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Why Does Your Cat’s Tail Twitch?

A cat walks along a trail with its tail upright.
Alexandra Giese/Shutterstock.com

If you’re a pet owner, you know the sign of a happy dog by its wagging tail. Cats, on the other hand, express even more emotions through the movement of their tails. So, what does it mean when your cat twitches their tail?

Your feline friend twitches their tail when they’re hunting or playing—and maybe even when they’re annoyed.

It’s pretty obvious to tell when your cat is in play mode. If their tail is twitching back and forth, they’re intrigued or curious about something, maybe they’re hunting their favorite string toy or getting ready to pounce.

But if you notice that they’re not in a playful mood, they might be irritated. In that case, it’s best to watch out. You never know when their claws will make an appearance. If you’re petting your furry friend and the bottom of their tail is twitching from side to side, it might be time to take a break.

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If their tail starts to trash or thump, they’re growing even more annoyed. This is how they tell you something is bothering them or that it’s time to stop.

Basically, a cat’s tail is the window to its soul—in some ways at least. Your feline friend communicates its emotions in a variety of ways, but its tail is a major one. As a pet owner, your bond with your cat helps you understand just how to help them feel happy and safe.

Kelsey Opel Kelsey Opel
Kelsey Opel is a freelance writer and digital storyteller based in Austin, Texas. She enjoys writing for food, entertainment and mental health spaces. Off the clock, she loves indulging in an avocado margarita and chips and queso at her favorite Tex-Mex spot in town. Read Full Bio »
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