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Emma’s guide to cat tail movements

Clent Hills Vets

You’ve probably noticed that cats have very expressive tails. Interpreting their movements will help you understand your cat much better, so you can enjoy a more rewarding relationship with them.

Emma and the rest of our vet nurse team have put together a guide to the most common cat tail movements, so you can learn to identify and translate each one.

This includes our handy infographic and also some descriptions below. However, if you have any questions or concerns about your cat’s behaviour, don’t forget you can always consult the experts here at Clent Hills Vets.

See our cat tail infographic

So, which of these is your cat displaying today?

  1. Upright tail and quiver
    A straight, vertical tail is a good sign, as it means your cat is feeling friendly, happy and confident – and if there’s a quiver, it means they’re especially pleased to see you.
  2. Curved tail
    A question-mark-shaped tail often suggests that a cat is feeling playful, so why not get out a few toys?
  3. Slight twitches
    When your cat is concentrating – for example, watching something out of a window – it means they’re particularly interested in something.
  4. Tail tucked away
    Your cat may feel fearful or nervous.
  5. Arched fluffy tail
    This makes your cat’s tail appear bigger, so they’re likely to do it if they feel threatened.
  6. Low tail flick
    This means either your cat is ready to pounce; or that they’re upset.
  7. Rapid tail flicks or whips
    STAY AWAY. Your cat is feeling fearful or aggressive, so don’t approach them. If this happens frequently, you may wish to get in touch with us for advice. We’re always ready to help cat owners in or around Worcestershire.

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