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Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?
Cat GuidesCats Behavior

Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?

When cats wag their tail, they manifest a miscellany of moods: from merriment and exhilaration to ire and vexation. These movements are sundry: sluggish, rapid, in the form of quivering or shaking. Comprehending such behavioral responses can avail the proprietor to apprehend their pet enhanced and it is possible to erect the most advantageous circumstances for it. So why do cats wag their tails and what does it mean in the language of the pet? Let's figure it out.

Overview of Cat Tail Wagging Behavior

A cat's tail wag, though not as common as its canine counterpart, does occur and can be indicative of a plethora of emotions, from serenity and pleasure to zeal and aggression. When perplexity or reluctance takes hold, felines may resort to tail wagging to express their feelings. Moreover, the more fervently the tail moves, the more intense the emotion the cat is feeling.

Explanation of Different Forms of Tail Wagging

Stressful situation

If the cat waves its tail, this might indicate anxiousness caused by a variety of stressors. When an animal is terrified, its tail usually falls to the ground and moves gently from left to right. The body may also be lowered to the ground by pressing the ears back.

Parasitic diseases

Parasites are another reason why cats pull their tails. External parasites are frequently seen in pets who do not go outside at all. Fleas, intradermal ticks, and other insects fall under this category.

When they get on a cat, they cause itching, skin irritation, and restless activity, causing the pet to shake its tail and bite itself in various areas. There is also shaking throughout the body.

a cat yawning on the ground with its mouth open
a cat yawning on the ground with its mouth open

Reasons Why Cats Wag Their Tails

Communication and Expressions

Joyful behavior

Such active behavior reveals itself when the cat approaches the owner with a high-raised tail, caresses, rubs the face on the legs and other objects, purrs, and bends, expressing the pet's eagerness to engage with a human. When the owner returns home, while waiting for food, or soon after feeding, such a reaction is observed.

Aggressive behavior

When a feline's tail commences to oscillate while being petted, it may not necessarily be indicative of agreeable emotions. This conduct can additionally signify unease and serve as a warning of potential transformation to hostility or an endeavor to flee. It is surmised that cats brandish their tails in undulating motions in order to give the illusion of enhanced size and grandeur, thus discouraging any adversaries.

Play and Excitement

When stroked, felines may commence to oscillate their tail, not necessarily because they have delightful sensations. This could also indicate distress, which may be indicated by an abrupt switch to hostility or fleeing from the proprietor. In these conditions, the tail motion is sharp, irregular and it quivers. Typically, animals display this during contention, whether with another relative, canine, or with an alarming item for them, such as a vacuum cleaner. It is thought that cats undulate the tail, creating ripples to seem larger and more menacing in the eyes of their adversary. The same applies to the back.

Fear and Anxiety

Mustachioed pets don their aromatic insignia on a variety of substrates in order to evoke the attention of potential mates and deter rivals. To achieve this, they adopt a tell-tale posture: they stand tall, forgo a squat, raise their tail, and cast a minuscule trickle of urine in the desirable direction. With the aspiration of conquering their domain, the cat agitates its tail as if a tantalizing olfactory serpent.

Discomfort and Irritation

Hyperesthesia syndrome is an inadequately explored malady, marked by an array of clinical manifestations and augmented sensitivity of creatures to any stimulants. For example, they become averse to any tactile stimulation, displaying sundry forms of behavioral aberration: the feline routinely swishes its tail and masticates its anal region, which in turn leads to self-mutilation and pulling out of its coat. Additionally, trembling of muscles, quivering of the epidermis in the lumbar region, vocalization, hostile conduct, chaotic leaping and racing are also commonly observed.

The reasons for this condition are not fully clarified. It can occur as a result of various dermatological diseases, orthopedic (with a tail) of behavioral disorders, and neurological disorders (primary epilepsy, neoplasms of the brain, pathology of the intervertebral discs).

Why do cats wag their tails while lying down?

Sometimes, when the feline dozes, it can swish its tail. Such a response happens to extraneous stimuli, for example, if a cat is caressed or interacted with, and furthermore if it is relocated. In the last mentioned, close by to the motions of the tail, slight twitching all through the body, which in a state of wakefulness won't show up, are additionally noticed.

Cats may convey a multitude of sentiments and objectives through a peculiar phenomenon known as sleep-related tail-wagging. This action may display delight, enthusiasm, or curiosity, and is a typical signifier of amiability or curiosity towards something. However, tail-wagging may also be indicative of uneasiness or trepidation, so it is essential to be alert to the setting in which the behavior is taking place. For example, if a cat is wagging its tail while being petted, it is typically a beneficial sign, while if they are wagging their tail while ensconced in a corner, it might be a signal of disquiet or agitation.

a cat in a blue bowl with its tail sticking out
a cat in a blue bowl with its tail sticking out

Tail Wagging While Purring

Foreign objects in wool

A cat can wave its tail, because foreign objects sometimes get stuck in wool: leaves, burdocks, dried feces, and various garbage. This is especially often noted in animals walking on the street.

Subsequently described The factors can cause discomfort in a pet, because of which the cat often begins to shake its tail, biting it.

Pain discomfort

Sometimes when the cat wags its tail, it can be associated with pain or poor well-being. If the pet lies and waves its tail, and also a behavior uncharacteristic for it is noted, for example, refusing to eat or spending a lot of time in shelter, perhaps the animal has poor health and requires consultation of a veterinary specialist.

Hunting behavior

Why do cats wag their tails? One of the frequent reasons - a hunting instinct woke up in it. In such a situation, the cat's tail quickly twitches, and the pet itself concentrates its gaze at one point - on the victim.

Often this can be seen when animals look out the window at the bird or engage in fishing. During the hunt, they can even make strange cat sounds, as if talking to their victim.