what does it mean when cats flick their tails

Flicking or swishing back and forth: Afraid or playful

A cat’s tail typically swishes back and forth when they feel afraid. That said, this posture can also suggest a playful mood. Paying attention to other clues can help you decipher their mood. For instance, a stiff body position and flattened ears may point to fear.

Twitching the End of the Tail

In addition to twitching their tails when hunting and playing, cats also exhibit mild annoyance and frustration. Read the scene and search for additional hints about their mood in this instance. The twitching of their tails, if they are not playing or stalking something, is most likely an indication of their irritation.

Your cat may be deeply absorbed in something, such as a toy, another animal in the house, or something outdoors, if they are slowly swishing their tail back and forth. They may be about to pounce!.

Your cat will benefit from predatory behavior such as stalking and pouncing, so allow them to pursue whatever is capturing their interest.

When your cat is very happy to see you or another cat, their tail may wag. However, a cat may be marking their urine if it quivers while holding its tail straight up and backing up against a vertical surface.

The Twitchy Hunting Tail

When your cat’s tail is straight, relaxed, and twitching quickly, it is said to have a twitchy hunting tail. It indicates that they are pursuing and hunting their prey, and the tail appears to be sentient. Cats displaying this tail language are so fun to watch. The body language that is frequently connected to this kind of tail is as follows:

  • Head outstretched
  • Forward pointing ears
  • Semi-crouched position
  • Intense, unblinking stare

In addition to this nonverbal cue, they could also be “chattering.” Chattering, also referred to as “trilling,” is characterized by a brief, soft, high-pitched sound that is frequently accompanied by teeth clicking. When a cat sees birds outside their window, they let out this sound. They are rehearsing the “kill bite,” which is the act of your cute but fierce young hunter getting ready to bite their prey’s head off.

The Testy Tail Flick

Your cat may be feeling tense and irritable if their tail appears stiff and they are flicking it back and forth on the ground. They dislike it when you take them to the veterinarian because they frequently exhibit this flicking. Other nonverbal cues linked to the “testy tail flick” include:

  • Flat ears
  • Hair raised
  • Arched back
  • Tense posture

Your cat may be agitated if you notice any of the following body language signs along with a stiff, lowered tail that flicks back and forth. At times, the feline’s paw appears barely raised from the ground, poised for antagonism. It could mean that your cat is set up to defend itself.

Your cat may be displaying submission if their tail is curled around their belly and tucked in between their legs. If you catch your cat being mischievous, like jumping onto the kitchen counter and knocking things over, and you tell them you’re not happy with them, they might react like this. Your cat is feeling bad and discouraged because they know they did something wrong.


What does a flicking tail on a cat mean?

Cats wag & flick their tails when they are unhappy Irritation and anger are two of the emotions that your cat is likely to be feeling when their tail is held low and stiff and wagging is a sideways thrashing, a flick at the end of their tail or even a thump on the ground.

Do cats flick their tails when happy?

Cats wag their tail when they’re excited: the quiver The tail quiver is quite possibly the cutest tail action, as it means that they’re excited to see you! Your cat will approach you with their tail high up in the air and the tip will do a little quivering movement, similar to how a rattlesnake shakes their tail.

Why do cats lay down and flick their tails?

A cat’s tail can tell you a lot about what they’re feeling. If a cat is resting, and they start flicking their tail, it could be because they heard something, smelled something, saw something, or thought about something interesting.

Why does my cat flick his tail while cuddling?

Cats Wag Their Tails When They’re Feeling Secure If you’re petting your cat and they acknowledge you by moving their tail a bit or your cat is wagging their tail while they are purring, they’re feeling secure. This is a good sign you’re free to keep petting your beloved cat and showing them that you care.