Why is your cat’s tail always up when you are petting her, but down otherwise?

Cat tail up when petted

Essentially, domestic cats use their tail as a means of communication and its position conveys their emotions and intentions. A domestic cat holds their tail vertically – called the “tail-up” position – when greeting a friendly cat. They’ll do the same when greeting their owner. It’s a sign of relaxed confidence in the encounter. …

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Language is the biggest communication barrier between human and cat, not the cat’s intelligence

Language is the biggest barrier in the human-to-cat relationship not intelligence

I’ve been thinking about the fact that people relate to their domestic cat companion as a child and as a member of the family but accept the fact that they can’t communicate with their cat as they would a child. If only we could communicate with language to our cats, how much better the …

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Cat’s expressive eyes and mobile ears

Cat with 2 individual whiskers that curl up and touch both her eyes

The body language of a cat’s eyes and ears are worth a quick discussion and I am reliant on personal experience and that of the vet Dr Bruce Fogle in his book Complete Cat Care. Eyes As is typical of other animals, dilated pupils indicate excitement or enervation because the cat is fearful or …

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Can domestic cats try and deceive each other?

Can and do domestic cats deceive each other?

Before answering the question, we have to define the word ‘deceive’. Definition: to deliberately cause (someone) to believe something that is not true, especially for personal gain. I have never seen any cat behaviourists try to work out if domestic cats try to deceive each other. The activity of deception as carried out by …

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Lion and tiger can regard humans as dominant which is why staring into their eyes can stop an attack

Dominant stare to prevent a tiger or lion attack

Lion and tigers, the two biggest cats have the ability to regard humans as dominant if humans stare into their eyes when under attack by either. If a human stares like this is signals dominance and the cat is taken in by it as it seems they have the ability to perceive us as …

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Does a multi-cat lifestyle lead to more negative human-cat interactions?

The question in the title asked whether cats living in multi-cat homes tend to have more negative interactions with their owner compared to single cats living in the home with their owner. I can rely on the results of a study for the answer but I can’t really add a lot of detail as …

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12 domestic cat tail-signals in an INFOGRAPHIC

Cat Tail

I hope this two pages of an infographic helps in understanding domestic cat tail body language/signalling. It can be quite subtle. There is one cat breed, a rare one, with a curled-over tail called the American Ringtail. This cat will struggle with one or two of these tail signalling positions! And, of course, the …

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The way a domestic cat signals that they are frightened

Larry and Palmerston

A cat might be anxious because of something that is happening around them or not far from them. They might be slightly afraid and the normal reaction will be to run away silently and hide. If they are walking at the time, they will lower their body to tense the muscles of their legs …

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