Why Do Cats Wiggle Their Tails? The Answer Might Surprise You!

Make no mistakes, felines are very expressive creatures! Let’s look at the burning question — why do cats wiggle their tails so much?

why do cats wiggle their tails
blhphotography / Flickr

When your kitty is just wandering around the home, you may notice that they do something strange. Often enough, cats will bend and move their tails in quite peculiar ways. You may well have wondered why do cats wiggle their tails. It’s a good question, but one with a complicated answer.

The truth of the matter is that cats tend to use their tail as a way of communicating with one another and, indeed, us. What that means is that we need to pay close attention to how cats move their tails if we want to understand what each movement means. Here are some of the messages they may well be trying to send out. Here’s what you need to know.

Why do cats wiggle their tails?

They are ‘peacocking’
Sign: Elevated tail

This technique is particularly common among male cats when they are trying to attract a lovely female feline. The idea is that the cat makes themselves look as big as possible so that they will seem to be the worthiest mate. You will likely find that your cat elevates their tail to an extremely high position to do so.

They are feeling anxious
Sign: Bushed up tail

Of course, no pet owner wants their cat to feel anxious but it happens from time to time. One of the major signs you will see when this happens is a thoroughly bushy tail. This is when a cat is feeling distressed. They feel that they are under attack or the like. That means that they will likely want to defend themselves. Making the tail appear larger than it is is a sign to predators to back off.

They are about to hunt
Sign: Tail down

When your kitty is in hunting mode, being sneaky is everything. One of the main things that cats do is try to make themselves as small as possible. You may find that their tail is low to the ground — as are they. This helps the feline to hide away and sneak up on prey. Watch out! When your kitty is ready to pounce, you don’t want to be in their way.

They are super happy
Sign: Bent tail

From time to time, your cat will be super happy. One of the things that you will notice when they are content is a slightly bent tail. The tip of their tail is likely to be bent over a tad, but the rest of the tail should be straight. If you see this sign, your kitty is in a great mood. Time for some cuddles.

Where to Pet Your Cat to Make Them Happy as Larry!

We all want to pet and cuddle our cats now and then, but how can we be sure they actually like it? Here’s where to pet your cat to keep them happy.

Where to Pet Your Cat
Adam Heath / Flickr

When you get home from a long day at work, there’s just one scamp that you look forward to seeing again and again. Having a cat waiting at home for you is one of the best feelings in the world. The very first thing that you’re going to want to do when you walk through the door is go ahead and give them a massive cuddle. After all, they really do deserve it! Still, there are some places that kitties just don’t like to be touched. If you want to make them love you and feel secure, here’s where to pet your cat. You’re welcome.

Under the chin

Around the jawbone area and under your cat’s chin, you will find that there are a whole load of nerves. That means that your cat will really love a cuddle here. You need to make sure that you start off as soft as possible. You don’t know how sensitive your pet is and the very last thing that you want to do is alarm them. Start with one or two fingers and gently rub just beneath the chin area. As you do so, make sure that you watch your cat’s reaction. If they like it, they will likely lift their chin upward so that you can really get in them and give them some love.

Behind their ears

Another place that some cat lovers tend to neglect is just behind the ears. Here, your cat has a whole load of fur which means that they can often get quite itchy from time to time. By stroking this area, you are relieving the itch for your cat and giving them some much needed comfort. Often, you will find that your pet lets you know where they want to be cuddled. They may present a certain area to you or show you where to pet your cat in a way. Be sure to pay close attention to them to see what they do. That way, you can be certain that they will be happy and content with you.

Around the cheek area

You should really be focusing on the head area when it comes to petting your cat. Felines like to know that they are in control and they need to see your hands much of the time. That’s why they feel most comfortable with you scratching around their cheeks and giving them a big old rub there. Again, this area might be quite fluffy, and so you will also help them to relieve any itches that they may have there too. When your pet likes having their cheeks rubbed, they will crane their neck forward to let you know about it. That little sign is one that you want to watch out for when cuddling. It means that you’re doing a seriously great job!

On the forehead

Tracing the line of your cat’s forehead with your fingers is a cute way to show them just a little affection. After that, you might want to move things up a scale and go for the whole hand. Remember, you don’t want to be too rough with your cat. Kitties can be quite precious about the way that you touch them (unlike dogs!), and so the more sensitive you are, the better they will enjoy the attention. When considering where to pet your cat, you should also think about how hard or soft you need to stroke them.

Down their spine

If you want to go in for a big cuddle, this is what you need to do. Cats like a strong hand running down their back or spine. Be sure to be firm but not press down too hard (or you could run the risk of hurting them!). What you really want to do is start from their head and move your hand backward quickly. If your kitty likes this, they will arch their back. Watch out for this telltale sign as it signifies the fact that your cat is enjoying the affection and would like a little more.

Warning! Avoid the tale and tummy

Now that we’ve covered where to pet your cat, there’s one other thing that we need to mention. There are actually a couple of places that your cat will hate you touching. Of course, you need to avoid these areas at all costs, unless you watch to get scratched and hissed at! It’s important that you take note of what your cat likes and dislikes. While all felines are different, you can use these hints as general rules.

You should always avoid the tummy area as this place is often too sensitive to be cuddled at all. Felines tend to want to protect their stomach at all costs and the last thing you want to do is take that away from them. You should also never play with your cat’s tale. As tempting as it may be, this is uncomfortable for your kitty and they will not like it!