Welcome to Cat Tails! Here is a little information that hopefully will help you understand your cat and his/her moods better. Do you know any more information about a cat's tail? If so please email me and I'll add it to the list. Purrs!
A Cats Tail:
Why do cat's tails quiver?
A cat's tail tells many tales! When the tip of her tail is quivering, it can mean mild irritation. But if the tail is erect - and the whole length of it seems to be quivering with joy or excitement - that's exactly what she's trying to tell you. It's definitely a friendly quiver. You'll probably notice this kind of fluttering occurs when you've come home after being away for a while. Can the can opener be far behind?
Why do they "swish" their tails?
There are two reasons actually. One is to get their balance before leaping - like building up a head of steam or cranking up the engine for those flying leaps. The second reason is to mesmerize the "prey" they are looking at. Since your kitty can't see if the prey freezes, she moves her tail to initiate the slightest movement in her target, which she can then spot. Pretty smart, huh?
What does it mean when they "lash" their tails from side to side?
The tail waving quietly from side to side is a sure sign of contentment. If she sits quietly with her tail quietly wagging back and forth, she's concentrating intently on something. But vigorously lashing back and forth is a clear sign of anger. It signal annoyance, and it's a good sign that she's very upset. If she's lashing her tail while you're stroking and petting her, it might be a good idea to back off. She's sending you a signal that she's had enough, even of your affectionate attention. She'll use a whole lot of different signals to express her anger - but she is nice enough to warn you first by lashing her tail. If you persist, she may begin to growl. Her ultimate move might be to attack you, and not nicely either!
A tail-wagging tempo that falls somewhere between heavy-duty and halfhearted can mean your cat feels indecisive. She may want to go out, for instance, then realizes that it's raining. She'll wag her tail because she's so torn between wanting to go out and not getting wet. As soon as she makes up her mind, the wagging will stop.
What else can tails tell?
When her tail is bent forward over her head, it means she's feeling like top cat. When she waves it quietly from side to side like a fan, she's contented. Several quick flicks upward is a greeting - both for you and other cats.