There is a lot we can tell about a cat’s mood from how they’re using their tails.
But much of what they use their tails for and how it feels to them is a mystery.
Do cats have feelings in their tails? How painful is it if they accidentally get stood on?
Here’s a more detailed look at how cats use their tails, and what we know about what their tails feel like to them:
Do Cats Have Feeling in Their Tails?
Cats absolutely do have feelings in their tails. In fact, their tails are very sensitive and even though they’re good at hiding it, a cat can feel even the slightest touch.
This is because their tails are packed with so many nerve endings. If you’re ever curious about whether your cat can feel its tail, simply touch it when they’re not looking!
How Do Cats Use Their Tails?
There are a few different ways cats use their tails. The most common one is as a communication tool.
Cats will use their tails to communicate everything from happiness and contentment, to fear and aggression.
For example, when your cat sticks their tail straight up in the air – and I’m sure you’ve seen this when they’re weaving around your ankles – they’re greeting you and happy.
In contrast, if your cat is flicking its tail, almost lashing it around, this is a sure sign that they are agitated and ready to lash out at you.
Cats also use their tails as a means of balance when they are climbing or jumping.
You can see this in action if you watch a cat walking across a narrow fence, you’ll notice they use their tail as a counterbalance.
Related – Why do cats wag their tails in our faces?
How Sensitive Is a Cat’s Tail?
As we mentioned before, cats have a lot of nerve endings in their tails. This means that they can feel even the slightest touch.
They will feel serious pain if they get stepped on or if something happens to their tail.
This is why a lot of cats don’t even like having their tails touched while they’re playing or being petted or fussed over.
Admittedly, there are some cats that are fine with it. It really comes down to the individual cat, but generally speaking, you should leave their tails alone.
Interestingly, it appears that not all of a cat’s tail is equally sensitive. The top third of their tail is the most sensitive, while the bottom third is a lot less sensitive.
Most cats love having the bottom of their tail fussed and scratched where it meets their backs, so you should certainly try this.
Do Cats Like Having Their Tail Touched?
This is a difficult question to answer because it really depends on the individual cat.
Generally speaking, most cats don’t like having their tails touched while they’re playing or being petted or fussed over.
However, there are some cats that love having their tails played with and will even come up and ask for it.
As we mentioned before, it really comes down to the individual cat. If you’re not sure whether your cat likes having their tail touched, start by touching them very lightly and see how they react.
If they seem to like it, you can gradually increase the pressure until you find a level that they’re comfortable with.
It’s important that you pay close attention to how your cat reacts to having their tails touched, the last thing you want to do is agitate them.
If they lash out at you, even in what looks like a playful way, stop. Same for if they back off, run away and hide, or take up a defensive position and flick their tails around.
Related – Do cats have prehensile tails?
What Do Cats Think of Their Tails?
I’m always interested in what my cat thinks about stuff, as I’m sure most cat parents do!
We can only speculate about what cats think of their tails, but we can make a few educated guesses.
First and foremost, we know that cats use their tails for communication. They use them to express everything from happiness and contentment, to fear and aggression.
So it’s safe to say that cats view their tails as an important part of who they are.
Secondly, cats are very tactile animals and they use their tails to sense changes in the temperature, feel things around themselves, and pick up on other changes.
This tells us that cats probably see their tails as one of the many ways they sense things around themselves.
Lastly, we know that cats feel pain when something happens to their tails. This tells us that cats probably see their tails as a source of security and protection.
So, do cats have feelings in their tails? The answer is yes, they definitely do.
Cats use their tails for communication, to sense their environment, and to feel pain.
It’s important to pay close attention to your cat’s reaction when you touch their tail, as some cats don’t like it.
And lastly, always remember that your cat’s tail is an important part of who they are.
Image credits – Photo by Amy Chen on Unsplash