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How to Decode Your Cat's Tail

Think about how much you can discern from watching a person’s body language: their current mood and demeanor, and perhaps what’s on their mind. The same can be said of observing your cat’s tail. Even though they can’t speak our language, cats rely on their body language, and especially their tail, to communicate what they are feeling at any given moment. So, what’s that fluffy tail telling us?

sketch of cats tail pointing up 


As the name suggests, this straight, rigid tail position looks as if you could fly a flag from it. And if you did, that flag would say, “I’m one happy, confident, content cat.” It’s an opportune time to try out a new flavor of SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS™ wet cat food.

sketch of cats tail curled 

Question Mark

If your cat is sporting a straight tail, but with a slight “question mark” curve at the tip, they are feeling happy and playful. Break out the SHEBA® Meaty Tender Sticks cat treats and encourage their friendly mood with a play session.

sketch of cats tail laying on floor 

Wrapped around Their Body

When your cat’s tail is curled around their body covering their feet or face, they are relaxed and seeking solitude — meaning they may not want to interact right now. You’ll often see this tail position when your cat is napping or quietly observing someone or something.

sketch of cats tail relaxed 

Low to the Ground or Tucked

This position can indicate that your cat is feeling nervous or even fearful, and you may notice them trying to army crawl across the room. It’s your cat’s way of saying, “I’m trying to stay incognito.”

sketch of cats tail wagging 


This is the equivalent of the human side-eye. If your cat’s tail is flicking back and forth, they aren’t amused with the current goings-on. Heed this warning sign and take the opportunity to step away and give your cat some space.

sketch of scruffy cats tail 

Pipe Cleaner

When your cat puffs out their tail, they are most likely feeling scared or threatened. The puffed-out tail is their attempt to look bigger than they are. Sometimes cats will also arch their tail and back, which means they are ready to attack if need be.

sketch of cats tail shaking 

Quick Twitch

If you see your cat low to the ground and twitching their tail, follow their gaze. They are preparing to pounce on whatever is drawing their hyper-focus. If it’s their feline companion, distract them both with an early dinner and serve up SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS™ wet cat food. Nothing like a delicious meal to restore peace and order in your household.