Cat body language. She speaks without saying a word

What the tail posture of your cat can tell you about their emotional state

Ouch! Your cat has just been purring peacefully while savouring a cuddle and seconds later, with a swift slash of her claws, she inflicts you with a painful scratch! For precisely this reason, our velvet-pawed friends are often seen as two-faced and devious. But to be fair, we humans often simply don’t know how to interpret the body language of our pet. Those who heed the tail posture of the cat will learn a great deal about its current emotional state. Your moggie is talking to you in this way without saying a word. Observe her closely and learn to understand her better.

If you want to see how your cat’s feeling at any particular time, note the eyes, the positioning of the ears, the whiskers and, of course, the sound. But the tail of a cat is by far the biggest give-away. When totally relaxed, it makes a soft downward curve with the tip pointing up. When the cat is at rest she winds it in.

But watch out when she flicks her tail!

This “wagging” doesn’t mean happiness and enthusiasm as it does with dogs. It signals a condition of agitation which can easily turn to aggression. If your cat’s lying on your lap letting you fondle it then suddenly starts flicking its tail, it’s time to stop and leave it in peace. Otherwise, in the worst scenario you’ll collect a slash with which puss’s way of announcing her reluctance. Many cat owners wonder why their cat appears to scratch out of the blue, it’s simply because they haven’t noticed the advanced signs of uneasiness. If your cat “wags” its tail, stop stroking it. If, on the other hand, only the tip of the tail is moving quickly back and forth, this expresses excitement. Even then, you should hold back.

Tabby’s upward tail

You will certainly have often observed that your cat’s tail is curved upwards. That means your pet is showing friendly interest or is happy about something. When you come home and puss runs to you with a quivering tail held high, then you too have reason to be happy: your pet is greeting you thus with enthusiasm and also showing you that you re the main figure of attachment in its life.

Feline’s fluffy tail

And then there’s the “bottle brush” image, downright bristled hair is an expression of angst. When moggie sees a dog, for example, she mostly fluffs up her coat hugely, including the tail hair. In doing this, she makes herself look bigger to intimidate her opponent.
Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.