Many of us have cats and we are not aware of what their natural method of communications are saying to us. The next few pages are guides to tail, ear and eye movements
Cat to cat language is largely made from body language and signals. This form of communication is in essence the main source of cat to cat expression, of course cats will meow, hiss and spit at each other. But when you actually observe your cat most of the time they are silent, but even so they are communicating through ear, tail and body posture and postion. The tail is an important part of the cat to watch and de-code to understand your cat.
Tail curves down and then up a the tip – this means that the cat is peaceful and contented.
Tail slightly raised and gently curved – the cat is curious and interested.
Tail held vertical but with tip tilting over – the cat is interested and friendly and in a greeting mood but is also slightly cautious.
Tail held vertical with the tip stiffly held upright – the cat is very happy which is ready and willing to greet, with no reservations.
Tail held vertically and quivering – this often happens after the cat greets you and means a friendly hello.
Tail lowered, maybe even between legs – this is a signal of submission. Your cat may be feeling lowly and defeated
Tail held low and puffed out – the cat is fearful
Tail arched and bristling – the cat is in a defensive mode, but also a cat ready to defend itself if pushed. A cat will always puff itself up when challenged to try and make itself appear bigger and scare the challenger
Tail held straight and bristling – this is the sign of aggression
Tail swishing violently side to side – the sign of conflict in its most angry state, usually a sign that the cat is about to attack.
Tail still with tip twitching – the cat is mildly irritated. If the tip starts to twitch more vigorously then the cat is becoming more bad tempered.
Tail held to one side – this is usually performed by the female. This is an invitation to the male when she is ready to be mounted.