Cats’ tails and the movements they make are so important that the Greeks dubbed them “colors,” which literally means “moving tail,” in antiquity. The control that cats have over their tails differs from that which they have over the rest of their limbs. In many cases, a cat moving its tail does so voluntarily, as it would with its other muscles; however, in other cases, it may move its tail as an instinctual reflex, without realizing it. There are three basic reasons why cats wag their tails in either case.
1. TO KEEP THE BALANCE
Even though the tail’s position and movements are useful in any movement, it is especially important for avoiding falls when the catwalk is on narrow and unstable surfaces. A rapid change in the surface on which the catwalks are located causes the tail to travel in the opposite direction. As a result, the cat’s body, which movements its tail, rebalances and maintains its upright position.
2. WHEN THERE ARE EMOTIONAL CONFLICTS
It is common to observe how the cat wags its tail until it makes a decision when in emotional conflict and undecided between two opposite and incompatible behaviors. So a cat who wants to go out in the garden but notices it’s raining may be torn between going out and getting wet and staying home dry. The cat will either venture into the rain or return to the sofa once he has made his decision, and his tail will no longer move once he has passed the moment of doubt.
3. INTERACTIVE COMMUNICATION
Cats can communicate their friendly or defensive intentions through their tail movements, so much so that even when the cat wagging its tail is unaware of how it is wagging, the tail ends up being a reliable indicator of the cat’s emotional state and intentions. Although instinctual, this form of movement has evolved with the domestication of cats, notably amplifying signals of affection or friendliness.
The position, shape, and movement of a cat’s tail, as well as the appearance of the coat covering it, are all important factors in decoding messages from the tail.
An upward tail: In the cat, a vertical reveal to the back half of the body is salvation. When their owner returns home or to greet other pets in the house with whom they have a good bond, they frequently raise their Feline Tails. In reality, it is a common welcome given by kittens to their mother. The kittens not only execute a welcoming ritual by adopting this stance, but they also expose their hindquarters for the mother to inspect or clean.
Lifting the tail is frequently linked with other physiological indications that reinforce the cat’s friendly intentions: the cat may rub its head and body against the other person and deliver a “friendly embrace” with the tail. Squeaks, purrs, and quiet meows are common sounds that accompany these biological communications.
Feared cats may lower their tails and tuck them between their paws or against their bodies. The tail may be bristly and have stiff muscle in this scenario. A relaxed and downtailed cat, on the other hand, indicates that the cat is tranquil.
A fast, rapid, and forceful jerk of the tail from side to side or against the ground might indicate agitation and serve as a warning that the cat may be aggressive. If the tail movement is lighter, slower, or softer, it may simply suggest that the cat is concentrated on something that has caught its attention or that it is unsure.
WITHOUT A TAIL CATS
Even if we are correct in observing the cat’s tail to determine its goals and feelings, we must remember that cats communicate with their entire body, and the signals of the tail must always be understood in conjunction with the other messages. Understanding cats without a tail requires paying attention to the remainder of the body signals beyond the tail. Cats of the Manx, Cymric, Japanese, and American Bobtail or Pixie-bob breeds, for example, are born without a coat and have a shorter tail than typical.
Between cats and humans, the tail and its “expressions” play a significant part in communication. When you next study a cat, remember to pay attention to the rest of the body signals as well: this will help you comprehend the cat’s feelings and intents.
To amuse itself, my cat attacks its tail
Kittens, in particular, enjoy playing with their tails, and some adult cats do as well. They go in circles in an attempt to catch him. Do not be alarmed; this is very natural, and it occasionally amuses the masters who observe their friend wandering in circles.
Cats with exaggerated attitudes should be avoided.
However, you must be concerned when an attitude becomes overbearing. Scratching and licking are involved in this scenario… When what appears to us to be a game turns into something more severe, and the cat injures itself and inflicts wounds that are more or less serious, it is necessary to act and seek a veterinarian.
Is it a symptom of anxiety or the source of an illness?
Anxiety may be shown in this attitude. Do not forget that the cat is a sensitive creature. A change of scenery in their everyday environment, a move, a lifestyle shift from the countryside to the city, a return from vacation, life in a closed or poorly fitted setting… can all trigger anxiety in some people. Explain explain this behavioral issue, which is likely not the only manifestation of his disease.
One sign to consider, among others, is a cat attacking its tail.
Urinary marks, dirtiness, and even diarrhea are examples of these… Anxiety can develop to depression if the underlying condition and its repercussions are not addressed.