Cat Adoption, Cat Behavior, Cat Questions, Cats

11 Reasons: Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails?


In contrast to how dogs wag their tails because they’re happy, a cat wagging its tail is the very opposite. Cats and dogs are different, let’s put that out there. A cat wagging her tail is not a sign of her being content, but due to other mixed emotions.

Cats are very complex. Unless they have been injured, almost all cats wag their tails. Tail wagging is how cats communicate with one another and also their body language. They’re also trying to express their feelings to us so the both of you can have an understanding.

As a new feline parent, it’s important to note how your kitty is feeling. Before you start worrying on this topic, let’s go over a list of vital signs to tell how your cat is feeling just from their tail.

Here are 11 different reasons to understand why your feline furball is wagging its tail.


1. A Greeting

A cat’s elevated tail high in the air is a greeting. How polite! And notice how they’ll rub against your legs. If cats rub their heads together, they’re continuing to greet each other.

At least they don’t immediately rub off the wrong way and turn sour. You should even return the greeting as a form of communication to say that you’re happy to see them, too.


2. The Feeling of Confidence

A cat’s body language is evident just by looking at their tail. Its tail is straight up in the air, gently wagging. However, it does not mean cats are showing off their lovely tail.

But it implies that they’re open to interaction with either you or other friendly cats. That’s a good sign. At least they’re not boasting about themselves to others.


3. Being a Fraidy Cat

When a cat’s tail is low to the ground, a specific event is causing them to get the jitters. They may even tuck their tail in between their legs for close comfort. Their hair may also stick up along their spine.

Depending on their body language they may be either willing to fight back against evil or turn away from any sign of conflict. If you happen to be the one who scares cats, approach gently to assure that you are not here to attack.


4. Excited for Daily Catnip

The moment they hear that sound of can up tuna opening in the can opener, their tail is upright and shaking all around resembling a dog.

Who wouldn’t enjoy the sound of dinner that’s getting ready? Other than being excited to see their owner return home, a cat is also in this position when urinating.


5. Being Aggressive

Unlike most dogs who are fun loving, cats can be aggressive. If a cats tail is arched upwards and curled down towards their legs, then it’s the final position before they strike their prey.

Their ears will also be pulled back followed by hissing, spitting, or even growling. And if owners also happen to come in that direct line, then it is your cue to back away immediately.


6. Kitty is Annoyed

Don’t take that tail wagging as the sign for your cat being exciting. There is no need to bother even if cats are wagging their tail in the vet’s office. It’s normal. A cat who wags their tail can also mean they’re annoyed. It’s hard to decipher.


7. Seeking Curiosity

Have you ever seen your kitty curiously bat at learning? Take note on how their tail reacts. If it is twitching as they are crouched on the ground studying their finding, it means they’re curious. Cats love to explore the world, especially newborn kittens. It’s an adorable sight to witness.


8. Sign of Injury

It’s hard to tell if your cat is in pain. They’re not vocal or expressive like dogs. The way to know if your cat is in pain is if they’re lying on the floor with their tail twitching ever so slightly. It is a cat’s cry for help. Take your cute cat immediately to the vet for a safe examination.


9. In Hunting Mode

If you ever witness your cat swooshing its tail back and forth, it’s best not to disrupt them. You’ll only scare away the cat’s prey. A cat mesmerizes the prey before she leaps into action. They’re in deep concentration that cannot be interrupted.

They may even start twitching their tail. A cat is maintaining visual contact with the prey. You may want to leave both of them alone, or your cat will be ignoring you for the rest of the night.


10. Playing a Game

Cats like to frustrate you, especially when you don’t know how they’re feeling. Just because they’re asleep doesn’t mean they’re sleeping. When they hear their owners call out, they’re ignoring and may even be back-sassing you in their minds. They’ll respond when they want to. Again, cat communication can be frustrating. They’re your child.


11. The Warm Feeling of Security

Cats adore your company, especially the nights where you’d spend scratching them. If their tail is twitching ever so slightly, they feel secure. They esteem you enough to close their eyes to go to sleep. The love owners give their cats is the best gift of all for a cats world.



Good for you! Now you can speak in a cat’s communication. A cat wagging its tail has several different meanings. When it comes to hunting or being aggressive, you may be the one they’re not happy about. It’s best to back off and leave them alone.

Another tip is to be safe whenever petting a cat, especially when around small children. Cats are sensitive to the touch. Some cats either enjoy being pet all over or just certain areas. Pay attention to your cat’s reactions. Nobody wants a cat scratching at them.

Cats enjoy their independence. Let them decide if they’d like to spend a night resting in your lap as you give a good scratch. That tail will wrap around your arm in all their love for you.

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