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golondrina

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I have often read that when a cat waves his/her tail side to side he/she is uncomfortable and even angry. However sometimes when my 4 years old Sombra is lying on my lap with her front paws on my chest she will slowly wave her tail. I don't hold her so that she is completely free to go away if that is what she wishes. If I scratch her chin she will lick my hand but even then her tail will wave. Could it be that waving her tail can also mean contentment?

Sombra very rarely sits across my lap. She prefers the vertical position with her front paws on my chest many times wanting to lick my throat but she will not remain on my lap for very long periods. But she will spend all night long close to me on my bed and will lie on my computer table or desk top to keep me company whenI am busy there.
 
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Kieka

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There are very many variations to tail waving. The speed it is moving, direction and how the tail is held all contribute to the exact meaning.

For example, my boy, Link, is very much a tail talker. If his is waving his tail slowly, gently, from side to side with it mostly relaxed he is content. If he is walking, tail up, and the tip only is waving he is excited. If he is waving his tail back and forth in short sharp movements he is annoyed. And if he thumps his tail on the ground you better reconsider your life choices because he is ready to kill you.
 
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golondrina

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Thank you Kieka,
I have seen your reply thanks to the alerts list. I don't know why my watched threads are no longer shown in my mail page. I have reported this but for the moment they haven't been able to fix this problem.
 

KarenKat

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Gohan's tail tells all. He has a "happy tail" when he is extra content that is straight up in the air and vibrating. Usually when he begs for pets.
 

susanm9006

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Some cats move their tails regardless of their mood. If you want to see a famous tail wagged, check out the Mary videos on You Tube.
 
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golondrina

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Thanks susanm but NO :), with my cat's tail waving I have enough. I just wanted to clarify the notion of cats tail waving. :purr:
 

Etarre

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Gwen was a shy, timid cat, and mostly used her tail to express annoyance. When she felt relaxed, it was just sort of draped around her. Juniper, on the other hand, is a bit more expressive, and trots around the apartment with her tail held high. I think she's announcing "stand aside! official cat business in progress!" with it. She will also do a slow twitch with her tail when she's being petted or receiving chin scratches, and rarely signals displeasure with it. So I accept that cats can express positive emotions with their tails; I think the idea that cats don't wag their tails the way dogs do, and that tail movement can express annoyance, is certainly true, but has been overstated without context, giving the idea that cats are always mad if their tails move, which is not!
 

KarenKat

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My friend had a little tortie runt that had been raised from kittenhood by a Great Dane. She barked, wagged her tail when happy and would fetch.

She was still young when my friend adopted her along with another cat and over time she lost the doglike qualities. But it makes me wonder how much is learned behavior and how much is inherited.
 
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golondrina

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That is very interesting Karen Kat! I'm referring to your friend's little tortie reacting like a dog. But after all haven't we heard about "jungle children" acting like the animals among which they lived?
 

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My Casey is very people oriented but can get over-stimulated during petting and play time. I have learned that if his tail starts moving rapidly he is over-excited. If he is laying down on me when his tail movement starts to speed up I stop petting him. If this when he is playing with me I walk away to give him space to calm down. Sometimes he will follow me around but I simply just let him walk around with me until his tail movement slows down. When he was a kitten I got quite a few scratches and hard love bites when I was learning his body language. This almost never happens now.
 
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golondrina

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What about the tail going across the cat's back horizontally, the end of it almost touching his/her head? That is what Sombra did today. Unfortunately she didn't hold it like that long enough for me to fetch the camera.
 

egyptianmau

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My cat certainly waves her tail to express joy. When she greets us at the door and is head bunting us, her tail is upright and moving slowly from side to side. She also uses it the other way; when she's lying down and she feels irritated by my petting or something else, her tail will sort of bob up and down on the ground, telling me to stop :)
 

Caspers Human

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Casper flicks his tail at me when he's pi$$ed off at me.

He doesn't like to be picked up very much but, still, I do it because I believe that a house cat should be used to being picked up. If the cat has to go to the vet or if he is doing something dangerous, you might need to pick him up and he needs to tolerate being picked up.

So, every once in a while, I carefully pick Casper up and pet him and tell him "Good Kitty." After a minute of so, he fidgets and I carefully put him down.

Then, after he gets down, Casper walks away and flicks his tail at me as if to say, "F.U!"
 
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