Cats are known for their tails, but do you know what they use them for? Believe it or not, those furry appendages serve a variety of purposes beyond looking cute. Here are some of the things cats use their tails for.
Do cats have control of their tails?
Cats are expertly agile creatures, and their tails play an important role in helping them balance. It’s no wonder why we’ve been enchanted by their graceful poise for centuries. But does that mean cats do have control of their tails?
We’ve all noticed the twitching cats do with them when they’re thinking or feeling something, and it turns out the answer is both yes AND no – in reality, a cat’s tails are a balance organ just like our inner ears. They respond to stimulus without any conscious effort or thought from the cat; so while they can’t control their reaction, they can still ultimately direct where their tails go because of the decisions they make with their bodies.
In other words, if you move your body one way it will impact your tail too!
Why you shouldn’t pull a cat’s tail?
If you’ve ever been swatted by a cat, you know that they don’t take kindly to having their tails pulled. It’s best not to pull a cat’s tail at all. Here’s why: for starters, it hurts!
That long, thick fur protects their skin from being scratched, but it does nothing to stop you from yanking on their delicate spine. Secondly, it stresses them out. Cats are very independent creatures, and they like things to be just so. Having their tail pulled disrupts their whole body and can throw off their balance. Finally, it can make them angry. We all know how dangerous an angry cat can be, with their sharp claws and teeth.
So next time you’re tempted to tug at that cute kitty, resist the urge!
Why do cats pet you with their tail?
Scientists have not yet concluded why cats choose to pet their owners with the tip of their tails, but there are a few theories. Some say cats simply want attention and use their tails like we would use an arm to show affection. Others believe that it has something to do with scent glands located on a cat’s backside, which is why they often swirl their tail tips against our skin.
Indeed, when cats rub against us they turn around and allow us to smell them, likely so that we, too, can enjoy the calming pheromones released by their scent glands. Whatever the reason may be one thing is certain; when cats show their love through pets with the tip of their tails it creates a unique bond between them and their owners that is quite special.
How do cats use their tails to communicate?
Cats are amazing creatures, and their tails tell much of the story. They use their tails to communicate a variety of messages – from playful anticipation to caution – and can include a variety of postures that range from upright to curved or tucked between their leg.
When your pet sees something it is interested in its tail may flick back and forth, an indication of excitement. Conversely, if your pet comes upon something that frightens it, its tail may arch up or curl down in an attempt to shy away from the situation. The happy neutral position for cats is with their tails following in line when they walk; whereas if the tail is held high the cat is feeling confident and ready to take on any challenge.
In summary, cats use their tails to indicate what emotional state they’re feeling at any given moment. It’s essential to understand this communication established by your pet to provide them with the best possible environment.
Do cats like it when you touch their tail?
While cats may not always like having their tail touched, it is often true that touching a cat’s tail can be an enjoyable experience for both the pet and its owner.
Taking the time to carefully brush or smooth out your cat’s tail can boost its sense of comfort and security, helping it to feel even more relaxed and content that day. You may also observe an increase in your cat’s trust when you touch its tail, reflected by a greater propensity for snuggling or relaxation when being held and petted.
Ultimately, giving a gentle scratch or massage to your cat’s tail could be one of the many simple yet effective ways that you can show your pet affection and build a stronger bond with them over time.
The Final Word: What do cats use their tail for?
From facial expressions to communication and balance, cats use their tail for a variety of reasons. It’s easily the most noticeable and iconic feature of their anatomy and a big part of what makes them so intriguing. We may never get close enough to truly understand all that our lovely little felines are suggesting with their playful tails, but that doesn’t make watching and admiring them any less enjoyable.
Take some time each day just to observe your own cat’s movements and expressions—you may be surprised at what you pick up on. With each discovery you make, you’ll gain better insight into your favorite feline companion. Who knows, maybe one day the secret language of cats will be unlocked!