While dogs are known to show their excitement by wagging their tails, cats also wag theirs as a sign of various emotions. Do you have a cat that wags its tail? It’s actually related to her emotions and understanding its meaning can make it much easier to understand the emotions your cat is feeling.
I tell you everything you need to know about cat tail movements and their different meanings.
Cat wagging its tail: The different causes
Cats can wag their tails for many reasons. All of them are linked to the emotions he experiences, often very strong. Here are the main reasons why it does.
He is happy to see you
This is the most common reason, the same as in dogs. Your cat is delighted to see you and will probably snuggle up to you and purr at the same time or even meow. Generally, he wants cuddles or food.
He is afraid
Your cat may also be wagging its tail out of fear, usually of potential danger that is unknown to it. He will then have flattened ears and dilated pupils, two signs that he is in flight or fight mode.
You can see it wag its tail for this reason when it hears a strange noise which it distrusts and prepares to fight or flee depending on the level of threat.
He wants to play
A cat that wags its tail and rolls on the floor or seems very excited probably wants to play. This is often the case with young cats who often want to play and are very often very agitated when they see you coming home.
You can even see them meowing at the window, wagging their tails eagerly to see you to play with you.
He is relaxed
A cat that is totally calm, often after playing, will move its tail with more fluid movements than when it is for protection. He will also have little facial tension, be it in the mouth, whiskers or eyes, and will have a totally calm face.
He wishes to be alone
If your cat growls or spits while wagging its tail, it shows that it does not want to be disturbed, especially when it is taking a nap or has just exercised and wants to rest. He will usually do this on his cat tree or in the couch when he is lying down and disturbed.
A listless cat that is wagging its tail is probably in pain and will probably purr or curl up in a ball in addition to wagging its tail. A cat in pain will often seek to hide its pain and even from itself by concentrating on something else.
Each tail movement has its meaning
All tail movements are different and linked to very different emotions, ranging from very positive ones to those that show anger and anxiety in your feline. Here is the precise meaning for each movement your cat makes with its tail:
Tail that goes up and down quickly
This is a sign that your cat wants to be quiet and wants to be alone. He is probably annoyed by the person who is disturbing him. Leave him alone or else he will scratch and bite you to make you stop your behavior. He can also spit on you.
Tail going up and down slowly
Your cat is starting to get annoyed, he’s not very aggressive yet, but will become so if he really starts to get bothered. He slowly prepares to retaliate and will pounce if the annoyance starts to bother him.
Tail that slowly goes from side to side
This too is a sign of annoyance, but not because you are bothering him. It’s more related to the fact that he gets angry because he expects something from you and you don’t give it to him. He will often do this if he is expecting food or play.
He will also throw his contemptuous look at you to make you understand that it is time for you to meet his needs.
Tail that goes quickly from side to side
This is a sign of a mischievous cat looking to pounce or jump on something, often for fun but sometimes to attack. Young kittens who are bursting with energy often do so in play.
If your cat is wagging its tail with the tip quivering like a snake, it’s a sign that it’s excited to see you.
He wraps his tail around you
It’s a sign of affection and usually asks for hugs. Typically he will wrap it around your hand or around your neck to show you that he wants to play with you or spend time with you.
He wags his tail while lying down
In this case, your cat is bored and not sufficiently stimulated. It’s his way of twiddling his boredom. Try to offer him something to play so that he can exert himself.
Can I touch her?
Even if your cat wags its tail as a sign of joy or excitement, it is essential that you never touch it as cats’ tails are very sensitive, being connected to the spinal cord and central nervous system. It contains many nerves that make cats hate to touch this part of the body that can hurt them.
Cat wagging its tail: The final word
It is completely normal for cats to move their tail which is indicative of their emotions. Understanding its movements will allow you to better understand your cat’s sensations and better respond to its needs.
If the constantly moving tail is associated with symptoms of disease, such as listlessness or constant refusal to be touched, take him to the veterinarian for proper treatment.