Great News:

Telling Tails

Do you wonder sometimes when your cat is in the best mood to play? Your cat’s tail is quite the communication device. He uses it very efficiently and effectively to let you and his cat companions know just what’s going on inside that brain of his. Here are a few interesting tail communication signals:


  • When feeling confident, your cat usually will walk with his tail straight up.  When walking through tall grass, if the cat wants others to know he’s there, he’ll also hold his tail straight up.
  • An upright tail that resembles a question mark usually indicates a friendly greeting or playfulness.
  • When greeting you, your cat may flick his upright tail a few times. Consider that a friendly “welcome home.”
  • A relaxed tail is loosely horizontal.
  • When a cat lashes his tail back and forth that usually means irritation, however, if he’s watching a bird outside he may whip his tail back and forth in excitement.
  • A thumping tail can also mean irritation.
  • An upright twitching tail typically is displayed when a cat is anticipating something good, such as a meal or a treat.
  • When a cat sprays, his tail will twitch.
  • When walking, if a cat holds his tail very low to the ground it can indicate he is afraid or unsure. Depending upon specific circumstances, it can also mean he’s feeling defensive.
  • A puffed up “Halloween cat” tail is a defensive display. It usually occurs when the cat is startled or frightened.
  • A tail wrapped tightly around the body or tucked under the body usually indicates the cat is afraid and wants to be left alone.

The above descriptions are very general though because the immediate environmental circumstances must also be taken into consideration.

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