Why Does a Cat Keep it Is Tail Hanging Down?

by Naomi Millburn, Demand Media
    A cat can convey so much just through her tail.

    A cat can convey so much just through her tail.

    If you find yourself occasionally feeling vexed about your cat's rather peculiar behavior, spare yourself the frustration and annoyance. Instead of furrowing your brows over how your kitty feels, closely examine the positioning of her tail. A cat's tail often "speaks" a lot louder than words, so don't ignore it.

    Nervousness

    If you catch your cat with her tail hanging down, it could be a sign that she's feeling rather nervous about something at the moment. Maybe it's thundering out and the startling and loud sounds are really getting to her. The poor thing doesn't know what to do with herself and can't seem to relax. Perhaps she's looking out the window and spots a neighbor walking his big Doberman, and the sight of the canine is making her feel rather apprehensive.

    Defensiveness

    A lowered tail also frequently is a sign of defensiveness in a feline, especially if it's slightly twisted in form. In this instance, your cat may be feeling very scared of someone or something. She might be attempting to stay out of a fight with another cat she feels is stronger, for example. You also may notice other key fearful and protective body language clues, including bristling fur, widened pupils, an arched back and an aggressively moving tail. This may not be a meek cat, however. When a cat is in full-on defense mode, she probably won't be very shy about physically defending herself if her adversary strikes first, thank you very much.

    Surrender

    When a kitty has her tail hanging but also slightly folded below her body, it may be a sign of pure surrender. She's probably feeling submissive, weak and exposed, and doesn't believe that she can hold her own against her perceived opponent, whether a member of the household trying to get her into her carrier for a veterinary appointment or a bullying resident feline. The poor thing is not feeling too confident at the moment and basically is giving in to the seemingly unpleasant circumstances.

    Aggression

    A hanging tail also sometimes points to aggression. When a cat is getting ready to attack an unsuspecting party, she may approach with her tail drooping low to the ground and her rear section slightly elevated. Watch out, world! This cat probably is seconds away from getting her nails or teeth out. Stay away from this angry kitty and allow her some time to regroup her emotions.

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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