Interpreting Your Cat’s Tail Positions

Cats can be difficult to figure out—oftentimes, they’re very mysterious. However, one of the easiest ways to figure out what your cat is saying is by observing her tail. The tail is one of the most prominent methods of communication a cat possesses. Learn more here from a Pickerington vet.


Some would call this tail position the question mark. When a cat’s tail is curved, your cat’s mood is playful. Let her express herself—play with her, use some toys, or shine a laser light on the floor and watch your cat try to catch it. It’s not only great fun for your cat, it doubles as good exercise!


If your cat’s tail is hoisted up in the air, rigid and straight like a flagpole, your pet is confident and self-assured. Many cats will hoist the tail when they see you’re coming home—it means she’s happy to see you. Give your cat some love, as they’ll generally be very friendly when the tail is in this position.


When a cat wraps her tail around your leg, it’s as if she’s wrapping a comforting arm around you—the wrap indicates affection. Return the favor and show your cat some love.


A tail that’s tucked between the back legs signifies fear, nervousness, and submission. Various factors could contribute to this: another pet, an unusual sound, or even a guest in your house.


The classic puffed tail, held straight up, is a sign of agitation and distress. Your cat’s puffed tail is an attempt to make the body look bigger, in an attempt to ward off danger. If your cat’s tail is puffed and she’s looking at you, it’s best to get out of the way!

Remember, not all cats are the same. Some may exhibit different signs to mean different things. Have a conversation with your Pickerington veterinarian to learn even more about your cat’s body language.

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