Why Do Cats Puff Their Tails?
Why Do Cats Puff Their Tails?

Why Do Cats Puff Their Tails?

Why Do Cats Puff Their Tails?

Cats make awesome companions but they do have some strange quirks that can surprise you.

Since cats cannot speak, their body language is pretty much the thing that tells us how they’re feeling and if something’s wrong. They can also meow, but it can mean a wide variety of things.

Just like a dog wagging its tail when he sees his favorite human, cats also respond involuntarily when they’re happy or scared.

puffy cat tail

A puffed-up tail can mean any number of things, but if you have some background information as to what may have caused it, figuring out how your kitty is feeling can be a piece of cake. Your kitty’s tail- combined with its body language can tell a lot about the situation.

In this article, we take a look at the reasons why your kitty may puff his tail.

Why Do Cats Puff Their Tails?

Your Kitty Is Afraid

scared cat

It’s not surprising that when your kitty gets scared, it assumes a defensive stance with its pupils dilated and legs stretched. It helps your feline assess the situation better.

A traumatized cat may seem withdrawn and uninterested in playing or moving around.

Wild cats also do this instinctively. They do this in order to appear larger to any predators or competitors as a display of dominance.

When your cat is afraid, it also assumes a fearsome stance showing its teeth and claws, and arching its back, ready to defend itself. 

A puffed up tail and arched back are also common signs of trauma and fear. So, you should be attentive and careful to not scare your kitty and check if there's something disturbing their peace of mind. 

Kitty Will Pounce!

Flight or fight response is a normal reaction of mammals to threats.

Cats also get ready to fight by puffing up their tails either vertically upwards or downwards. Cats of some species are less concerned about defending and more into fighting their opponents.

As a display of power and aggression meant to deter as well as injure their enemies, cats will puff up their cute tails and make it clear that they don’t want any trouble. 

cat ready to pounce

They may also be using their tails to communicate with their feline friends.

If a cat’s not scared, it just stretches its body and tries to look intimidating. But it doesn’t back down from a fight. Kitties may not look the part but they are pretty brave! 

If you’ve annoyed your cat by petting when not appreciated or wanted, your kitty will puff its tail and look fiercely at you, ready to scratch you.

Excited Kitty!

While you may associate cats puffing up their tails with being scared or battle-ready, they may simply be trying to play. 

It can also be said that you can read a cat just by their tail!

happy playful kitty

Most kittens like to play around, and they puff up their tails, arch their backs and jump around playfully just as if they were pouncing at a prey. 

It’s not hard at all to know if your cat’s happy or furious. Just observe their behavior and you’ll be fine. As a pet owner, you’ll find it very easy to know when your cat’s in a bad mood versus when the kitty is feeling happy or playful.

What To Do About A Kitty With Puffed Tail

Puffed tail is a normal thing and doesn’t mean anything serious.

If your cat seems to be scared quite often, then it could mean that something’s wrong and you need to find what’s triggering the fear in your kitty. It could be a deep underlying issue due to past trauma or stress. If that’s the case, you need to care for your kitty even more.

Mostly, it’s just your kitty being playful and there’s no reason for you to be worried.

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Final Thoughts

Your kitty’s puffed tail is just an instinctive reaction to fear or a playful gesture. 

Cats are fascinating animals and a puffy tail is nothing to worry about.