Grey cat with curled tail lays on sheepskin rug. What do cat tails mean.

We are taught that communication is more than the words you say, and the same goes for cats. They may meow and purr, but the majority of what they are trying to convey can be seen through their body movement and the way they move their cat tails.

Bushy Tails

Just like our eyebrows may shoot up, or tension can go to our shoulders; bushy tails are a quick indicator that your cat is stressing. A low bushy tail says ‘I’m scared’. Do your best to relieve the situation, whether that is removing a human from that area, or calming down your movements. As much as you may want to console your cat at this point, be careful in reaching out as they may react in fear scratching or protecting themselves. A little space, and less noise, or interaction will help them calm down.

If a cat tail is straight up and bushy you need to step back quickly. This is your cat’s way of saying, “I am angry, leave me alone, I will attack if needed”. There is a tendency to want to soothe your cat in this as well by talking and petting them, but take a step back and give your cat time to calm down. They will not understand your words, but they will understand their boundary being crossed after letting you know they are unhappy.

Swishy Cat Tails

Tails that move frantically from side to side; display stress. It can also mean your cat is beginning to feel overwhelmed. If your cat is lazily swishing their tail with no particular rhythm, they are happy and enjoy their time. They may be playing, lazy relaxing while being pet, or just walking around.

Still or curled Cat Tails

A straight tail means your cat’s attention is captured. Could be a mouse, a car passing in the street, or you moving quickly after relaxing. Remember cats have great vision at night, but during day they may take longer to focus their eyes to see clearly. A curled tail can show curiosity. Whether that’s a new toy you have to play with, or that they want to curl up with you. If their tail is curled between their legs, your cat is most likely worrying and afraid. In this instance you can pet your cat calmly. Our pets sense our tension. Staying calm helps our furry friends relax as well

Thank you for reading with us! What tail movement does your cat do most often? Let us know your cat questions in the comments below, and we’ll create a blog post just for you!

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