Why do cats wag their tail?

They can portray a range of emotions and feelings through a simple wag of the tail

While it is commonly known that dogs wag their tail at the sign of excitement or greetings, cats, on the other hand, have more mystery surrounding their tail wags. They can portray a range of emotions and feelings through a simple wag of the tail, however, as a cat owner, it can be quite difficult to decide what they mean.

A cat’s tail is only one part of a series of signs to look for when a cat is expressing itself. Other signs to work out what it is they want is to look closely at their posture, facial expressions, and the position of their ears and tails.

The following tail movements and positions will give you some insight into what your cat is feeling:

Vertical tail:

A cat that has its tail in an upright, vertical position is often considered to be a friendly greeting or that they are in a playful mood. If there is an added tail quiver when your cat sees you, it means they are happy, content and confident to be around you as it is an added greeting.

A tail that is upright, but more arched, usually means they are defensive or ready to attack and do not wish to interact.

Wrapped tail:

Cats will often wrap their tail around your arm, leg or neck to show affection. Along with a headbutt from a cat, this is one of the major signs to show that a cat truly loves you and feels confident around you.

Tail Flick:

When a cat’s tail is in a lower position, extended firmly and is flicking back and forth, this usually means they are showing their displeasure or signs of offensive aggression. It often happens just before a cat is ready to pounce as they stalk their prey.

This tail flick is common in environments where the cat does not feel comfortable (i.e. the vets) or if it is slow, confident movement, this can sometimes mean the cat is relaxed and just surveying their environment.

Fluffed tail:

When a cat senses they are in danger or are confronted by another animal, it’s very common for them to fluff up their tail and arch their back. This is to make themselves appear bigger and scarier to whatever they perceive as the danger.

Cats are very expressive creatures and more often than not will use their tails to express their emotions and feelings. It takes their whole body to truly show what they are feeling as each part of them will react in a certain way to different situations.

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