Once upon a cat’s ‘tail’!

Every relationship involves different ways of expression. A hug or a sweet little peck on the cheek lightens up the mood, whereas anger or resentment can harm the situation. All kinds of expressions are ways of portraying a certain feeling that we wish to convey to our loved ones. The same can stand true for our pets as well.

Most animal lovers tend to find comfort in the cuteness of their beloved pets. It soothes the heart to see your furry buddy run towards you when you enter the house, or when it cuddles up in your lap and licks your face. We, humans, are always delighted at the first sight of affection, and we expect the same from our pets too.

But it may not be the case, especially for those who are parents to the world’s most beautiful pets, i.e. Cats. Yes indeed! Those who own dogs can expect innocence and expressions of love frequently, as dogs are indeed gullible and naïve in nature. But those people who are happy parents to cats, beware! Hoping to receive the same kind of treatment from your feline is not right! After all, you are expecting one of the proudest and dominant animal species to behave contrary to its nature.

More than often, it can be easy to predict and understand the moods of dogs, based on their bodily gestures, primarily from the way they wag their tails. But the same does not apply to cats. Felines are known to be way more expressive by body movements, and not every gesture is a sign of happiness or love. Thus, we need to understand what our kitty is trying to tell us. Like dogs, cats wag their tails too, but the different ways in which they bend and shape their tails may tell us different things about their moods.

Here are different postures or shapes of your kitty’s tail that could explain a lot about the kind of expression that it may be trying to portray:

1) A little Flickey here, a little Flickey there!

One of the most common movements of the tail, as seen in felines, is the flicking of the tail. When your cat does so, it is an expression of defensiveness. Most cats are seen to behave aggressively after such a movement, that includes the quick extension of the tail from an otherwise low position, followed by a quick outward flick. This swift action usually indicates that your cat is probably in an angry mood and will pounce at once at the first sign of disturbance.

2) Happy and light when the tail is upright!

Another shape that the kitty tail may take up is that of standing tall and upright. When it does so, you can easily go ahead and play! A vertically upright tail is an indication of a happy kitty, one that is in a playful and good mood. You can bring out the toys and mingle around your furry buddy with ease. This particular tail posture can also be seen when the cat is roaming freely around the house while spraying urine to marking its territory, or when it rubs its skin against hard surfaces as a gesture of playfulness.

3) I am arched and ready, to react!

When your kitty lowers itself close to the ground, with its back straight, legs folded, and the tail in the shape of an arc, it is a sign that something has caught its attention, and has struck the curiosity chords inside its mind. In such a situation, the alert brain prepares the body for any kind of sudden movement. It could jump up, sprint, or try to ‘paw its way through.’ The arched tail is an indication of agility, and that the kitty is ready to make a quick move when required.

4) Swish-swoosh-swish-swoosh!

Sometimes you may enter a room in the house, only to find your that your cat is either grooming itself, has found solace inside an empty box or a plastic bag, or is simply sitting upright and not making any movement. This is when you might notice the swishing movement of the tail. The cat has made it clear to you, that it is not in a good mood, and that you need to leave at once without bothering it. The rate of the swishes can also indicate the level of annoyance, and that you must not try and indulge in any kind of play or petting. A hard bite or a deep scratch is imminent if you don’t obey your master!

 

5) Umm, I am a little scared hooman, so I wrap myself up!

If your furry buddy happens to see something strange for the first time, and if it feels threatened by it, then she will wrap her tail around her torso and sit down in a cautious position. The folding of the tail inwards is a kind of defensive mechanism, wherein the cat will feel secure from the strange thing, by folding all the limbs and the tail (which is far from its body) safely close to the tummy. This kind of behavior is normally observed when a new toy is introduced, or a new person has walked into the cat’s territory. The initial reaction is that of fear, thus causing the tail to fold inwards.

6) Ah, it’s you again, stoopid hooman! Fine, you may enter the room!

As we all know, felines treat us as their servants. And rightly so, as we are no match for their royalty or pride. This fact can be observed when you see that your kitty flicking its tail very slowly and mildly when you enter its territory. This slow flicking of the tail is an indication that your cat has accepted your intrusion into its personal space and that it is comfortable by your presence. It is also a way to show dominance and ownership over you, and that you are lucky to be able to enter the royal palace of meows.

We, humans, are blessed to have the facility of words to express our feelings to one another. Yet we fail to understand the emotions correctly and end up jeopardizing our relationships. Our cats may not be as vocal as us, but they sure do know how to get their message across. It is up to us to decipher those gestures and movements and try to contemplate what our feline is trying to convey. Failing to do so might not be all that bad for the cat, but you are surely in for some major bites and scratches on your hands and face! So better buck up Hooman and know your meow better!!

 

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