Cat Tail Language: What Your Cat’s Tail is Trying to Tell You

Cat Tail Language: What Your Cat’s Tail is Trying to Tell You

Imagine trying to communicate your mood and emotions to a loved one, and they deliberately keep ignoring you, or they don’t understand what you’re trying to discuss with them. You will feel very frustrated, neglected, uncared for, and unwanted. You might even feel they don’t love you anymore, and you no longer are their priority. Yes, that is how cats feel when their owners keep ignoring them simply because most don’t understand their kitten’s body posture cues. Cats always convey their feelings and their sentiments with us. They do this through expressive body language, such as the movement of their eyes, ears, and tail. The position of your kitten’s tail can give you a great deal of information as to whether your cat is keen on cuddling with you or whether your cat wants some me-time. So, in order not to alienate your furry friend and make them feel unloved, here is some insight into cat tail language and what your cat’s tail is trying to tell you.

Reasons for Your Cat Tail Movements

Like all living creatures, kittens employ vocal and non-vocal communication as a way of conveying their feelings and emotions. The tail movement of cats is a significant form of their non-vocal communication. Their tail posture discloses a good deal of their emotional and mental state. Apart from communicating their mood, kittens also skillfully maneuver their beautiful tails so as not to lose their balance.

What Your Cat’s Tail Is Trying to Tell You

Observing the movement of your cat’s tail can give you a lot of information about your cat’s emotions. So, what exactly does a cat’s tail shape, movement and position mean? Read on to find out more.

Cat’s Tail Is Pointed Upwards

This tail posture is one of the most common cat tail signs. When your kitten comes to you with his or her tail pointed in an upward position, then it is an indication that the kitten feels comfortable and relaxed staying by your side. A kitten whose tail is pointed upwards feels delighted and self-assured. They are assured of their safety around you and hence don’t see you as a threat.

Cat’s Tail Looks Like A Question Mark Sign

This tail position is another popular cat tail language for cat owners. The question mark position of your cat’s tail suggests that the cat is having doubts or feeling strange about the things in his or her environment. They usually have their tail in this position when they come into contact with an unknown person or something peculiar.

Cat Whips or Lashes His Tail

This posture and cat tail meaning are often confused with friendliness. If your kitten whips his tail, then it is a signal of a kitten that is prepared to attack. This cat tail language or posture is an indication that your cat feels threatened and in danger, hence your cat is all set to defend himself against any aggressor.

Cat siting on a laminate

Cat Wraps His Tail Around His Body

This posture is also one of the cat tail signs to look out for when you are a cat owner. When a cat assumes this sitting position, it means that the cat is nervous, especially about his environs. When this happens, the cat wraps his tail in a particular way or around his body. The cat does this posture to protect himself from danger and feel secured. Additionally, some cats adopt this position to keep themselves warm during cold weather conditions.

Cat’s Tail Is Up And Wagging from Side to Side

If your kitten’s tail is pointing upwards and flicking from side to side, then it indicates that the kitten is thrilled about something. Well, maybe your cat is excited about the cat treats you fed him with, or perhaps he enjoyed the cuddling session you had with him. Whatever it is, keep doing it because it makes your furry buddy excited.

Cat’s Tail Points Downwards

This tail position is another essential cat tail signs to observe. If you come across a kitten’s tail pointing downwards, then it means something might have pissed your cat off. This cat tail language is an indication that your cat is upset and is likely the cat might be aggressive. When this situation occurs, let your cat have their me-time and avoid cuddling them. A kitten with his tail pointing downwards is prepared to attack both pets and humans. Nevertheless, there is a particular breed of cats known as the Persians whose tail also points downwards, especially during their playful sessions.

What does a Shiftless Cat Tail Mean?

A kitten’s tail, which is straight and idle in a relaxed or sitting position, is a signal that your cat is feeling calm and composed at that particular moment. However, a kitten’s temperament can flip quickly. Hence, a shiftless tail which at that very moment meant that your cat was at ease can soon transform into a tail pointing downwards, which then indicates that your cat is likely to be aggressive.

Kitten Tail is Hidden

If a kitten tucks his tail beneath his body, this posture signals that your cat is fearful and is afraid of the imminent threat.

Kitten Puffs His Tail

Again, this particular cat’s tail movement is an indication that your cat is scared. The cat puffs his tail to make his body seem larger to the specific issue that triggered or activated the fear. Also, desist from cuddling with a kitten in such a situation as it might increase their stress level.

Cat Sways Slowly From Side To Side, What’s The Meaning?

When your kitten sways slowly from side to side with a small twitching, then it is an indication that your cat is focused or concentrated on attacking prey. Cats make this body movement when they have edged closer to hunting down the victim.

Cat Wraps His Tail Around Certain Parts Of Your Body

This cat tail language is one of the most common body postures. This body posture means that your kitten is ready to display love and affection. It is good news because it means your feline friend is ready to be cuddled.

Cat running

To Summarize

Overall, kittens are smart and emotionally involved pets, and keeping such intelligent pets happy requires a great deal of effort. It is important to note that communication is vital to every cat’s personality. Every little action they carry out can be a means of engaging with the people around them. Whether through protecting territorial zones with their coat pattern or whipping their tail, your cat is conveying to you what is on his mind and what he requires from you. As such understanding, your cat’s tail movements will better equip you to meet his or her needs and put smiles on his face. It will also strengthen the bond between you and your feline. So next time you see your cat wagging her tail, don’t think she is just acting like a diva, but instead, she wants you to listen carefully to her tales to make her stay with you a pleasant one.


  1. Rebekah Kuschmider, How to Read Your Cat’s Body Language, WebMD
  2. Alison Gerken, DVM, How to Read Your Cat’s Tail Language, PetMD
  3. Cat Body Language: Communication and Expression, Best Friends Animal Society

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