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Why Do Cats Move their Tails? | Understand the Meaning of your Feline’s Tail Wag

Be it humans or pets, and body language tells a lot. One such thing that plays pivotal importance is the tail. Wagging in animals refers to moving their seats in a rapid to and fro movement. So, why do cats wag their tails? Most animals use tails to maintain their balance or communicate—how a cat’s tail sways and points could indicate how your cat is feeling. The better you understand your cat’s body language, the better. It helps to comprehend their emotional and physical well-being.

Why Do Cats Wag their Tails? (Reasons)

Just like dogs and other terrestrial animals, wagging a tail could signify many things and help us communicate how the pet is feeling. Like for dogs, if they tucked their tail between their legs, they are in fear; a high pointy tail denotes confidence. When and how do cats convey their emotions with their seats? Below are the reasons why do cats wag their tails.

#1 Thumping

Cats thump their tail when they lie down; this could result from overstimulation, aggression, or anger. Your cat probably wants space, and me-time or her attack will shower you with scratches and bites. When you notice your cat thumping, leave the cat alone, slide its favorite cat ball toy, and stop petting.

#2 Twitching

This could mean an angry cat or a playful one. To determine how do cats move their tails, look for the cat signs language. Mostly during hunting, urine marking, or when the cat is excited and open to play, they might twitch the end of their tail. Like humans, twitching might happen due to sudden involuntary contractions in muscles. It can sometimes occur during sleep. The same reason can help you understand why do cats wag their tails while lying down.

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#3 Swishing

In our analysis on why do cats move their tails, let us know about a swishing kind of a tail wagging in felines. Swishing tail denotes mild annoying to playful behavior. It indicates they need some space and might have caught something that caught their attention.

#4 Quivering

If your cat greets you with a high tail that rattles at the end, it’s just another way to say hi. Cat wagging tail while purring indicates an interaction period; they would approach you with slight purrs and meows to express their willingness to be loved. Quivering happens when any particular interaction piques their interest. The subject of interest could be their pet parent or another cat they are interested in.

#5 Wrapping

If you are thinking what does it mean when cat wags tail, it is that when cats wrap their tails around your legs, it is yet another sign that they are happy and want to show back their affection. This way of appreciation is less common as most prefer to opt for head butts instead of wrapping.

#6 Fluffed

If you notice your cat’s tail fluffed, there is a high chance that your cat might have come face to face with any threat or confrontation. Cats fluff their tails, followed by a hunched back to look more extensive in the eyes of the prey or a contender cat.

#7 Straight

Do cats wag their tails when happy? The answer is yes. When they are comfortable in their plush cat bed, content, and confident, they will let you know with a straight tail, cat tail wagging or waving at the end is equivalent to the dog version of wagging a seat when they see their pet parent or get excited. However, like dogs, the wagging is not as rapid, ebullient, or prominent. It is more like an elegant slow-wave followed by a proud walk that they do to let everyone in the room know that they are happy, and are open to petting.

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#8 Curled

A curled tail denotes a scared, taken-back cat. If you see your cat in such a position, try to calm the cat by removing or reducing any tension or stress that might have induced this sudden fear.

#9 Tucked

If you see your cat’s tail tucked between its legs, your cat is likely in immense pain. To ensure this scenario, carefully check the surroundings that might have caused any harm. Take your pet immediately to a vet for any further medical assistance.


Do cats prefer to be stroked on their tails?

Petting around the tail is a big no-no. If we think, just like any other part of petting the bottom of a cat, then that is off the limit. If you wish to pet, then the chin and base of the ear are excellent spots.

Why do cats chase their tails?

It is an expected behavior of kittens honing their predator skills, but if you see this continuing, it could be because of any underlying issues.

Why do cats wag their tails while lying down?

kitten wagging tail may be a sign of discomfort or any type of pain which might ask you to ensure some medical attention.

Can cats control their tails?

Most of the time, if a cat wags its tail voluntarily and sometimes, like twitching in sleep, it is involuntary. If your cat purposely whips you with a seat, it is because they need attention.


Cats have a poor reputation for being aloof and cold to anything and everything that doesn’t hold their attention. But that might not have been the case; we might not have just been able to comprehend what their body language was screaming all along. Like dogs, cats don’t exhibit exuberant actions and gestures which catch our attention. Little attention to your pet’s slight gestures will help to keep you off some snarls, growls, scratches, and bites. Keeping an eye on cat tail body language might help to detect and prevent any physical and mental conditions your pet faces.