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Cat Tails Tell Tales

Welcome to the tales of cat tails!

My name is Posh, I am a co-owner cat of Posh and Tizzy. While I certainly don't want to give away all our secret behaviors, I can provide some insight as to what may be going on with your cat, especially if you're a new cat owner, or haven't looked into our mysterious existence yet.
Our ears, eyes, posture, and in particular, the tail, express exactly what we are thinking or feeling. You just have to pay attention to our cat tail language.
Since we are such different animals from dogs, understanding how we communicate isn’t something that comes naturally to hoomans.

Our tails can move quickly or slowly. A flicking or lashing tail indicates we are agitated, while a slowly waving tail indicates that we are focused on something (i.e., about to pounce or run rampant).

The tail straight up with a slight curve at the end is a signal that the cat is approaching amicably. This posture is also a common way us cats greet you hoomans.

We might curve our tails around people we are bonded to and may also intertwine our tails with other cats we are bonded to. This is our affiliative behavior.
Here are some more common, straightforward tale meanings:
Tail upright, held high
  • What it meansConfident, happy
  • How you should react: Offer playtime, cuddles/treats

Tail curled at the top like a question mark

  • What it meansFriendly
  • How you should react: Offer your hand for sniffing or a pet
Tail held straight down
  • What it means: Agitated or aggressive
  • How you should react: Don’t try to engage with us. Let us work it out.

Tail Curved beneath the body

  • What it means: Nervous and/or submissive
  • How you should react: Do nothing. Wait for us to come to you.

Tail Puffed

  • What it means: Frightened, agitated, angry
  • How you should react: Leave us alone! Save yourself!

Tail whipping back and forth

  • What it means: Fearful, angry, aggressive
  • How you should react: It's really just best to leave us alone at this point.

Tail slowly swaying from side to side/twitching

  • What it means: Focused on something
  • How you should react: Let us get to doing what we're going to do


Here is me after a bath - notice my tail curved to my side, I was feeling a little nervous at this point of my life...but I certainly understood because I puked in my kennel on the way home from the vet and I stunk bad!


Here are Tizzy and cousin Missy - notice how she is in a submissive state and Tizzy has a puffed tail, indicating he is pissed! After all, she DID come into OUR house, which is OUR territory!

Me helping catdad with some car repairs (or at least offering some advice). Tail curved up, feeling very confident, happy and friendly.

This photo speaks for itself! I was pretty confident I got busted! LOL 


 My tail is down here, but I was chillaxin'. This downward tail is pretty submissive, lazy and relaxed.

 This here is the beloved "donut" pose. During this time, we are typically dead asleep dreaming of the squirrels...all body parts tucked in for security and warmth 

 An afternoon at the office. I was confident looking for that mid-day snack!


There is really no other place I would like to be than in the sun. Here my tail tells you I am beyond comfortable. Warm, relaxed, no worries at all!

Tizzy was serious about this scratch! Tail down, deep concentration and agitated because I was picking on him. 



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