Cats: Tail Posturing
Upright, Tip Curled
This tail posture is a show of ease and inquisitiveness. A cat with her tail held high with the tip curling is feeling friendly and interested. She will be easy to approach and most likely wants you to pay her some attention.
Again, a high tail is a sign of high spirits and confidence. If it has a bit of a quiver to it, it’s even better. A cat with this tail posture is most likely feeling very affectionate and will probably start rubbing against your leg to show you some love.
Still, but Twitching
A twitching tail is a clear sign of discomfort and anxiety for cats. If a cat is still but her tail is busy twitching, she is feeling some degree of irritation. This feline could be agitated about something, and that something could be you, so be on guard. The more intense the twitch, the more annoyed she is.
Unlike dogs, a cat’s vigorous swish of the tail conveys nothing but anger. If her tail is moving back and forth rapidly, she’s extremely mad, and likely getting ready to lash out. Stay back.
Arched and Puffed Up
If Smoky’s tail is bristling and either straight up or curved, she’s ready to attack; cats puff out their tails to appear larger and more imposing than they are. It’s a classic display of defensiveness. This cat feels threatened and is ready to do whatever it takes to fight back against her enemy.
Fully Lowered and/or Tucked Between Legs
A cat who has her tail tucked between her legs is feeling defeated. This tail posturing is a direct show of submissiveness to whatever higher authority is around (which may be you). It can also be a cue that she is not feeling well, so it’s important to note the other body language she’s displaying.
While the tail is one of the strongest signs of pets’ mood and behavior, it’s certainly not the only one. Animals may not be able to speak to us in the literal sense, but they can communicate through a series of bodily gestures, like tail posturing, and with their ears, their eyes, and, of course, their barks and meows. The best way to understand and communicate with your pet is to take all her body language into account. Gaining a better understanding of what your pet is trying to say will surely lead to a more harmonious relationship for both of you, one that will leave you grinning like a Cheshire cat.