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Lays With Tail Tucked Under Body

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by peacesad, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. peacesad

    peacesad Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Feb 19, 2018

    Ive read and witnessed how a cat will walk with its tail down when it’s not well. I’m not sure about one of our “feral” cats. She’s fine all day but the last couple nights she will lay as shown in the picture. She hasn’t seemed sick prior to laying this way.

    I’m thinking maybe she’s afraid something might sneak up behind her so she sits with her tail under her? There two other cats in the colony and another one that has been around a long time trying to break into the group. Plus there are raccoons here daily.

    I was just wondering if you all have seen a cat do this out of fear.

    Thank you..
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  2. 5starcathotel

    5starcathotel TCS Member Adult Cat

    Mar 30, 2017
    Phoenix, AZ
    This picture does not show a cat that is afraid.....She's just letting people move around/behind her, apparently laying in a common area. That is a comfortable, confidant cat I see!

    A cat walking, with tail low, is kinda neutral and just checking things out. You have to then check tail position with body position....if cat is "slinking" or "skulking" about the edges of a room, that is a sign of a nervous cat. But a low tail, but fully erect shoulders/hips, walking around, pausing, taking position in the center of a room, is a confident cat claiming territory.

    When laying down, or even just sitting, every cat I've ever had has wrapped their tail under or around their body.
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  3. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

    Feb 20, 2011
    It is usually a calm, content pose. Often referred to as the “loaf” position for its resemblance to a loaf of bread.
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  4. Caspers Human

    Caspers Human TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Feb 23, 2016
    She's laying an egg! ;)
    catsknowme and peacesad purraised this.

  5. peacesad

    peacesad Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Feb 19, 2018
    Thank you so much for the information.
    catsknowme purraised this.

  6. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    A tail that is curled beneath a cat's body has always meant to me submission or fear - that something is not right and is making the cat nervous. But, I think given the other responses you've gotten, there is no one answer that applies to all cats.

    If you've been around this cat for very long, your own interpretation is probably more accurate than any of our suggestions.
    catsknowme purraised this.

  7. Father of furbabies

    Father of furbabies TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Nov 25, 2017
    Rainsville, Alabama
    After looking at the one snapshot I would assume she is just keeping her tail tucked away safe so it would not get stepped on. My two cats do that if they lay down in a high traffic area. Body language, as I read it, shows she is comfortable but aware of movement around her (notice the ears and how they are angled) while being ready to move at a moment's notice. This looks similar to a hunter's crouch when they are waiting for prey to move.
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  8. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    I tend to agree with this. It looks like how my cat hunches, waiting, when she is hoping a spider or bug will come back out from under a couch or chair.
    catsknowme purraised this.

  9. mightyboosh

    mightyboosh TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 19, 2017
    Burnley, UK
    From that snapshot, she does give the appearance of looking for something under the chair.
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  10. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    Well, it's also a recliner chair... maybe there is a missing jingle ball inside of there.
    catsknowme, danteshuman, neely and 1 other person purraised this.

  11. Suru

    Suru TCS Member Adult Cat

    Nov 2, 2018
    She's much smarter than my cat who leaves his tail lying around everywhere for us to step on :lol:
    catsknowme and 5starcathotel purraised this.

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