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strange tail puffing behavior

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey all, I could have sworn that I read that a cat's tail will puff up like a bottlebrush when the cat is scared or threatened, but Marcie seems to be an exception to the rule...She will just be casually walking into a room and her tail will suddenly puff up to about 3in diameter without any other body language to suggest that something is wrong. She keeps walking, her ears stay perky and upright, the only difference is a humongous tail. She will also do this while playing sometimes, but there is never any change in body language to suggest that her mood has changed...Does anybody else's cat do this?
post #2 of 11
my kittens do this when they are playing or when they are about to get into something.
post #3 of 11
Some cats startle more easily than others. Is she young?

Puppy never startles. Bunny, however, will frequently walk into a room and do this, sometimes with an arched back, sometimes not. Usually, it's because she expected the room to be empty, and I was behind the door. Her tail stays puffed for a few minutes afterwards, even though she starts purring as soon as she sees me.

The other "startled kitty" body signs like an arched back, raised back fur, and ears back, might not come if she was only a little startled and quickly realized that she was foolish.

Think of it like when you get startled from behind at night, and your heart's still racing for a few moments, even though you're relaxed otherwise because you realized it was just your buddy coming up to say hi.
post #4 of 11
Our cats tails get puffed often. We think their puffy tails our so cute & hilarious Their tails get puffed when they are playing & another cat startles the other. You should usually be able to tell if the puffy tail & body language are good or bad. Should be nothing to worry about...
post #5 of 11
My cats tails puff up like that when they are about to fight.

Maybe your cat sees something that you don't see....
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Marcie is about 1.5yrs old so she is young, but not a baby. I just thought that it was strange that she never has any other body language besides the puffed tail. I wouldn't think that it is so weird if her back was arched, her ears were back, or she stopped suddenly and looked scared. None of that ever happens...I think that her tail just has a mind of its own...lol
post #7 of 11
Penny (the Bengal) will puff up her tail when in close proximity with Ginger. She doesn't threaten, her back doesn't arch and her tail curls upward whan this happens rather than pointing back, so rather than seeing it as a threat, I think it's just a reminder to Ginger (the alpha) that Penny is actually tougher than she is.
post #8 of 11
Twitch will puff up her tail anytime she sees another animal, which in my house, is a lot! It's just her, she's always done it. If she sees a bird/squirrel/cat/dog/human out the window....puff goes the tail!

She just likes to think she's a big tough kitty!
post #9 of 11
My kittens' tails do this when they are playing in the garden and scampering up the trees..I think it's excitement and their senses are primed, that's all.
post #10 of 11
Captain Squishy will do that whenever he encounters anything new at all. For example, I gave him a bath in a different sink the other day and while normally he is perfectly relaxed in the bath, his tail puffed up because he was somewhere different.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Marcie is about 1.5yrs old so she is young, but not a baby. I just thought that it was strange that she never has any other body language besides the puffed tail. I wouldn't think that it is so weird if her back was arched, her ears were back, or she stopped suddenly and looked scared. None of that ever happens...I think that her tail just has a mind of its own...lol
That's the same age as Bunny. I'd attribute it to Marcie being startled by something. Maybe you, maybe a fly on the wall. If it something she doesn't regard as a real threat, just a startle, then the rest of her body will probably look normal. She might grow out of it as she gets older. Some kittens startle at everything.
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