Tail talks: decipher and decode The da vinci cat tail

Pets connect and converse with us in their own way. It’s upon us that we understand their communication and respond accordingly.
Puffy tail: frightened
A frightened cat will puff up her tail. It is quite significant and can sometimes be even two or three times the original size of the tail. This can look impressive in long-haired breeds, where the hair stands up and the tail looks incredible and poofy.
A puffy tail is often accompanied by an arched back and flattened ears. The cat is attempting to look bigger than her actual size and trying to threaten their opponent.
This tail position depicts that the cat is in flight mode, but if bothered, it will quickly switch to fight mode.
Tail lashing back & forth rapidly: irritation and aggression
There is something that’s bothering your cat and is getting on her nerves. If the tail is quickly whipping back and forth or thumping the floor, it’s a sure sign of irritation. Understand that this is a warning sign and the cat might lash out. Give her time to settle down and be calm.

Tail low to the ground: hesitant
This is a sign of a hesitant and sceptical cat. When cats feel threatened, they place their tail low on the ground. If you see a cat looking wary with the tail in this position, understand that this can quickly progress from uncertainty to aggression. Be careful!

Tail tucked between legs: alarmed:
When the cat is frightened, intensely scared, or has seen something alarming, she’ll act a little strange and will tuck the tail between the legs.

Tail stretched with a question mark: playfulness
If there is a slight curve at the end of a tall standing tail, this usually resembles a question mark. This little curve at the end of the tail expresses playfulness. They are feeling friendly and are up for a play session. This tail position means your cat is looking forward to human communication and interaction.

Tail standing up and quivering: excitement
Maybe she has caught a mouse and brought it to you as a present, or has heard or sniffed the can of treats.

Tail straight up: very happy
This is also a sign of contentment, excitement or anticipation. This is usually how your cat will greet you at the door when you come home after a long day.

Tail gently swishes from side to side: focus and concentration
When the cat is gently focused on a specific sight, like a bird outside the window, or a feather toy, the tail swishes from side to side. This is a movement that a cat will exhibit prior to pouncing. The cat is tempted by the sight of what he’s watching and wants to get hold of it.

Tail wrapped around another feline: affection and love
Cats wrap their tails around their feline friends, and occasionally human friends, to show affection. If your cat does this to you, you are lucky.

(The writer is a behaviourist, neurobiologist, school teacher and long-term pet parent of her pooch, Dobie)

www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com; www.facebook.com/Dogsandpupsmag
Are you a proud pet parent? Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to [email protected]


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