Tail Talks: Decipher and Decode the Da Vinci Cat Tail


Garima Singhal
Understanding feline cues is not rocket science. Your curious adorable feline friend is trying to say a lot through silent signals and tail positions. It is time you make that extra effort to understand their emotions, temperament, and needs through these non-verbal cues!
Pets connect and converse with us in their own way. It’s upon us that we understand their communication and respond accordingly.
Puffy tail when she’s frightened
A frightened cat will puff up her tail. It is quite significant and can sometimes be even two or three times the original size of the tail. This can look impressive in long haired breeds where the hair stands up and the tail looks incredible and poofy.A puffy tail is often accompanied by an arched back and flattened ears. The cat is attempting to look bigger than her actual size and trying to threaten their opponent.
Tail low to the ground means she’s hesitant
This is a sign of a hesitant and skeptical cat. When cats feels threatened they place their tail low on the ground. If you see a cat looking wary with the tail in this position, understand that this can quickly progress from uncertainty to aggression, so be careful!
Feeling frightened or alarmed: Tail tucked between legs
When the cat is frightened, intensely scared, or has seen something alarming, she’ll act a little strange and will tuck the tail in between his legs.This tail position depicts that the cat is in flight mode, but if bothered, it will quickly switch to fight mode.
Tail lashing back and forth rapidly shows irritation and aggression
There is something that’s bothering your cat and is getting on her nerves. If the tail is quickly whipping back and forth or thumping the floor, it’s a sure sign of irritation. Understand that this is a warning sign and the cat might lash out in aggression and irritation. It is best to give him time to settle down and be calm
Expressing playfulness with tail stretched with a question mark
If there is a slight curve at the end of a tall standing tail, this usually resembles a question mark. This little curve at the end of their tail expresses playfulness. They are feeling friendly and are up for a play session. This tail position means your cat is looking forward to human communication and interaction.
Excitement makes the tail stand up and quiver
This shows that she is excited about something or is anticipating something. Maybe she has caught a mouse and brought it to you as a present, or have heard or sniffed the can of treats. Your cat might have seen a mouse or a bird stuttering around and is excited to play or catch it, hence the tail is up and quivering.
Tail straight up depicts ultimate happiness
This is also a sign of contentedness, excitement or anticipation. This is usually how your cat will greet you at the door when you come home after a long day. She is excited by the idea of spending time with you, is happy to see you, and for her treats.
Showing focus and concentration: Tail gently swishes from side to side
When the cat is gently focused on a specific sight, like a bird outside the window, or that feather toy you think they love playing with, the tail swishes from side to side. This is a movement that a cat will exhibit prior to pouncing. The cat is tempted at the sight of what he’s watching and wants to get hold of it!
Showing affection and love with tail wrapped around another feline
Cats wrap their tails around their feline friends, and occasionally human friends to show friendship and affection. If your cat does this to you, you are one of the lucky few. You kitty is displaying great affection towards you and you should feel very highly of yourself. When you start paying a little extra attention to your kitty’s tail positions, you’ll be able to understand his emotions in a better way! Whether it is affection, irritation, or aggression, your pet is conveying it all; you just need to decipher it.
(Garima Singhal is a behaviourist, neurobiologist, school teacher and a long-term pet parent of her pooch Dobie)