A familiar phrase cases that the eyes space the windows to the soul, but in cats, it’s their tail place that offers the biggest insight into what a cat is feeling.

You are watching: Why do cats fluff their tails

Cats use their tail movements, along with their eyes, ears, and also body postures, to communicate. Understanding cat tail language will aid you to far better understand your cat.

You have the right to read your cat’s body language to determine how they feel about particular interactions and also to determine the situations or settings that make her cat happy or reason fear. Analysis the tail language the a cat deserve to also help you determine illness and pain more readily.

These advice for knowledge cat tail language will certainly empower friend to construct a an ext loving, trusting, and fulfilling partnership with her cat.

Why do Cats Wag your Tails?

Just favor dogs, cats relocate their tails come express your emotions. So what does it average when a cat wags that is tail? Let’s take a look in ~ the various “wagging” tail movements and what they mean.


Thrashing Tail Movements

When your cat thrashes their tail, or is thumping it on the ground, they space irritated, annoyed, or angry. This speak you that something is bothering her cat.

This is a distance-increasing behavior. In other words, if you are petting your cat and they start thrashing their tail, they are trying to tell you come stop. If you don’t, then the thrashing tail may be a prelude to hissing, growling, swatting, or biting.

Twitching the finish of the Tail

Cats twitch the end of their tails as soon as they room hunting and also playing, and also when they space mildly irritated and frustrated. In this case, read the scene and look because that other hints to their mood. If they’re not playing or stalking something, then the twitching tail activity probably way that they are annoyed.

Swishing Tails

When her cat gradually swishes your tail from side to side, they might be intently concentrated on something favor a toy, another pet in the home, or something outside. They may be around to pounce!

Engaging in predatory actions like stalking and also pouncing is good enrichment for your cat, therefore let them proceed to connect in everything is captivating your attention.

Tail Quivers

Your cat may quiver your tail when they are specifically excited to check out you or one more cat. Sometimes, once a cat quivers his tail when holding it directly up and also backing up against a upright surface, they might be urine marking.

Why execute Cats Wrap your Tails approximately You?

Just together we greet one an additional with handshakes or hugs, cats may greet by curling your tails around people and by intertwining your tails with various other cats. Tail pack is an affiliative behavior that displayed a willingness to interact.

What does It mean When a Cat"s Tail Stands right Up?

When a cat’s tail is upright, they room feeling social and confident, and also approaching in a friendly manner.

This cat tail language indicates a trusted greeting in between cats, and also it’s how kittens greet their mothers. A research study study through Cameron-Beaumont in 1997 uncovered that cat were ready to readily method a cat-shaped silhouette if it had actually a elevated tail yet were reluctant to method the silhouette if it had a lowered tail.1

If her cat viewpoints you v their tail up, this is a great time to pet lock or play with them.

What does a Tail in a Question note or Hook form Mean?

You may an alert that occasionally your cat’s tail looks choose a question mark—it stand upright and also curls at the end. This cat tail language suggests that her cat is happy and approaching amicably.

Seeing her cat’s tail in this position is an invitation to connect with her cat. However, while it is tempting come pet that curly-tipped tail, many cats favor to it is in pet about their face glands on their cheeks, under your chin, and also next to their ears.

Why execute Cats Fluff Up your Tails?

If your cat assumes the quintessential Halloween-cat posture through a puffed tail and also arched back, climate they are startled or frightened by a sudden, serious threat.

Your cat’s hair stands on finish (piloerection) so that they can show up to be larger. This is a defensive reaction indicating the your cat wishes to be left alone.

This tail position is often triggered through feeling endangered by other animals in the yard, dogs approaching, tourists in the home, or suddenly noises. Remove the inciting triggers come decrease her cat’s stress. If you shot to communicate with your cat once their hair is stand up, they might perceive your technique as a threat and also become aggressive.

What If your Cat"s Tail Is organized Low come the Ground?

A cat may reduced their tail listed below the level that their ago if they room frightened or anxious. If your cat’s tail is tucked in between their legs, climate they are really fear or might be experiencing pain.

Why perform Cats Curl their Tails around Their Bodies?

If her cat is sitting or lied down v their tail wrapped roughly their body, then they are frightened, defensive, in pain, or feeling unwell. When you check out this, finish your communication with your cat and ensure that your cat’s environment is totally free of stressors.

If her cat frequently crouches with their tail cut tightly roughly their body for more than a few days, climate an evaluation by your veterinarian is warranted to preeminence out pain or illness.

Although you need to look at more than just their tail movements, to completely understand her cat’s emotionally state, the tail might be the most expressive part of a cat’s body language. Better understanding her cat’s human body language will certainly surely improve your bond with your cat.

See more: How Many Characters Is One Page Is 2500 Characters? Answers To Your Questions


Cameron-Beaumont CL. (1997). Visual and tactile interaction in the residential cat (Felis silvestris catus) and undomesticated tiny felids (Doctoral dissertation, university of Southampton, unified Kingdom). ISNI: 0000 0001 3514 9313.