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Unhappy Feline?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I know I must be driving everyone crazy on the boards with my paranoia. I've had this cat a week and I've come up with a variety of inane questions. Here's one more, if you would indulge me.

I've looked into typical cat behavior, and I've read that they're very expressive with their tails. (Tail up = confident and happy. Tail down = depressed or fearful.) I've also read that cats not only purr when they're content, but also as a signal of submission or to soothe themselves while they're sick or in pain. Now, I'm worried that Java isn't very happy when he's around me. When I call for him, he still comes up to me and he purrs when I pet him. But! His tail is never fully upright. The best I get is a tail that's halfway up. Is he perhaps only being submissive and isn't actually enjoying my attention and petting? I know he's physically healthy so his tail position isn't due to being physically uncomfortable. He has quite a bit of energy and pounces on his toys regularly. I know this might seem completely paranoid, but the only silly questions are the ones that aren't asked ...... I hope.
post #2 of 4
Don't worry. If he jumps up in your lap and purr when you pet him he is defenitley purring from joy.
You are right about the tail but it takes more than a week before a cat is completely relaxed with a new environment.
If a cat is really scared thay also lower the rest of the body so as long as he just lower his tail he is just "aware" of everything arround him.
You will see him do that also when he is playing or keeping focus on something.
I am sure that in three more weeks his tal wil be strait in the air when you call him for food or to your lap.
post #3 of 4
Try to understand that he is just as unfamiliar with you as you are with him. It just takes time to feel complete trust and open up. It is actually a great thing that you are so concerned, it only means that you will have an amazing bond with him in the long run. It sounds like he is really appreciating your attentiveness and his new home already... Please stay in touch with TCS, we love to listen and help!
post #4 of 4
I believe that some cats are more expressive with their tails than others. My Nigel has horrible tail control- it's as though he's unaware that it's a part of his body that he can manipulate. Then periodically he remembers and does all sorts of "tail moves". It's gotten better the older he's getting, but he's still a bit silly with his tail. So, while the standards of tail meaning are interesting to understand, I don't belive that they're the absolute truth about your cat's feelings, leaving some room for individual quirks.

As others have said, if he's purring when you're petting him, he's one happy kitty. I think that after only a week, it's great progress that you've gotten him so comfortable so fast. While we're on the topic of tails and petting, you should try to firmly pet the base of Java's tail, right where it meets his body. Kind of like a good bum-scratch. I've never known a kitty who doesn't get positively blissful when you do this.
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