Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails While Lying Down? (Explained)

Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails While Lying Down

If you’ve observed your cat as they’re lying down I’m sure you’ve seen them wagging their tail back and forth.

It’s always interesting to try and read our kitty’s body language, so, why do cats wag their tails while lying down?

In this post, I’m going to decode some of your cat’s body language and how they use their tails to communicate with us!

Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails While Lying Down? (5 Reasons Explained)

There are several reasons why cats wag their tails while lying down, and confusingly it can mean they’re either happy, sad, or feeling something in between!

To find out how your cat is feeling and what their body language is telling you, it’s important you also look at their general behavior and some other things.

That said, here are 5 of the most common explanations behind why cats wag their tails while lying down:

1. They’re Happy!

When a cat is happy, they’ll often start to wag their tail as a way of expressing this joy.

This is not to be confused with flicking their tails, however, which means they’re agitated.

A gently wagging or swaying of the tail definitely means they’re happy and feeling content.

For my cats, the wagging of the tail is often shortly followed by rolling around and stretching out their backs – and maybe a little purring and drooling!

2. They’re Confused or Unsure

If your cat is wagging their tail while lying down and they’re not in a playful mood, it might mean they are feeling confused or unsure about something.

This could be anything from a new environment to meeting someone new, so keep an eye on your kitty’s body language to see if you can work out what’s bothering them.

I know it happened with one of my cats the last time we completely renovated her favorite room to sleep in.

She managed to find a similar spot to where she’d been sleeping, but because everything around her had changed she was clearly a little put out.

Related Here’s what cats feel when their tails are touched.

5 Reasons Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails While Lying Down
Photo by Gökhan Konyalı on Unsplash

3. They’re Afraid

Cats use their tails as a way of communicating with others, and when they’re afraid it’s one of the ways they’ll show this.

If your cat is wagging its tail while lying down and has its ears back, it’s likely that they’re feeling scared or threatened.

Sometimes this is due to something as simple as noise in the distance disturbing them, or it could be that they’ve been spooked recently by a loud noise.

Pay close attention to where your cat is looking and if they are restless. If there is anything you can do to make them more comfortable you should do so.

More than likely they just need some space and time though. I’d give them some space and allow them the time to unwind and relax at their own pace.

4. They’re Agitated

Just like when they’re afraid, cats will also wag their tails when they feel agitated and want to make this clear to anyone around them.

It’s more of an aggressive flick than a wag when a cat is in full defensive or aggressive mode, but every cat is different.

Pay close attention to their body language and how they are positioning themselves.

If your cat is tense, has its ears back, and is clearly not relaxed, there is something stressing them out.

Although it’s tempting to try and make a cat feel better when they’re agitated, in my experience, it’s best to just give them space and time to cool off.

5. They Need Attention!

Last but not least, sometimes cats will start to wag their tails when they want attention from their humans.

If your cat is constantly wagging its tail while lying down, it might be a sign that they’re trying to get your attention.

If you’ve just been playing with your cat, this is also a sign that they’re not ready to stop – even if you are.

Again, this is something one of my cats does all the time.

When she’s wagging her tail, as soon as I approach her, she’ll roll onto her back and expose her tummy for me to stroke.

Related Is your cat laying in odd places all of a sudden?

In Summary

So, there you have it – a few reasons why your cat might be wagging its tail while lying down.

It’s important to remember that each cat is different and they might use their tails for other reasons too.

The next time you see your kitty doing this, take a look at their general behavior and see if you can work out what they’re trying to tell you.

Happy decoding!


Image credits – Photo by Madalyn Cox on Unsplash

Leave a comment: