Can Cats Control Their Tails?

Can Cats Control Their Tails?

You must be keen to know a lot more about your cat…all cat owners have such curiosity. You must have seen your cats wagging its tail most of the times and rolling it into different shapes as if pointing at something. Moreover, while snoozing, cats usually tap its tail in a way some melodies are playing in its head.

You must have always wondered that if all these motions have some meaning or they are just uncontrolled random motions. Does it give some signal when in need of something or as a token of love?

Moreover, that is not only you. All cat owners are equally curious about mysterious movements of their feline’s tail. Many couldn’t fathom many signals their cats provide time to time. Continue reading to learn a lot more exciting things about cats.

Let’s reveal hundreds of secret about the cat’s tail motions.

Yes, cats can control their tail.

However, every time they are moving their tail, they don’t need to be doing it cautiously. But yeah, cats do respond to most of the things by their voluntary tail motions.

Cats signal a lot from their tails movements. You need to understand them to comprehend your cat better.

Kelly C. Ballantyne, a famous veterinarian and professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana-Champaign, said,

Cats are quite different from us. The same goes for their methods of communication. Therefore, every cat owner should spare some time and learn about their feline’s motions. Once we get to know the body language of our pet fully, we can precisely get their emotions. In this way, we can identify if it has any illness or any other situation like distress, happiness etc.

Now, after knowing it, you must be curious to understand what your cat is trying to indicate by its tail movements.

So, let’s jump right into it.

Cat Tail Language

A cat is a super enigmatic creature. Like puppies, it never gives you clear hints about their emotions or if they want something. Cats use their eyes, posture, ears, and voice to communicate. But most importantly they talk with tails.

Yes, you read it right. As different animals have different ways of communication, cats also have their own. They meow or wag their tail; cautiously or unconsciously like that’s what they do in particular situations.

For cats, a famous phrase, “Tails are the window to the inner world.”

Cat’s tail language vary from cat to talk; however, there are specific points common in all. For precise response decoding, you need to keenly observe your little feline for its response in particular situations. You will find her behaviour complex and quite intricate. You can easily misread her if you don’t have a good observation. It will do nothing than having an unhappy pet-owner relationship. Random petting and neglecting pet’s emotions and needs can create distances between both and limit comfort zone. You can also hurt her when you decipher her moves wrong.

Cats are very complex, and the way they tell you how they feel isn’t always obvious. It’s effortless to misread your cat’s behaviour, which can often result in being swatted away by an unhappy kitty when you go in for a pet at the wrong time.

What Does A Cat's Tail Movements Mean?

Understanding cat tail motions in a particular situation will empower you to create a more fulfilling, loving and trusting relationship with your pet. To help you know what your cat is telling you about, we collected some points:

She Is Super Agitated

When your cat feel disquieted at something, it lashes its tail uneasily. The strong flickering motion indicates that it is uneasy about something. That’s the best notion that can help you understand what your furry friend is feeling right now. Now you can quickly look for the reasons disturbing it and solve them for. Let me tell you one more thing. More frustrated they are faster their tail will wag. And if you see it with her ear backwards and tail moving like a pendulum do not try to bother her anyway. Thank me later!

She Is Strutting:

When your cat struts, it will raise her tail high in the air. It is like if it is the only emperor of this area. That’s the symbol of super confidence and supremacy. It is like giving other cats a notion as if hey it’s my area don’t try to play mess here. This bossy style is every cat’s favourite whenever she is comfortable.

She Is Trying To Focus:

Whenever a cat tries to focus on a thing, it starts moving its tail sub cautiously. The motion is little and calm, not like that when your cat is agitated. It’s just like that’s in cat’s habits. The focus can be on anything. For example, your feline can be focusing on some toy while playing or when preying. It would help if you were happy when your cat is moving its tail slightly while playing with a toy. It’s a sign that she loves it a lot. Moreover, it’s a great sign when you are trying to train her for something.

