Why do cats wag their tails? Behaviorist spend so much time researching on the reasons why cats wag tail. Unlike dogs, cats tail wagging is a more intricate process that would require attentiveness to decipher the message being sent. Nevertheless cats are truly expressive creatures –subtly so that only a keen observer will comprehend the message being communicated. The subject of why cats wag tail is broad and researchers have just touched the tip of the iceberg. For instance, there are a myriad of tail wags such as the vertical hold, the tail flick, the arched tail and so on.

Why do cats wag their tails
A cat standing in the outdoors Source

It’s good to mention that if you have been employing dog tail wagging gestures to understand what your cat is saying then you’ve been doing it wrong. The two pets communicate differently. Dogs simply wag their tail without much expression from the rest of the body. However, among cats you have to also look at body language as well in the feline counterparts.

Why do cats wag their tails?

#1 As a form of greeting.

Just as dogs wag their tail as a form of greeting cat do so as well. Next time you meet your feline friend just watch out for a tail positioned upright. Among the cats family the tail gesture is followed by consensual head contacts.  Notably, greetings is not only restricted to cats – they also greet humans in a similar fashion.

#2 Fear

Perhaps, cartoons creator’s best understand this concept every time they feature a cat in their shows. Every time they they depict cat hairs standing upright when she is scared stiff they capture the essence of this tail wagging concept well. It’s a common instinctual reaction to protect itself from impending danger. The idea is for the cat to appear bigger to scare a perceived enemy. In this case, the hair around the tail gets into character perfectly standing erect to send a powerful messages.

Related: Why do cats lick people?

#3 Cats wag tail as form of aggression

When you mention cat aggression it’s a sign that the feline can attack any minute now. In pre-attack mode, the tail is arched upwards from the bottom end, then swirled downwards towards the hind limbs. However, it’s not easy to spot this tail gestures because it happens seconds to actual attack. If you do notice this form of formation this means you need to refrain from aggravating the situation further.

Why do cats wag their tails
A cat’s tail Source

#4 Painful gestures

As stated above, it’s very tricky to understand cats’ messaging ideals and in this case wagging of tail because she is feeling pain. Unlike dogs, cats do not make howling sounds to indicate their pain. They usually conceal their pain; you’d have to be really attentive to notice any form of tail twitching in a cat. When in pain a cat will lie down with a twitching tail.

A cat is an interesting pet, we’ve only just started understanding how they express themselves. Their way of communicating isn’t straight forward as in other domestic animals and that’s why you have to be keen when reading into their tail wagging gestures.

While at home you should examine the cat’s behavior under different temperaments: sleeping, playing, and walking and so on. That way you will be able to notice any sudden behavioral change in them. For instance, when they are stressed or afraid or overexcited you will notice a slight or sudden change in their behavior especially the wagging of the tail

Also read: Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?