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5 Crazy Cat Anatomy Facts

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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.

How to Read Feline Tail Twitches

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cats, Do Good, Pets, , , , , ,

By Kathy Blumenstock, Animal Planet

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7:03PM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

yes, U think that the purring is the biggest mystery of the universe ... after the big bang and it will remain a mystery as ling as life will go on on earth. I can stay hours listening to my kitties purring ...

12:10PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

We call the quivering tail the tail dance. Jake the Kitty often does it when canned food is on the way, or when we come home after being out a long time. In fact, he usually seems to do it to signal excited delight.

Then there was my brother. The first time he saw Jake's tail dance, he started screaming we needed to take him to the vet right away because he was having a 'tail seizure.'

Funny thing, we were both raised with cats. We have both been owned by cats in adulthood. Somehow, though, my brother managed to entirely fail to notice this quite common cat behavior. The only cats I've known who never quivered their tails were all manx, and thus had no tail to quiver.

11:56AM PST on Mar 2, 2014

I love the sound of kitty's purring,

12:17PM PST on Dec 28, 2013


5:18AM PST on Dec 23, 2013


2:26PM PST on Dec 22, 2013

Love those kitties! :0)

6:00AM PST on Nov 25, 2013

Very interesting facts!!! Have a cat is a great experience

2:55AM PST on Nov 22, 2013

Thank you :)

3:14AM PDT on Oct 12, 2013


3:13AM PDT on Oct 12, 2013

Thank you :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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