3. Tale of the Tail
A cat’s tail, which contains almost 10 percent of his bones, acts as a counterweight in helping him keep his balance while walking along a narrow space or making sudden turns. But besides working as a rudder, a cat’s tail communicates his mood and messages. Decoding tail talk is one of the easiest ways to read feline body language.
A relaxed cat’s tail moves gently, occasionally, side to side, signaling that he’s up for a little attention. With his tail held high and straight, a cat says he’s in charge and happy. If the tip quivers slightly, the cat is irritated. A quick lashing motion, sometimes accompanied by flattened ears, is a sign that your cat wants to be left alone, and may attack if you continue petting him. When a cat is at play or watching birds out a window, his crouched posture, with the tail flicking back and forth, mimics the behavior of a big cat stalking its prey. If a cat’s tail is straight up and bristled, he’s alert and ready to attack. A fluffed out, lowered tail signals fear. And a tail lightly brushing or wrapping around your legs spells affection and approval.