Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails? Here’s What Your Feline Is Trying to Tell You

Cats may appear similar to they are the Mona Lisa because their faces aren’t revealing much about their moods. But the tail of your cat’s an entirely different story. Every swish, shake, and wag tells you how he’s experiencing, what he needs to do to satisfy the needs of his family, and what’s to come the next time.

Do cats and Dogs communicate differently?

As with dogs, cats utilize their tails for communication. But, sometimes, cats transmit mixed messages as their tail movements convey many different emotions. “A majority of people believe that they are mysterious or distant but in reality, it’s in their nature to cover up the emotions they feel,” says Molly DeVoss, Certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist with Cat Behavior Solutions in Dallas.

“Dogs have developed an order of socialization that is different from cats. Dogs see their owners as the pack’s leaders and, therefore strive to satisfy them. This can include mimicking smiling faces that make you smile.” DeVoss says. “But cats have evolved to be individuals. In the wild, they are by themselves, and do not share a space with other cats, which means they do not require communicating.”

DeVoss claims that when cats interact with each other within the natural world, communication revolves around mating and territorial gestures. In those instances, revealing their emotions can be perceived as an indication of weakness, and therefore, cats employ an unspoken form of communication, which is their tails. This is the case for domestic cats also, who is famous for having a “poker face”, especially in comparison to dogs that are less expressive.

Body language in cats makes it fascinating to observe but it can be difficult to comprehend. To effectively “read” your cat’s body language DeVoss suggests looking at his body’s overall position and tail as well as his activities and the surrounding area at the moment. Combine the pieces–like puzzle pieces–to provide the context to understand your cat’s language and satisfy your cat’s requirements, and build a stronger relationship with your cat.

11 Ways Cats Giggle Their Tails, and What They’re trying to convey

If your cat communicates with their tail, pay attention. While you must always be aware of the totality of their body language and the surroundings your cat is in to see a complete picture of how they’re feeling these are the most common signs your cat might be communicating via their tail.

1. Straight up to Tail

The tail of a cat usually appears straight up when walking through a space in which they feel secure. When they approach other cats with whom they’ve developed a friendly relationship It’s also an indication of trust and an intention to be involved.

2. Wagging Tail

Dogs will wag their tails to show that they’re content but cats aren’t. Actually, the cat’s tail wagging generally means the exact opposite. If two cats constantly wag their tails in a row with their backs arched while their head is lower, they could be on the verge of engaging in an argument. But, a constantly moving tail could also mean the cat may be suffering from discomfort.

3. Shudder or Tail Shiver

Your cat is running around by marking its territory or is stressed or anxious when his tail shivers or shakes.

4. Straight Tail and Rigid

If your cat is crouching and ready to attack the tail straight out and is rigid, so it can serve to balance the cat’s weight in rapid turns or leaps.

5. Swishing or flicking Tail

A side-to-side or tail-to-tail flash indicates anxiety, contemplation, and irritation that is beginning, or that your cat is experiencing discomfort. This could also indicate that your cat is focusing, for example, when watching an animal outside of the window.

6. Tucked Tail

A tail that is tucked can be a sign of fear of or hurt.

7. The Tail Wrap

If your cat wraps its tail around you or dangles its tail across you, it’s a loving gesture of trust, like humans holding hands or wrapping an arm around the person. The cats who are bonding will usually be seen walking with tails in a knot or lying down in so that they can relax.

8. Puffed Out Tail

If the fur on your cat’s tail is puffing out and his body curves (think the silhouette of a Halloween cat) You can tell he’s scared by something and is worried.

9. Question Mark Tail

If the end of the tail of your pet resembles an outline that resembles a question mark it is a sign that he’s having fun. It’s also a method cats that are pals will generally greet each other.

10. Tapping Tail

If your cat is lying in a calm position and is tapping the tip of his tail suggests that he’s frustrated or contemplating something. For instance “I’m trying to sleep but the sound is making me uncomfortable,” “My tummy is rumbling,” or “I’m contemplating getting up to take a litter box bath however I’m too sleepy.”

11. Tails with a lowered profile

The shorter the tail is, the more cautious, or uncertain your cat may be experiencing

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