Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cat Body Language ( Tail Talk)

article n pix :

Tail Talk
Tails (combined with body posture) are also easily read aspects of the cat's body language.  

FOR CATS, however, tail swinging is a distance-increasing signal that tells the observer to go away and indicates some form of emotional conflict or tension.  A broad swinging motion, which may actually thump the floor as it increases in speed and arc size, is the clear signal for aggression in a cat.

Tail position

The way the tail is carried is also important.  When you see a cat with his tail held straight up, or curved somewhat over its back, and not bristling or bushed out, you are observing one of the friendliest signs that the species ever offers - especially if the cat's head is held high.

 The high tail allows another friendly cat to investigate the exposed region at its base.  Cats have scent glands around their anal region that provide pheromones that can identify the individual to anyone who catches the familiar odour.  Raising the tail is much like offering someone your passport or driver's license to verify your identity.

Bristling in the tail is much like dilation of the pupils of the eyes in that it shows arousal or stress.  When a bristled tail is held straight down, this is an aggressive signal that is often seen when cats are about to pounce on something, signaling that they are annoyed or challenging another individual. 

If the bristled tail is held down but curves up at the tip, the cat is feeling defensive.  As the cat becomes more fearful, the bristled tail will rise until it reaches that familiar "Halloween cat" vertical position.  

Reading the height of a bristled tail will tell you just how worried or frightened the cat is.  Although the range of communication in cats is somewhat restricted, it does communicate a lot about what the cat is feeling and what he is intending to do. 

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