Category Archives: Understanding Cat Body Language

Tall Tails – Your Cat’s Tail Can Tell You A Lot About His Mood

Did you know this? Your cat’s tail can tell you a lot about his mood. I’ve translated some tail talk for you so you’ll know how your cat is feeling.

A cat with its tail up is saying hello.

Your cat’s tail can tell you a lot about his mood.

Every time my cat sees me, he puts his tail up. Why does he do that, Thomasina? Is he saying hello?
— Just Wondering

Hi Just Wondering…
Yes, he’s saying hello! Putting our tails up is one way we let our humans and other cats know we’re happy to see them. If you pay attention, your cat’s tail can give you all kinds of information about his mood.

Here are some more things your cat’s tail can tell you.

When your cat’s tail is up but curved at the end like a question mark, he’s really interested in something. It can be a greeting, too, when the cat is a bit unsure. I do that a lot when I see other cats because I can’t decide if I want to hang out with them or just be by myself.

  • Another way we say we’re really interested in something is to hold our tails straight up with the top tipped to one side. Muffitt and I do that a lot when we see something moving through the grass.
  • When a cat walks up to you with her tail curled over her back, she’s saying she’s happy to see you. Belle does that all the time and our human thinks it’s just so cute. Ugh… Belle can be so annoying.
  • When you see a cat walking with her tail straight out behind her, she’s feeling confident and relaxed. 
  • Have you ever noticed your cat sitting with his tail curved down but up near the tip? He sits that way when he’s contented and relaxed.