Have you ever wanted to understand your cat’s communication? How about its feelings and behaviors? Well, apart from purring and kneading, your cat’s tail movements are one of the things you should learn as far as cats’ body language is concerned.
We all know that cats are highly communicative pets, and the way their tails move is by itself a language every cat owner should learn, especially tail movements initiated by their owners’ touches.
A cat’s tail is very sensitive – as it has a concentration of nerves. Pet it in the right way, and the cat will love it, but any slight wrong movement can cause immense pain to your cat. So, be alert to your cat’s responses to being pet on the tail.
When you are able to interpret your cat’s tail language and movements, you will be able to know what it feels or experiences. By so doing, you will be able to give them what they want or perhaps leave them to be by themselves when they need not be bothered.
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Be Sensitive to Your Cat’s Sensitivities
All cats are unique in terms of the degree to which they tolerate petting in general and petting in specific regions of their bodies.
Learn your cat’s “that’s enough petting” signs, such as fixed stares and vigorous tail-wags, and stop petting or move to a spot for which your cat has greater petting tolerance before reaching that point.
Why Do Cats Raise Their Hindquarters When You Pet Them on Their Lower Backs?
Here are some of the ways and reasons that cats use their rear ends for communication:
- It’s an infantile behavior, a vestige of when they presented that section of their bodies to their mothers for cleaning. Our cats look at us partly as surrogate moms, whether we’re male or female.
- By raising their backsides while being petted, cats exert slight pressure to increase the tactile pleasure from petting.
- Some cats may appreciate—and thus try to get the most of—petting, light fingertip massage, or brushing on their lower backs since that’s a difficult area to reach when grooming.
- The lifting action helps cats spread their scents from their anal sacs, just inside the rectum, onto “petters.”
The Tail’s Tale: A Cat’s Communication Channel
The tail of your cat is its communication channel. It speaks a thousand words through it, and perhaps you’ve wondered what makes your cat act weird when you scratch the base of its tail.
You might have noted tail movements such as when your cat raises its tail straight to the tip to mean that they are greeting you and when they wag its tail to show its affection towards you.
As much as your cat shows affection through its tail, they are able to show dissatisfaction or unhappiness with its tail too. Particularly, cats do not like being touched at the bases of their tails because of the sensitivity around these parts.
When they get startled, a cat’s tip curls straight up except the tip, which would keep twitching occasionally. If you scratch the base of their tail, they would even get more annoyed. This is particularly common in female cats.
You might also like to read reasons for cat wagging tail while purring
Exercise Caution When Petting The Cat’s Tail Tip
Cats are known to be sensitive pets. Touching them at the base of their tails provokes them with experiences of mating and sex.
For females, this is a painful experience, and most of them would not condone the touches. As such, cats are likely to feel agitated when they are indecently touched at the base of their tails.
They may respond by tucking their tails inward under their legs to indicate that they are in fear or they are getting nervous.
Also, check out why does my cat hit me with her tail
A Cat’s Favorite Petting And Scratching Spots:
Cheeks – Most cats enjoy a good cheek scratch. A cat’s cheeks contain scent glands so when you rub them, you’re mingling their scent with yours.
Under the chin – One of those out-of-the-way spots on a cat’s body, the space under a cat’s chin is a great one for scratching since the cat may have trouble reaching it himself.
The base of the tail – Most – though not all – cats adore being scratched or petted here. When your cat walks up to you, turns around, and lifts his butt in the air, take the gesture as a compliment.
The face – Cats may like to rub their faces against you. Extend a finger for them to use as a scratcher, or just let the cat pet you for a change.
The ears – Some cats like their ears scratched, rubbed, or gently twisted. A few even go for having a knuckle rubbed against their ears’ exteriors. If your cat appears to have very itchy ears, ask the vet to take a look at them. Itchiness could signal mites or allergies.
Also, find out why do cats like their ears rubbed
A YouTube video called What’s Your Cat’s Petting Style? suggests there are two kinds of cats – 1) the classic feline who loves to be petted with moderation and limits and 2) the party purr who loves to be petted with few limits or rules.
Know more about petting cats from the article on why cats love to lick eyelids.
Also, check out what happens if you pull a cats tail
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do cats like to be petted and scratched?
For cats, petting and gentle scratching show affection. The oldest theory about why cats like to be petted and scratched says that the action reminds them of their mothers. Your pet considers you his new “mom” and expects you to render the same treatment a queen cat would bestow.
How do cats like to be petted?
Most cats enjoy being scratched. A few like a firm rub on selected body parts. Not many enjoy being stroked in the way other domestic pets do. Just treat your cat like a cat, and she’ll be a happy kitty.
Do cats like belly rubs like dogs do?
No, they don’t!
The best places to scratch a cat does not include the stomach. Unlike dogs, who adore a belly rub, most cats find it frightening and will lash out.
Why Does My Cat Hit Me with Her Tail?
Your cat might hit you with her tail if you are not giving her attention. Because she wants you to get engage with her and fulfill her demand. On the other hand, a cat might also hit you from her tail when her excitement is too high for something she is urging for.
Cats use practically every part of their body to communicate their intentions and impressions, including their rear ends. That includes their rear ends.
Cats are often highly sensitive to being scratched near the base of the tail, probably because of the concentration of nerves there.
The sensation may be something like being tickled—a little bit of scratching is enjoyable; a lot can be overstimulating or even painful.
Each cat has different responses and tolerance levels for lower back-scratching.
Note that cats that seem hyper-sensitive or in pain when touched in that area could be suffering from impacted anal sacs, skin allergies, or other conditions requiring veterinary attention.