How To Read Your Cat's Tail Movements

Have you ever wondered how animals communicate with humans without speaking the words human can understand? Animals, particularly cats, use their tails to convey simple messages to humans. Your cat might be telling you some things that need your attention. Your cat’s tail tells so much about what it is feeling, and you only need to read what it is your cat is trying to tell you. How to tell? Here are how to tell what your cat tells you:

  1. If you observe a shivering tail, or a tail that mildly shakes, it can mean a variety of different things depending on which part the tail is shivering. If the shaking part is more at the end of the tail, it is a signal that your cat is irritated or you are irritating him. On the other hand, a cat’s tail that is shivering or shaking on its entirety means that your cat is excited and is happy.
  2. Watch your cat’s tail. If it swishes back and forth very quickly, it means that he is in the mood to hunt. If you observe him really closely, you will notice that he will swish his tail quite fast when he is eyeing your shoestrings or that feather toy or catnip that you are dangling from above him. The fast swishing of the tail is one characteristic that big cats in the wild do when it is on the hunt. Domesticated pet cats are after all descendants of the mighty big cats in the wild.
  3. Whenever your cat is sleeping, take the time to watch his tail movements. Cats sleep most of their morning hours and if you see their tails flipping up and down on the floor, it means they are dreaming of hunting or they are stalking something in their dream. Sometimes the paws twitch. It is an indication of some hunt going on in his dreams as well.
  4. Notice that sometimes your cat slashes his tail back and forth rapidly? If your cat is slashing his tail wildly at you or anything else, it can only mean that he wants you to back up. He does not want to be disturbed or his playtime with you is over and he wants to be left alone. You may experience this with really dominant cats. Sometimes the less dominant cat rarely swishes his tail rapidly at anything. So when your cat means business, let him alone.
  5. A perfectly happy domesticated cat always has his tail high up in the air like he is proud to show it off. Your cat holding his tail up high means that he is happy at home and comfortable. It is a definitely good sign of good health and good relationships between you and him. However if your cat has his tail down or keeps it in between his hind legs, it can be a sign of uncertainty or an unhealthy feeling.
  6. You might notice that whenever you are sitting down comfortably on a chair, your cat would brush his body against your legs and his tail would wrap around it? It is the most loving gesture your cat is giving you. It means he loves you and is perfectly contented with your care.

The next time your cat walks past you or you see him lounging in the living room, stop and observe his tail. If you see him giving you “love,” give him soft caresses. Your cat loves to be petted!


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