cattail communication meanings right away as we help you connect with your cute kitty.


Cat body language tail and the meaning


Upright Tail position

When you get home from work or to run errands, your kitty might position his tail upright. This means that he is happy that you have come home already. Also, he might casually meow at you to say hello. An upright tail position signifies confidence and happiness.

At this point, you are free to pet your cat. You can offer a cuddling session as your response to his joy. Also, offering him a treat will also do. This way, you will only encourage the bond between the two of you, which is a good thing.

Tail Coiled at the top

In addition to a happy cat putting his tail up high, he might also curl it at the top. This means that he is happy and at the same time friendly. He feels comfortable in your presence. You can offer to pet him or put your hand out for him to sniff.

Note that at this position, his tail will be still and not twitching or moving. He is at peace and you can sure initiate a play session with him. His tail will be upright but curled like a question mark at the top to signify a playful mood.

Straight down tail position

On the other hand, when your cat has his tail straight down, you need to watch out. At this position, he is agitated and can get aggressive quickly. If at all you are petting him and he has his tail all the way down, it would be advisable to leave him alone completely.

However, some breeds of cats carry their tails low. For instance, the Persian cats carry their tails down for no reason.

Tail tucked beneath his body

This is a submissive position. You may observe your kitty tuck his tail under his body when he is faced with a threat. For instance, if she loves sitting by the window while watching the outside, dogs and stray cats may pass nearby. As a result, your cat might be afraid of the latter and end up in this position. It is also a common occurrence in a home with more than one cat or pet.

If you notice your cat tucking his tail beneath his body, do not go rushing towards him. Instead, be nonchalant and wait for him to come to you.

Also, consider leaving your blinds down so that your cat will not see anything from the outside. Keep him occupied during the day to curb idleness and boredom.

Puffed up cattail

When your cat has a puffed-up tail, it means that he is agitated and angry. He might also be faced with a situation causing him fear. In most cases, your cat is trying to make himself look bigger than he actually is, hoping to scare away the oppressor.

Once you observe your cat in this state, the solution would be to get him out of there immediately. If at all your cat gets like this in the house, the best thing you can do is leave him alone once again. Let him compose himself slowly if he is not in danger. Do not pet or approach him while in this state.

Whipping cattail

Most cat owners have at some point, witnessed their cat’s tails thumping on the ground heavily. It is usually an indication that your cat is really pissed off. This cattail position signifies fear and aggression all the same.

If you are petting your cat and he suddenly starts whipping his tail on the ground, stop immediately and leave him alone. He is trying to warn you to stay away from him before he can pounce on you.

Twitching tail

When your cat has a twitching tail, it means that he is focused. It is also possible that he will have his body lying low in this position. It could be that there is something on the outside that he is trying to figure out. In other cases, he might be playing with an exciting toy that may require full attention.

Some cats will put their tails around another cat’s. It means that they are friends and therefore can play and hang out with each other.


Cat Body Language Tail

Petting a cat

Once you have been able to understand your cattail body language, it is going to be a lot easier to relate with your kitty. You can be able to tell when he is well and when he is stressing, scared or angry. Now, before you go on to pet your cat, you need to observe his tail and overall body language. You need to understand his current mood before you can put your hands on him.

Below, we shall talk about how to pet a cat the right way.


How to pet your kitty

Petting is one of the favorite moments you are going to experience with your cat. However, you will need to be careful with him. You need to monitor him and determine the time he needs petting. Keep away from him when he does not appear interested. Do not pet him when he seems aggressive.

If you want to pet your new kitty, focus on his mood and tail movement. It is perfectly fine to cuddle him with his tail up high. As we have mentioned above, this means that he is happy and confident. On the other hand, a thumping tail is always a warning sign.

Follow the following steps when you are petting your new kitten:

Start Small

You might be excited that you now have a companion and thus all you want to do is cuddle. While this is a good feeling, you may need to start small in order to establish trust. Start by touching or gently running your fingers on the top of his head before you can get to the full-body petting.

Don’t touch him when he rolls over

Other than tail, your cat has other means of communication. For instance, when he is on his back, in a rollover position, it could be that he is being aggressive. So do not touch or try to pet him when he is in this particular position.

Unlike dogs, most cats do not like belly rubs.

Monitor his safe zones

When petting a kitty, you definitely want to do it safely. Even though cats are different from each other, right on top of his head, is a great spot for petting your kitty. Also, you could touch under his chin for the same reasons. However, observe your cat’s reactions when you touch him. If it is irritating to him, let him be.

His ears and cheeks are also great spots for petting.

Choose petting sessions carefully

It can be quite a task when you are trying to schedule the cuddling and petting sessions. I mean, there is no way to tell when your cat will be the most relaxed. So, basically monitor your kitty before you start cuddling and petting him when he is angry or agitated.

Besides, cats are quite receptive to petting when they are calm and relaxed.



Understanding your cattail body language is an essential step when you finally bring your kitty home. You can be able to tell what he is feeling or thinking. You will, however, need to set aside some time each day to play and pet your cat. Notice the times he is most receptive to petting.

Always get your cat out of scary or stressful situations. Once you notice a change in his tail position or movement, there is also a change in his mood. Beware to pet him when he is exhibiting any signs of aggression.

Cattail’s body language should guide you to understand his emotional status. As we have previously mentioned, these are expressive creatures. Therefore, try and understand what he is trying to tell you each time he raises or lowers his tail. Once you master this, you will definitely be able to avoid situations that have your cat scared or happy. It is up to you to figure your cat out.

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