Ever Wonder What Your Cat’s Tail is Telling You?

Cats have two primary modes of communication: vocalizations like meowing and purring, and body language. You’ve probably noticed that your cat’s tail maneuvers hold meaning. Below, your Myrtle Beach, SC vet tells you more.

Straight and Rigid

This tail position is sometimes referred to as the “flagpole,” thanks to the way a cat will hold the tail up straight and rigidly. This means that your cat is feeling confident, self-assured, and poised. Most cats will be ready to be shown some affection if the tail is in this position—oblige your feline friend and give her some loving.

Curved

You’ll probably see your cat’s tail in a gently curved position quite often. This is an indicator that your cat is feeling relaxed, comfortable, and playful. Treat your cat to a petting session or some good old-fashioned playtime with quality cat toys.

Wrapped

You may have noticed your cat gently wrap her tail around your leg, perhaps while she’s passing you. This is comparable to a human wrapping an arm around a friend or loved one—your cat is demonstrating her appreciation for you! Some cats may even perform the tail-wrap on other cats or fellow household pets if they’re especially close.

Puffed

A puffed-up tail is your cat’s way of trying to appear larger, and therefore more threatening, in order to ward off a perceived threat. Such a threat could be something as simple as a strange noise in the house, a stranger in the home, or a stray cat wandering outdoors. Other body language, like hissing, widened eyes, and an alert stance, will likely accompany the puffed tail.

Tucked

We usually think of dogs tucking their tail between their legs when they’re feeling submissive or nervous, but cats can do this too. Anxiety, nervousness, or submission could be the emotion behind this tail position, and various things—an unfamiliar presence in the home, a noise, or even a foreign smell—can lead to it.

Of course, not all cats are the same. Some would even say that no two cats in the world are exactly alike! Remember that these tail positions and what they mean aren’t universal. If you would like more information on your particular cat’s body language and behavior, contact your Myrtle Beach, SC veterinarian. He or she can tell you everything you need to know about your cat’s tail and what it may be telling you.

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