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Cats and their Tails

Cats have a greater sense of balance than humans. This is due to the nerve messages from their eyes to their muscles and joints work very fast.


A cat uses its tail for balancing. For example, if it is walking along a narrow wall or fence and decides to look over in one direction, thereby shifting its centre of gravity, it will automatically move its tail in the other direction, re-establishing its body's centre of gravity and keeping it from falling off. The tail is also used as a counter weight when changing direction suddenly at high speed.

Cats use their tails to communicate their emotions, both to other cats and to humans. Below are explanations of some typical "tail postures" you will see, and what they mean. This will not include the Manx Cat who of course is tailless, unless it is a Tailie Manx!

I love hot-dogs!

Note: You must of course, consider what is going on with the cat and its environment. Don't decide on the cat's mood solely by tail positioning alone.

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