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Why Do Cats Wiggle Their Tails

Does My Cat Enjoy Pouncing

What does a quivering cat tail mean?

The causes behind cats pounce behavior vary, but they all boil down to their enjoyment of playing and hunting activity. Wild cats attack and catch prey in a variety of ways, one of which is by pouncing.

The act of wiggling is also a component of how cats interact with one another, particularly kittens. Even though domesticated cats rarely need to hunt because they are given food, they retain the impulse to pounce when the opportunity presents itself.

When cats pounce, they are attempting to begin play or hunt! Kittens pounce more than older cats since they are more lively in general. Pounces might be expected when cats are bored. It is because they are attempting to find additional stimulation.

As a result of hunting and playing, dopamine is released into the cats system, which may explain why your cat wiggles before pouncing: it is doing so to release dopamine. Your cat enjoys pouncing because of the dopamine shot to the brain and how its muscles are relaxed.

Puffed Or Fluffy Tail

When youre cats tail is puffed and has a bristled look, it means they are feeling threatened, or afraid. It is a sign that they are on the offensive or defensive.

The more puffed-up the tail is positioned or straight out, is usually a sign of how far they are into the aggressive stage. At that point, youll notice her growling, spitting and hissing and ready to pounce.

Waving Tail While Lying Down

Dr. Ernie Ward also suggests that sometimes cat tail wagging may indicate that theyre in pain or feeling unwell. If your cats lying down and waving their tail whilst also behaving out of sorts such as going off their food or spending a lot of time in hiding they may be feeling under the weather. If youre concerned about your cats health, take them to the vet as soon as possible for a diagnosis.

Now you know all the reasons why cats wag their tails! Dont forget to pay attention to your cats tail language the next time you go in for a cuddle itll help to avoid surprise whacks or nips!

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Theyre Confident Or Greeting

Tail position: Tail movement: Body language:

If your cat holds her tail straight up with only the tip gently curling, it means that shes confident and displaying a lively and playful attitude. Shes interested in communicating with you or other cats!

Additionally, shell also fully face her body and head in the direction of the cat or person shes interacting with!

Understanding Your Cats Tail Wagging

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Tail wagging is quite normal for cats, but its meaning may not be as straightforward as you think. Its important to look out for the way the tail wags in order to fully understand it.

We hope our article has helped you to comprehend this adorable phenomenon a bit better, so you can build a stronger relationship with your fur baby!

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Reason #: Cat Tails Quiver When They Spray

When a cat sprays, this is when a small amount of urine sprays out to mark a territory. Oftentimes, the tail will make a quivering motion as the urine is ejected onto the desired vertical surface the cat wishes to spray. Its often on bushes, car tires, and sometimes even places in the home if your cat is super territorial or feels threatened by the presence of other cats.

Most of us do not deal with cat spraying regularly as we have our cats neutered as younger kittens before they reach sexual maturity. But, does that mean that cats can no longer spray after neutered? Well, the answer might surprise you

Dr. Kathryn Primm of Applebrook Animal Hospital shared with me some interesting information that many will find rather surprising:

The answer is yes, they can and many do! Sexual marking is only one of the reasons that cats spray. Even female cats can spray.

As you can see, your feline friends big cat cousins practice territorial marking, too. I think it goes without saying that turf wars are a big deal to big cats in the wild

While cat spraying is most common for intact male cats, its estimated that male cat spraying occurs in roughly10% of male cats, and approximately 5% of female cats will also continue marking and spraying even after theyve been spayed.

Reason #2: A cat will quiver their tail when theyre super excited

Heres an example of it in action

Have you ever wondered why it is that your cat will stare at you?Read about it here on

Common Tail Positions And What They Mean

These are the common tail positions and what it signifies:

  • upright it means your cat is content
  • tail with a 45-degree angle it means your cat is unsure
  • angled back and moving back and forth it means your cat is excited or fearful
  • upright and moving back and forth it means your cat is happy
  • upright with tip bent it means your cat is in a friendly mood
  • straight and level with the spine your cat is uneasy but not afraid
  • hanging down with dip near the base your cat is feeling aggressive
  • puffed tail it means your cat is frightened
  • the tail at a 90-degree angle- your cat is in attack mode
  • tucked between the legs your cat may be scared or feeling pain
  • upright and tip is moving your cat is alert and focused

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Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails When Hunting

A cat may be wagging its tail because it is concentrating on a hunt. Lying down on its front, tail wagging, and a wiggling body precede pouncing. The cat is making itself small and inconspicuous to avoid detection.

Cats also wave their tails to mesmerize prey, gaining a cat precious seconds to attack. If any of the following precedes the tail movement, its hunting-related:

  • Shifting weight between back legs

These behaviors are warning signs. So, if you see your cat lying down and behaving this way, you should distract it with a toy. If you fail to do so, the cat may start to hunt your toes or ankles.