She Is Friendly:

When your cat approaches you amicably, she will move its tail straight up with a hook at the corner. It is not the same as the bossy move. You are her parent, her owner, her master. That is what she does in response to affection, love and care you give her. You can think it of token of appreciation by her side. When your cat is moving towards you with a straight tail having a question mark symbol, in the end, get ready to play with her. She starts sniffing you around and petting you. Please spare some time, close your laptop and play for a moment with her

She Is Frightened:

When your cat is frightened or in pain, she goes reticent. Moreover, they start crouching with their heads at the time of fright. Cats often respond to stress with their tails. They tuck their tail next to or under their body. When you find your feline in such situation, hold her in your lap and pat her. Look for the signs of pain and observe if she is hurt anywhere. Look into the surroundings and check if something is disturbing. Manage it properly.

She Is Getting Aggressive:

You must not be willing to bother your pet when her tail is straight. Straight down tail is the sign of extreme aggression. It can be when she is hungry. This symbol is often confused with that when she moves her tail wildly in agitation. Never pet her in this situation and try to look for the things disturbing her.

She Is Scared:

When the tail is puffed, she is super scared! Do not touch her when you find her in this situation. She is in attacking position then. Look in the surroundings and see if something is scaring her. Remove the object or organism. Let her calm herself and do not interfere. Otherwise, she will try to hurt you or bite you anyway.

Let’s sum up the whole discussion in the following table:

Tail Movement

It means that she is

Swaying back and forth heavily

Agitated and angry

Complete Upright

Confidence and happiness

Upright with a hook in the end (question mark look)

Love, comfort and affection

Upright and making an outward angle of 45 degree

Unsure if something is good or not

Upright with its tip moving

Interested in something

Slight Motion

Interested and well-focused

Making a back angle with continuous motion

Hyper state, for example, excited, fearful etc.


Fight position, angry and frightened

Complete down like perpendicular with the ground

Fight position

Hanging down with a hook in the end


Tucked between the body or rolled

She is in pain or is scared

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Does My Cat Hit Me With Her Tail?

A cat can lash you with her tail when she is piqued. First, she will give you a good notion that she is angry by her seat to move back and forth. Stop the thing you are doing right away. She is exceptionally unpleasant by the activity. When you don’t stop, she will start thrashing you with her tail.

Another reason that why your cat is slightly hitting you with her tail is she is recognizing you and marking you as her person. She leaves a scent on you in this way. It’s the same as keeping the property. The slight tapping with tail is the symbol of affection by your pet.

Why Do Cats Thump Their Tails When Lying Down

Thumping tails are signs of excitement, irritation or a possible fear. Your kitty can warn you with her wagging seat. It’s merely a notion “stop”, “Back off, or I will not have any option other than attack you”. She is only giving a warning that your motion is getting entirely out of hand. She can’t be taking your pet any more.

When you hear a thumping sound when she strikes her tail against the ground, she is ready to attack. Be careful when you get this signal. However, when you have a puppy and a kitten together, your pup can consider this motion as a friendly invitation. However, both will indulge in an immediate fight after coming to each other and will possibly hurt themselves

Why Do Cats Stick Their Tails Up When You Pet Them?

Do not worry. Your cat is enjoying your patting and scratching. That is a friendly notion and that your pet is comfortable with you. However, if your feline starts wagging its tail uncomfortably, you need to stop. Not every cat enjoys scratching on the back. It would help if you worked on signs it is giving and work according to its ease.

Do Cats Feel Their Tail?

Yes, they do! They are conscious of the movement of their tail, and most of the time, they do it on purpose. And yeah, they feel pain there too. However, the end of there is just fur so its senseless. Be cautious about cats tails; they are sensitive.


Cats are a mysterious, beautiful creature. They are not accessible to pet and comprehend. However, if you understand their subtle signs and notions they give you every time, you can have a better relationship with your pet. Otherwise, wrong petting in the wrong time can not only hurt her but also draw her away from you. We summarized the very intricate cat’s tail motions for you so you can comprehend her better. However, we suggest you be very keen on your observations to understand your little key better.

Once you respond to her according to her emotions and needs, she will also reward you more than you imagined!

Let us know if you have some cool tricks or discovered something new about your feline

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