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Vibrating Tail Up?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
We're caring for 2 feral kitty boys, Billy and Bing (had them neutered and ear tipped). They've become very friendly with us, though still very skittish.

When they're out in the woods and come, it's so cute because they walk together, and we can just see these "tails up" waving through the tall grass. When they get to us, they rub on our legs - but every time Bing turns to put his butt towards us, he makes his tail vibrate. I think it's so cute, and I think it's just that he's really happy and excited.

But Gary wanted me to ask what it "means," because we've never seen this behavior before.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Laurie
post #2 of 27
Feral (and non-feral) males will turn their butts towards something, lift their tails real high and then shake it right before they spray. Remember male cats spray to mark their territory and you and Gary must now be part of their territory!!!! Just cause they are neutered, doesn't mean they won't do that behavior. They may never actually spray, but might have picked up that behavior from other male cats.

Just my observation. I may be completely wrong about all of this! I'd take it as a sign that they now feel you belong to both of them.

How old are they?
post #3 of 27
Molly does the same thing. She was a livetrapped "feral" before I got her....so

She "talks" a lot with her tail.
post #4 of 27
Tino does this all of the time (and Kiko sometimes). He does it when I have been gone a while. He rubs his face and body all over me and then quivers his tail. I read on here (TCS) that they do this when they are happy to see you
post #5 of 27
One of my males has the tail up quivering and rubbing all over everything when he lines up for meals. He does look forward to feeding time

My daughter always says it is displaying excitement, happy, glad to see you type of expression. This boy is a talker, too. He has not sprayed and was neutered young. Interesting animals, aren't they.
post #6 of 27
Yoshi did it also and the vet told me they do that when they spray. Nothing wold come out because he was fixed.
post #7 of 27
Clyde does this as well. He was a former feral, and I asked his previous owner about it. They called it "happy tail" - he does it when he's the most happy.
post #8 of 27
Cable does this, too - & she's a girl! [altho i did think she was male when i first got her ].
post #9 of 27
Scratch and Squee will do this on occasion too. I always thought it meant they were getting ready to spray or they're happy to see you.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
I read on here (TCS) that they do this when they are happy to see you
I've read that as well. Sophies forever shaking her tail feather at me more than Rosie and Jack
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skimble View Post
One of my males has the tail up quivering and rubbing all over everything when he lines up for meals. He does look forward to feeding time

My daughter always says it is displaying excitement, happy, glad to see you type of expression. This boy is a talker, too. He has not sprayed and was neutered young. Interesting animals, aren't they.
Stan does the tail vibrating thing before meals and right before he gets his brushing (he loves to be groomed), he's (knock on wood) never sprayed, but he does go through the motions when he's excited. I've also seen Bella do it, but not as obviously as Stan.
post #12 of 27
My sisters cat, Thing (yes thats her name, although it Princess Thing now becasue shes so spoild lol) Does this all the time when she is happy. She dosnt show you her bum though, just her tail vibrates. We call it happy tail too.
post #13 of 27
We call it periscope tail. We see her tail before we see the rest of her. Pru puts hers up and it quivers and twitches when she is excited. Her tail never stays still, it's always in motion. She's a feral too. Sam and Clio don't do this.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
We thought they were only 6, maybe 8 months old, but vet says they look like they're a year old.

Interestingly, we weren't aware of them spraying before we had them fixed - though one would have thought they'd have been spraying around here.

But it sure looks like "Happy Tail!"

Laurie
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
We're caring for 2 feral kitty boys, Billy and Bing (had them neutered and ear tipped). They've become very friendly with us, though still very skittish.

When they're out in the woods and come, it's so cute because they walk together, and we can just see these "tails up" waving through the tall grass. When they get to us, they rub on our legs - but every time Bing turns to put his butt towards us, he makes his tail vibrate. I think it's so cute, and I think it's just that he's really happy and excited.

But Gary wanted me to ask what it "means," because we've never seen this behavior before.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!

Laurie
Benson does this. I figured he was just happy to hear my voice. It's usually when he first enters the room I am in after a long nap. It's very similar to when Connor's does his spraying.
post #16 of 27
One of my fixed boys does this all the time, one occasionally. I thought it was all harmless fun but one does it obviously in kind of marking way, so it does not make me too happy. I tend to tell them that "they can put their twittering tails away now" when they do it. Like no need to get "THAT happy".

I am little conflicted about it if it's also meant to just express happiness but once I was walking one of the boys outside in harness. He sniffed the bushes where a neighbourhood cat must have been. So what does my boy do. He turns his butt there, twitters the tail and pees like a racehorse right up the bush!!! After that I have been way more strict telling them not to do it in the house - just in case they are thinking they can start shooting out like that when they do it!
post #17 of 27
Maggie does this all the time and it always makes me nervous because I'm always afraid she is going to spray.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
Yoshi did it also and the vet told me they do that when they spray. Nothing wold come out because he was fixed.
Sorry, I have to clear up this misconception...but just because your cat is fixed doesn't mean he won't spray. Spraying is a learned reaction. And it is done by males and females to mark their territory.
post #19 of 27
Jaffa does this too. It means they're happy and pleased to see you. It doesn't mean they are about to spray (neutered cats and female cats can still spray if they want to). I once read that nervous or excitable cats were more likely to do it and Jaffa does fit into the highly strung category! (or did when he was younger). He used to do it when I came home from work and he was greeting me.

This diagram (from messybeast) showing cat body language includes the quivery tail thing

post #20 of 27
Severino does that to me when I say, Do you Love Momma
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bella713 View Post
Severino does that to me when I say, Do you Love Momma
that's how Cable does it, too. she usually does it when i say she's a pretty girl!
post #22 of 27
My cat Popsie has been neutered for 17 years and he still does the vibrating tail thing. I'm pretty sure it's part of a spraying behavior. Even though the cat doesn't physically spray it still goes through the motions.
post #23 of 27
i always heard that the quivery tail/butt display thing was a leftover kitten behavior; you're the surrogate momma, so he gets your attention with the tail, then presents his butt for you to 'clean' him
post #24 of 27
My big handsome black guy, ShakerToy, does this all the time. He does it when he's happy to see someone. Doesn't spray.

Also dos it when he's anticipating food!
post #25 of 27
My orange tabby does this all the time too (no spraying), and his rear end is facing away from me. He's came to me from the shelter at 4 mos. old. I always wondered what it meant too. Thanks!
post #26 of 27
Tessa did this the first few days she was here and out in the open.... I took it to mean excitement.
post #27 of 27
It's actually cool to know that means she's happy.
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