Many cats lie down by a window and watch birds outside. This will lead to a twitching tail, as your cat imagines pouncing. It may also be imitating its prey by making sounds similar to birds. It may also attempt a physical impersonation of a birds quivering tail feathers.

Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails When Being Pet

Why do cats thump their tails when lying down?

A cat that is lying down may wag its tail while being petted. Your cat is sending you a message about how it feels, so consider where you are petting your cat.

As explained by Anthrozoƶs, cats respond to petting on different body parts, so your cat could go from purring to hissing if you get it wrong. However, if your cat lifts its rear and swishes its tail gently, its feeling happy.

If tail wagging speeds up, you should proceed with caution. This is a sign that your cat is growing frustrated. Note that purring can also occur when a cat is feeling agitated or sore. There is a time limit on how long cats find petting enjoyable, and your cat may bite or scratch if you stroke it for too long.

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Why Does A Cat Wag The Tip Of Its Tail

Twitching at the tip of a cats tail denotes happiness or excitement. It begins with the tail itself. As Behavioral Processes explains, cats that keep their tail erect feel confident and assured.

Twitching at the tip of the tail from a lying down cat suggests that it is:

  • Observing prey through a window
  • Enjoying getting attention
  • Waiting for you to get home

Twitching at the tip of a tail can also denote frustration, but other behaviors will accompany this action. Your cat is unlikely to lie down if its in this state of mind. If your cat does not hiss, it is unlikely to be frustrated.

Why Cats Wag Their Tails

Its common knowledge that dogs wag their tails when theyre happy, but many might not know that cats wagging tails is a thing too. You might be asking, Do cats wag their tails? Yes, they wag their tails like dogs do, however, these frisky felines do so for entirely different reasons. From slight shimmies of the tail to full wags, cats put their tails in motion when they are feeling certain ways. So, when cats wag their tail what does it mean?

If youre a longtime owner of a cat you rescued from a shelter or are an owner of new kittens, you may already know one or two reasons why cats wag their tails. However, did you know that your faithful pet may be wagging their tail for one of six different reasons?

The following article will highlight the different reasons and offer the answer to the question, Why do cats wag their tails?

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What The Twitch Means In Cat Tail Language

Weve all seen this type of cat tail wagging: A cat is sitting on a windowsill concentrating on nearby birds or rodents, when her tail begins twitching. Its not the exactly the same movement as the previously mentioned thrashing, but it may look similar. Her ears, eyes and vocalizations will indicate if shes upset or simply maintaining laser-sharp focus on a squirrel. As with the thumping, the twitch also carries the message, leave me alone.

Cats Sometimes Wag Or Thump Their Tails While Lying Down

Wiggling Wagging Wonders: Why Do Cats Shake Their Tails ...

Why do they wag their tails while lying down? It may seem especially strange when cats wag or thump their tails while relaxing. Often, it means she’s beginning to feel a little overstimulated. If she’s lying down or even sitting calmly, she may swish her tail a little after you’ve been petting her. This wagging of her tail can mean she’s feeling a little annoyed or overstimulated and needs you to give her some space.

Sometimes it can also mean she has a lot of energy, and even though she was lying down calmly, now she’s ready to play. This would be a good time to withdraw your hand, stop petting her and grab a cat toy. Otherwise, you might find your hand soon becomes the toy, and you’ll end up with a few scratches from an overly exuberant kitty.

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Your Cat Is Angry And Ready To Attack

When cats are angry they make themselves bigger by puffing up their tails to make themselves look bigger. Along with an ear-splitting screech, this display of aggression could startle their enemies and give cats time to escape. Some owners could also see a ridge of fur standing up like a razor along their cats spine.

It’s A Common Misconception That Cats Will Only Wag Their Tails When They’re Angry But There’s Actually Loads Of Reasons Why They May Do This Find Out Everything You Need To Know About Cat Tail Language In This Article

A cats body language can often be hard to decipher. Cats are very complex and the way they tell you how they feel isnt always obvious. Its really easy to misread your cats behaviour, which can often result in being swatted away by an unhappy kitty when you go in for a pet at the wrong time.

One thing in particular that can help you understand how your furry friend is feeling is their tail. Contrary to popular belief, a cats tail is actually really expressive and can give you an invaluable insight into if theyre feeling playful, happy or scared. Keep reading to discover the secrets behind cat tail language and discover more about your cats emotions.

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What If My Cat Doesnt Have A Tail

Some kitty breeds, such as the Manx, dont have tails. Other kitties may not have tails due to an injury or a birth or genetic defect. But just because these kitties dont have tails to wag, doesnt mean they cant express their feelings. Cats also use their posture, ears, eyes, and voices to communicate so if you take the time, you can learn your kittys particular language.

