Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?

Cats are common pets that are beloved by many people. They are quite unpredictable although they are able to use several ways to express themselves and communicate how they feel.

They can use sounds like meowing, purring, and hissing. Or they may resort to body language.

When it comes to a cat’s body language, their tail is the most used form of expression that will tell you a lot about their emotional state.

Tails are not an exception to dogs who are a little more expressive. Tails of these feline friends act as very good mood detectors.

So the next time you are wondering what your cat is thinking about or feeling, watch their tail. It will tell you more than they ever could.

Read along to find out what each tail gesture means and what you should do when you see it.

Why do cats wag their tails?

Cats wag their tails for several reasons to express their current emotional state. They will wag them slowly, fast, raise them high in the air, produce spasms, bring them low, put them between their legs, or just wrap them around a fellow cat. The movements of the tail may be associated with other body languages like purring, crouching low, raising high, or just lying down.

Cats wag their tails to mean they’re happy, scared, angry, confident, excited, hunting, secure, concentrating on something, feeling friendly, or reacting to their name.

10 reasons why cats wag their tails

As stated, cats wag their tails to express different emotions. This is why you should always be keen on how the tail is being moved; the speed, direction, and position.

You will then be able to understand them and know which measure to take in that circumstance. Below we’re going to look into each of the emotions and how it affects the movements of the tail.

1. Anger

If your pet is angry or annoyed, you will see it through their tail movements first. If the tail is moving sideways with sudden occasional firm flicks, then they are angered.

It could be because they feel that you have invaded their space, petted them for long, are bothering them, or they are just not feeling friendly at that time.

If you begin noticing these types of tail movements, you should move away from your pet to avoid getting hurt if they become aggressive. Stop whatever it is that you are doing to them as they’ve had enough of it.

If you don’t, they may scratch or bite you. You won’t say they didn’t warn you.

2. Fear

Cats are ferocious. After all, they come from lions and tigers but this doesn’t mean that they won’t have instances where they are scared to death. Your cat will get scared if they sense danger around them and it could be anything even your dog.

Fear will make them react in two ways. A scared cat may wag their tail very low to the point of putting it between their legs.

Other times they’ll be scared but ready to fight by arching their back high up to look bigger. They will have their hair and ears raised with their tail high up in the air too.

3. Confidence

A confident cat will walk around raising their tail high up while looking relaxed. They may even begin to purr when they’re around you.

This means that they feel confident in their surroundings and you can play or pet them.

4. Excitement

Cats will have a unique way of showing their excitement by having spasms in their tail. If you notice your cat raising their tail and it’s having spasmodic bouts, then they are excited about something.

5. Hunting

Your cat may crouch down slowly with their body hunched a little forward and their tail wagging from side to side as if doing a dance of its own. This means that they’re preparing to lunge on prey.

The prey could be nothing more than a toy, your hand moving temptingly, or even a piece of their food.

6. Secure

If your cat is sleeping then you see them wag their tail, it is a clear sign that they are feeling secure and content.

7. Happy

A happy cat will wag their tail slowly as you pet them. They could be lying down, seated, or standing.

If they begin purring at the same time, they are showing you how happy they are. They may even begin walking around you while butting their head against you as a sign of affection.

You can go ahead and pet them some more. But remember not to overdo it.

8. Concentrating

Cats can concentrate on something that fascinates them for quite a while before either dozing off, walking away, pouncing on it to play or to capture it if they feel that it’s prey.

If your cat is busy concentrating on something, they may wag their tail in a quick motion. It’s not easy to distract a cat that’s keenly occupied watching something.

They could be concentrating on what you are doing that’s interesting to them, a bird, or even a lizard on the wall. They may even begin meowing at it.

9. Friendly

If your pet wraps their tail around you or another cat it means that they are feeling friendly towards them.

10. Recognize their name

Cats do recognize their names even though they like to ignore us and pretend that they cannot hear us. If your pet hears their name and they don’t come running towards you, they may react by wagging their tail gently, moving their ears, or turning their heads.

Conclusion

Cats will wag their tails to express themselves. Whether they’re happy, angry, scared, responding to hearing their name, or they’re hunting, they will wag their tails in various ways to show how they feel.

It could be a quick flick, a low wag, tail spasms, or raising it high. You should watch your pet’s tail to be sure of which mood they are in because sometimes they will not be enjoying petting and one of you may end up getting scratched. And trust me, it won’t be the cat.

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