Originally Posted by Aussie_Dog
I think feline body language is fascinating, as is canine body language, and I love watching my group and reading what they're saying. When Buffy has her tail up high all the time, you know she's happy, but when she has her tail down low (which is rare, she literally ALWAYS has her tail up high), she's not feeling too happy or confident. When she's squawking at Jake, my dog, in annoyance, but her tail is still straight up and perky, I know she's faking the annoyance (most of it, anyway... Secretly, she loves the attention she gets when she bugs him and pretends it's really Jake who's bugging HER, lol). The only language that baffles me, really, is when Molly and Buffy are "interacting." Buffy hates Molly, has ever since we brought Molly home, but lately they'll play a little. At least, I think it's playing. Molly or Buffy will dash into the kitty tunnel, and the other one will come along and start wiggling her bum (when Buffy does it, I start to wonder if she's finally starting to like Molly). Then the butt-wiggler will pounce at the opening, and the kitty inside will pounce too (she'd have done the butt-wiggling too). But that's when it ends, suddenly both kitties are slapping at each other like they'd do if they were fighting (only there isn't any hissing or growling... Usually...). Then they walk away from each other. Huh.
One thing I read once, regarding dog language, that helps me figure out how the cats and dogs are feeling, is the height of the language. That is, the higher the tail is raised, the more intent the dog is feeling (so if the hackles are raised and the tail is raised high, the dog is feeling more aggressive, and if the ears are down and the tail is raised high, the dog is feeling happy and confident). The lower the tail is lowered, the more intent the sadness/sorrow (in general) the dog is feeling. When the tail is low, he's not confident; when the tail is tucked between his legs, he's frightened. If the tail is somewhere in the middle, straight out from the body, he's happy and confident and relaxed. I didn't say it as well as I read it in the book, but I always look at the tail and ears as an addition to the rest of the body language. Whatever the rest of the body says, the tail and ears give the volume/intensity. On that note, Buffy's tail is always straight up (she's a happy, confident cat), Willow is always down low (she's more skittish and fearful), and Molly's is usually somewhere in between (she loves me and her tail will usually be up high when she's excited about seeing me, but she's fearful of everybody else on Earth).
Yeah, but canine and feline body langauge are SO different -- from complete opposite ends of the communicational spectrum really. The lack of hte collar bone, makes cats almost "snake like" in their dexterity.
In terms of most flexible to most turgid and with core strength, the animals I have interests in go snake, cat, dog, shark (a shark is pretty much just all core, with very little room to twist and tangle it's fins; the opposite of a cat and snake).
haha, see that's "so human" to "fake the annoyance and love the attention". I love those qualities; of course, you could always be overly-reading into it, but cats definitely have great personalities! The tail effect is DEFINITELY a good indicator of mood. Cats are all about body language, (and those 7 types of vocalizations I mentioned in the other article post) to read their mood. We can't help them, heal them, serve them, or provide when we don't know what their mood is. I prefer the lively cat than the lazy disgruntled garfield personality cat (but I love that cartoon -- my first fave).
WOW! That butt-wiggling, tunnel chase, slap fight scene sounds hysterical and equally peculiar and just plain out Wierd! My interpretations is they possible may have felt like they've been "forced to live together' so get along as best as they can, but still tease and pick at each other "beneath the scenes", kind of thing. I can't get over the universal dog personality (almost a constant of just lazy, medium-energy, or high energy) and then the thousands of unique cat personalities.
That's a great generalization: tail height registers with mood intensity. Remember, though, a high, erect tail can mean aggression and/or happiness: it means an intense mood and could mean defensive anger (hopefully it just means happiness); the tail between the legs is definitely the submissive energy; the retreat mode, AFTER The flight/fight response you might get the tail-between the legs, but before it, it's probably going to be alarmed and alert or happy.
The thing with my cat is that it Consistently had a slightly bent tail after about a week of having it. I feared she lost a sense of energy from being around the other cats at the shelter.
That's interesting how your cat's tail is up with you but lowered (more fearful_ around others. That must feel nice to have that connection with your cat!
My kitten was the most social, fearless cat possible, she'd walk upt to anyone and just start jumping playfully at them. Is that normal for kittens? I feared that, with the bent tail thing, that something was wrong because there were moments where her tail went up, after the first weak, but never as strongly. Also, this is wierd. I left the cat and came back to find her collar was off. I was concerned about damage to her neck and got it checked out, but I always heard a little bit of a wierd popping sound whenever she meowed. I hadn't heard cats meow frequently, so I don't know if that was normal; she also purred a LOT and I read purring can indicate pleasure or pain. I felt concerned about that.