Further reading:

Use Comfort Zone Products To Calm A Nervous Cat

Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails #Shorts

If your cat feels stressed, Comfort Zone products can help your cat’s e-meow-tional health. The Comfort Zone Cat Calming Diffuser with Opticalm Diffuser mimics your cat’s natural pheromones, signaling in his own language that everything is safe and secure. The diffuser helps reduce stress, allowing your cat to feel calmer and more relaxed.

If you have more than one cat in your home, try the Comfort Zone Multi-Cat Diffuser with Opticalm Diffuser. If your cat’s on the go a lot, the Comfort Zone Calming Pheromone Collar will allow the calming effect to be with him wherever he goes, whether he’s exploring your home or venturing outside.

Remember, every cat is an individual. This is a general guideline of what different types of tail wagging can mean, but each cat also has a language unique to him. So spend a lot of time with your kitty, studying his different moods and how his tail may reflect what he’s feeling. Over time, you’ll decode the unique messages that come with every swish and wag of his tail.

1. Bailey, Angie. “Cat Tail Wagging: The Meaning of Your Cat’s Different Tail Wags.” Catster, 14 April 2021, .

2. Kolitz, Daniel. “Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?” Gizmodo, 7 May 2018, .

3. Moshman, Rachael. “Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?”, 20 June 2017, .

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Provide A Comfortable Environment

Even if you own a large and beautiful home, it may be overwhelming for your kitty, especially if shes new. Shell need to get used to her new environment, so a small amount of space will do for now!

Heres a checklist of what a cat needs to feel right at home:

Aside from these, take the lighting and sounds into account. Make sure you lower the brightness of the lights so its not too glaring. Turn down loud music and avoid talking loudly so she wont feel startled.

Cat Wagging Tip Of Tail = Bad

When a dog wags its tail, we know they are happy or excited. Unlike a dog, your cat is annoyed whenever they wag their tail. As your feline becomes more frustrated, the wagging movement will grow more forcefully.

If it gets to the point where your cats tail is thrashing, it may be followed by a growl. It may even get to the point where they will lash out with their paw.

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Why Do Cats Wiggle Their Butts Before They Pounce

10 March 2019

As many pet owners will attest, when their cat prepares to pounce, it does a little butt wiggle first.

This butt-wiggling pounce lasts just a few moments as the feline crouches down low and wiggles its rear end before launching itself at its target which is sometimes your feet under the blankets.

There hasn’t been any formal research yet on this quirky behavior, but one scientist who studies animal locomotion said he had a few ideas about why kitty does a twerk-like shimmy before its ambush.

“The short answer is science does not know the butt-wiggling has not been studied, to my knowledge, in an experimental context,” said John Hutchinson, a professor of evolutionary biomechanics at the Royal Veterinary College in London.

According to Hutchinson, butt-wiggling may help press the hindlimbs into the ground to give cats added friction for pushing them forward in the pounce. “It may also have a sensory role to prepare the vision, proprioception and muscle and whole cat for the rapid neural commands needed for the pounce,” Hutchinson noted.

Butt wiggling may also give the cat an aerobic warm-up, of sorts.

“It probably does stretch the muscles a bit and that might help with pouncing,” Hutchinson told Live Science. “And we can’t exclude that it’s just fun for cats they do it because they are excited by the thrill of the hunt prey.”

Why Do Cats Fluff Up Their Tails

Why Do Cats Wiggle Their Butts Before They Pounce? in 2021 ...

If your cat assumes the quintessential Halloween-cat posture with a puffed tail and arched back, then they are startled or frightened by a sudden, severe threat.

Your cats hair stands on end so that they can appear to be larger. This is a defensive reaction indicating that your cat wishes to be left alone.

This tail position is often triggered by feeling threatened by other animals in the yard, dogs approaching, visitors in the home, or sudden noises. Remove the inciting triggers to decrease your cats stress. If you try to interact with your cat when their hair is standing up, they may perceive your approach as a threat and become aggressive.

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Your Cat Is Annoyed Or Angry

While a dog wagging their tail this way and that indicates pleasure and enthusiasm this is not the same for cats. A fast swishing movement back and forth could be a sign of frustration and even anger. As Carlo Siracusa points out that, a whipping tail on an alert cat can mean nervousness, potential aggression, and Do not touch!

If you were playing with your kitty and you notice their tail swishing, then its time to take a break. If on the other hand, your cats are acting this way against each other, try to defuse the situation before it escalates. While a straight-up tail oftentimes is a sign of a happy cat, a fluffed out tail with hissing could be a clear sign of agitation.

Its important to remember, a downward curve can mean defensiveness, while a relaxed cat will carry his tail in a neutral or low position, suggests Siracusa. Ive also noticed that some cats react this way when someone reaches for the belly, but no matter the reason its always advisable to notice your cats body cues and respect their boundaries.


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