Why Do Cats Quiver Their Tail?

By Phil / July 29, 2017
Why Do Cats Quiver Their Tail

Why do cats quiver their tail sometimes, does it mean they are happy, sad, anxious?

I can explain.

There are a few different types of quivering their tails do, and the different ways they use their tails mean different things.

If your cat’s tail is sticking up straight and quivering it’s most likely to mean that they are happy to see you and it’s just a sign of excitement.

My cat will often circle my legs quivering its tail when I come home and haven’t seen her for a while to show she’s missed me.

So, if you’re wondering, ‘Why does my cat tail vibrate when she sees me?’, hopefully, this reassures you that it’s a good thing.

But, what does it mean what a cat flicks its tail?

It’s quite the opposite to the upright quivering. When cats flick their tails they are usually angry or agitated by something.

If they are flicking their tail into the ground, kind of like hitting the ground with it then they are really mad.

If you’re stroking your cat and they start doing this, stop immediately. Or if you see your cat doing this leave them alone, cat’s prefer to be left alone when they are stressed or angry.

Why do cats fluff out their tails?

Cat’s will make the hair on their tails stand on end, as well as across their backs to try and make themselves appear bigger if they feel threatened.

They do this when fighting other cats to look as menacing as possible. Although, they are always still our cute little kitties, aren’t they?

If you cat is in this heightened state it’s advisable to leave them alone until they cool off. They may end up scratching you when they are in fighting mode.

How to Understand What Your Cat’s Tail Movements Mean

The explanations in this article are the typical reasons why a cat’s tail will quiver, flick, and how they use it to express themselves.

Every cat is different however, you need to get to know your cat and take notice of their body language to understand how your cat is feeling.

We can learn a lot by observing our cats. They are creatures of habit and over time as you get to know their body language you will know how your cat is feeling and understand what their tail movements mean.

This is a fun little video running through some cat body language: