Cats can seem as mysterious as the Mona Lisa because their faces reveal verylittle about their emotions. But your cat’s tail is another story. Each swish,shake, and wag reveals how he’s feeling, how to meet his needs, and what toexpect next.
Do Cats and Dogs Communicate Differently?
Like dogs, cats use their tails to communicate. However, cats can sometimessend mixed messages because their tail movements cover a wide range ofemotions. “A lot of people think cats are mysterious and aloof but, inreality, it’s just in their nature to conceal their emotions,” says MollyDeVoss, Certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist for Cat BehaviorSolutions in Dallas.
“Dogs have evolved with a social hierarchy that differs from cats. Dogs viewtheir owners as pack leaders and, thus, try to please them. This oftenincludes mimicking happy expressions that make you smile,” DeVoss says. “Butcats have evolved as a solitary species. In the wild they live alone, not withother cats, so they have little need for communication.”
DeVoss says that when cats communicate with one another in the wild, itrevolves around territorial and mating gestures. In those situations,revealing their emotions might be interpreted as a sign of weakness, so catsuse a silent form of communication—their tails. This is true of domestic cats,too, who are known for their “poker face,” especially when compared to dogswho are much more expressive.
Cat body language is fascinating to watch, yet complicated to understand. Toaccurately “read” your cat, DeVoss recommends considering his tail and overallbody position, plus his activity and surrounding environment at the time. Putthe pieces together—like a puzzle—for the context needed to decode your cat’slanguage, meet your feline friend’s needs, and strengthen your bond with him.
12 Ways Cats Wag Their Tails and What They’re Trying to Communicate
When your cat talks with his tail, take heed. Here’s what he’s trying to tellyou.
1. Wagging Tail
Dogs wag their tails to show they’re happy, but not cats. In fact, a cat’swagging tail usually means exactly the opposite. If two cats wag their tailsat one another while their backs are arched and their heads are lowered theymay be about to engage in a skirmish. However, a constantly wagging tail mayalso indicate that your cat is in pain.
2. Straight Up Tail
When your cat’s tail pops straight up, he’s happy to see you. It’s also a signof trust and joy when your cat walks near other pets or objects that theylove.
3. Tail Straight Out and Rigid
When your cat is crouched and ready to pounce, his tail goes straight out andrigid so it can be used as a balancing tool when making quick turns orjumping.
4. Lowered Tail
The lower the tail, the more cautious or unsure your cat is feeling.
5. Tucked Tail
A tucked tail could be a sign of fear.
6. Flicking Tail
A flicking tail indicates excitement, contemplation, beginning irritation, orthat your cat is in pain.
7. Tapping Tail
When your cat is in a relaxed position and tapping the end of his tail, itmeans he’s slightly annoyed or contemplating something. Like “I’m trying tosleep and that sound is bothering me,” or “My tummy is grumbling,” or “I’mthinking about getting up to go to the litter box, but I’m so sleepy.”
8. Swishing Tail
A side-by-side swish says your cat is irritated or agitated.
9. Question Mark Tail
When the tip of your cat’s tail forms the shape of a question mark, it meanshe’s happy or in a playful mood.
10. Tail Shiver or Shudder
Your cat is excited, marking his territory, or is feeling stressed, anxious,or insecure if his tail shivers or shudders.
11. Lowered, Puffed Out Tail
If the hair on your cat’s tail puffs out and his body arches (think Halloweencat silhouette), he’s been startled by something and is really scared.
12. The Wrap
When your cat wraps his tail around you or drags his tail over you, it’s anaffectionate, trusting gesture. It can also be a sign of ownership. Yes(unsurprisingly), your cat believes you belong to him , instead of him toyou.
Source: Carla Jordan Yahoo
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