What Your Cat’s Tail Is Secretly Trying to Tell You

Cats aren’t expressive and are very challenging to gauge. Right? Wrong. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about cat communication by taking the time to observe your feline friend’s body language. The eyes, ears, posture, and especially the tail have stories to tell. Here’s all you need to know about what your cat’s tail is secretly trying to convey. 

Cat Tail Positions and What They’re Trying to Say

Cats’ tails have a lot of tales to tell. Watch your feline friend and take note of the tail’s position and the hidden messages it conveys.

  • Tail Pointed Straight Up: That’s the perfect way for a cat to demonstrate friendliness. It’s also a sign your cat is happy and approachable. 
  • U-Shaped Curved Tail: A curved tail is often a sign of relaxation, happiness, or playfulness. The higher the tail goes, the more confidence it demonstrates. 
  • Tail Wrapped Around You: Touching you with the tail or wrapping it around you is one way your furry friend expresses affection, relaxation, and love. It’s the perfect opportunity for petting your cat and having a play and bonding time. 
  • Tail Out and Angled Up: If your cat’s tail is held away from the body and slightly angled up, that’s expressing unease or indecision. It’s a wait-and-see situation that could go either way.
  • Tail Close to the Body: A low tail held close to the body indicates that a cat feels unsure or afraid. That’s usually not a happy sign, suggesting that aggressive behavior may follow.
  • Tail Between the Legs: A tail between the legs isn’t usually good news. It may reflect extreme fear and uncertainty and is a warning that an attack may follow, especially if accompanied by hissing, yowling, and flattened ears.
  • Arched or Puffed Out Tail: An arched tail or puffed out tail fur indicates alarm or aggression, regardless of how the tail is positioned. It’s often a way to look larger and more intimidating in the face of a threat. 

Cat Tail Movements and What They Convey

Cats communicate through tail movements just as much as their positions. So pause for a moment and watch those subtle cat behaviors, which will tell you a lot about what’s going on with your furry friend. 

  • Wagging Tail: Unlike dogs, a cat’s wagging tail is not a sign of friendliness. It’s a warning sign expressing anger, fear, or agitation, which may soon be followed by aggressive behavior. 
  • Slowly Swishing: A tail moving slowly against the ground is a sign of spotting something enticing or getting ready to zero in. You’ll often see the tail thumping against the ground right before pouncing. 
  • Tail Flicking: In kitty language, flicking a tail tells you to stay clear. It’s a warning sign that your feline friend is angry and ready to go ballistic. 

Cat Tail Language: A Recap

Just as it’s important to pay attention to your cat’s tail and what it’s secretly trying to say, you must familiarize yourself with other behaviors, including body positioning and vocalizations. That way, you’ll have a clearer picture of what your cat’s trying to convey.

Still Have Questions?

If you have any questions about your cat’s health or behavior, talk to your trusted team at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in Kirkland, WA. We’re here to help you decipher your kitty tail language and ensure you engage in the most fulfilling way. We love to support our feline patients and cat owners because, after all, we are all about cats!

Recent Posts

At All About Cats, we provide a safe, comfortable experience for your special friend.



425-636-8201 phone
425-968-2996 fax

6501 132nd Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98033

Email All About Cats Veterinary Hospital | Kirkland WA 98033
All About Cats Veterinary Hospital | Kirkland WA 98033

Practice Hours

Monday through Friday
9:00am - 5:00pm

By Appointment Only
8:00am-9:00am and 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Call Today All About Cats Veterinary Hospital | Kirkland WA 98033 Request An Appointment For All About Cats Veterinary Hospital | Kirkland WA 98033