or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Behavior › What does my cat's tail wagging mean?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What does my cat's tail wagging mean?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We've had our year and a half year old shelter cat for two months now. He's lovable, adorable, sleeps with us, follows us around, and loves to have his neck and head and ears massaged - he even stretches so we can reach him better. But - the whole time we are doing this thing which he seems to enjoy, his tail is flicking. I've always read that a wagging tail means fear and uncertainty. And that if you are petting your cat and suddenly he starts wagging his tail, it means you should stop. So, we do.

He's also not a 'lap cat' - but loves to be near us. He'll sit next to us on the couch, and if we move he moves, but he doesn't like to be on our laps.

We don't know what kind of situation he came from before us, so we are spending a lot of time playing with him and generally loving him.

Does his tail wagging mean that he's unhappy?

lin
post #2 of 7
Here's a link to one site that gives an overview of 'reading a cat's tail' - http://www.ehow.com/how_2323096_read...movements.html

For me, it sort of depends if it's a fast wagging - that can mean he's getting overstimulated and it's time to back off. But I've seen my two cats with sort of a slow waving back and forth, with ears a bit forward - they just seem interested and content. I've gotten the real swishing a few times when I've petted too long, though.

My girl is not a lap cat - not once in four years has she sat in my lap, or let me carry her without protest - but she will sit near me, always follows me around the house, and will often sleep near me. She just isn't a lap cat. My boy is, so go figure.

Two months isn't that long for a cat to get used to a new forever home - he doesn't know he's not going to move again. He may get even more lovely-dovey as he gets older and really feels at home.
post #3 of 7
As you get to know him you will get to know the different movements of his tail and what he is feeling when he does them.

The kind of tail to watch out for is a lashing and/or puffed tail.

My Mazy cat rattles her tail at every little thing. It's just response, she is a very responsive cat.

Thank you for adopting from a shelter! What's your boy's name?
post #4 of 7
Just so you know, while there are general guidelines on what a tail message can mean, keep in mind that all cats are different. Just as an example, our Sterling has always had an "angry tail." Even when he's happy, cuddled up with Dottie, purring, his tail flips in what I would normally think is an "angry" manner, slapping down hard on the blankets. In his case, it just means he's awake. His tail always moves like that!
post #5 of 7
In my experience, a flicking tail, like flicking at the end? while holding it lower can mean irritation. A tail lashing means a pissed off kitty. My sister's cat can turn on a dime when you're petting her. One instant she's loving you, the next she lets out a little 'mew' and then swats at you hard. I generally avoid her. XD
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Just so you know, while there are general guidelines on what a tail message can mean, keep in mind that all cats are different. Just as an example, our Sterling has always had an "angry tail." Even when he's happy, cuddled up with Dottie, purring, his tail flips in what I would normally think is an "angry" manner, slapping down hard on the blankets. In his case, it just means he's awake. His tail always moves like that!
This is exactly right. EVERY cat is different. It can even be different between breeds.
I.E. Bengal cats puff their tails out like a bottle brush when they are very excited and running through the house playing. The base of a bengals tail will puff up when he/she is very pleased about something, for instance seeing his owner. Hard tail slapping from side to side usually means an extreme alert state, perhaps due to a bird sighting in the yard.
post #7 of 7

My cat Sonny, one year old, has been wagging his tail as long as I have had him and I am told, before that. It doesn't just wag, it wags very hard. I have 11 cats and have had cats for many, many years. He is my only tail wagger, ever. He is a real character and became the top cat almost as soon as I got him. I wonder if anyone else has a kitty that wags his/her tail all the time.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Behavior › What does my cat's tail wagging mean?