Have you ever watched a cat in action and wondered what made it go from being almost lovable to a complete tiger? It’s because of his tail. If you own a feline friend, you probably know by now that theirs is no ordinary tail. Thanks to overstimulation receptors found at the base of their tails, felines are able to display their natural hunting instincts while they remain calm and relaxed. But let us be clear: these special reflexes do not just show up on a cat’s rear end when it’s feeling frisky. In fact, purring or any other form of excessive meow can actually make their tails harder than usual, which explains why some cats sometimes puff up when they feel happy. MeowJunction has the answers to seven questions about why your cat’s tail puffs up when they’re happy, and whether that behavior is normal or something you should worry about.
Why Do Cats’ Tails Puff Up When They Are Happy?
The puffing of the cat’s tail is a sign of excitement and pleasure. The hair on the underside of a cat’s tail is covered in papillae, or tiny hair-like appendages that wick away water and prevent the cat from becoming dehydrated. When a cat is happy, it produces more hair and they stand up straight. This action is known as ‘petulant dancing.’
What Causes Cats’ Tails to Puff Up When They’re Happy?
1. The action of petulant dancing
The action of petulant dancing causes the cat’s tail to puff up. The hair on the underside of the tail is covered in papillae, or tiny hair-like appendages that wick away water and prevent the cat from becoming dehydrated. When a cat is happy, it produces more hair and they stand up straight. This action is known as ‘petulant dancing.’
2. A Cat’s Tail Becomes Harder When It Is Pleased
When cats are pleased, their tails become harder than usual. This can be due to two reasons: 1) The increased flow of blood to their tails 2) They are feeling more relaxed and at ease with themselves. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cats who are accustomed to being stroked will have their tails puffed up when they feel pleased by human touch. However, some cats’ tails may remain hard even if they’re not pleased by something.
3. Petting Your Cat May Help Their Tail Puff Up When They’re Happy
Petting your cat may help make their tail puff up when they’re happy because it stimulates the nerves in their tail which then makes them stand erect and get excited about whatever it is that you are doing to them. If you like doing this because it helps make your cat feel very happy, then go ahead and stroke them! If you don’t like petting your cat because you think they might be upset by it, then don’t do it.
4. The Puffing of a Cat’s Tail Is Not a Sign of Stress
Many people believe that the puffed-up appearance of a cat’s tail is a sign that they are stressed out, but this is not true. There are many reasons why cats’ tails might puff up when they’re happy and it’s not always because they’re stressed out. Some people worry that if their cat’s tail puffs up when they’re happy, that means their cat is sick or unhappy. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean this at all.
5. Puffed Up Tails Are Not A Sign Of Illness
A lot of people worry about the puffed-up appearance of a cat’s tail and wonder whether it means that their cat has an illness or is unhappy, but this isn’t always the case at all! Sometimes cats’ tails will puff up because they are very happy! It could also be due to something as simple as being groomed by you (see answer 3), or simply because they feel very pleased with themselves!
6. You Are Not Obligated to Pet Your Cat When They Are Happy
If your cat likes being petted when they are happy then go ahead and give them one! This can help them feel very good about themselves and be more relaxed in your presence which can make them more friendly towards you, so if you like doing this then go ahead and do it! But remember that if your cat doesn’t like being petted, then don’t pet them when they’re happy!
What is the function of a cat’s tail when it’s happy?
1. Cats’ tails are not always used for balance.
When cats are walking, their tails may help them balance because they can use them to help them steady themselves and take steps in a more stable manner. When cats are standing and looking around, their tails can also help them keep their balance as well.
2. Cats’ tails are sometimes used to communicate with other cats.
Cats will often arch their backs and lift up their tail when they’re communicating with other cats, but this is not always the case! Sometimes they’ll use their tail to show that they’re friendly or that they want something from another cat! Many people believe that this is a sign of dominance or aggression, but in reality, it’s just part of the way that some cats communicate!
3. Some cats’ tail puffs up because they’re pleased by human touch.
Cats will often arch their backs and puff up their tail when they feel pleased by human touch. They might even purr very loudly when you pet them on the head or rub them behind their ears which makes them feel very good about themselves which then makes them stand up straight and get excited about whatever it is that you’re doing to them!
4. The Puffing of a Cat’s Tail Is Not Always A Sign Of Stress
A lot of people think that the puffed-up appearance of a cat’s tail means that it’s stressed out but this is not always true at all! There are many reasons why a cat might puff up its tail to show that they’re happy! They might be feeling very good about themselves, so they want to make sure that you know that they’ve noticed how good they are!
5. A Puffed-Up Tail Can Be A Sign Of Aggression
A lot of people believe that the puffing of a cat’s tail means it’s showing aggression and this is actually not always the case at all! When a cat is feeling aggressive, it will often lift its tail up and puff out its fur as well. But this doesn’t mean that it’s showing aggression towards you or anyone else because some cats will do this when they’re playing with each other or when they’re just being playful.
6. Many Cats’ Tail Puffs Up When They Are Very Happy
Many people believe that the puffed-up appearance of a cat’s tail means that the cat is stressed out or feeling threatened because of something else but this is not always the case at all! Many cats will often arch their backs and puff up their tails when they are very happy and excited about something, so if your cat does this, then don’t worry about it at all! It doesn’t mean anything really apart from them being happy which makes them feel great about themselves which then makes them stand up straight and get excited about whatever it is that you’re doing to them!
What can you do when your cat puffs up when it’s happy?
1. You can pet your cat on the head or rub behind its ears to make it feel good about itself
Cats love when you pet them on their heads or rub them behind their ears which makes them feel very good about themselves which then makes them stand up straight and get excited about whatever it is that you’re doing to them!
2. You can talk to your cat and tell it how cute it is
Cats are very intelligent creatures! When they’re feeling happy, they will often mirror back what you say to them because they want you to know that they like what you are saying. Talking to your cat will make your cat feel very good about itself which then makes it stand up straight and get excited about whatever it is that you’re doing to it!
3. You Can Play With Your Cat By Physically Moving Around With It As Well As By Making Noises That Cats Enjoy Such As Clapping, Laughing, Or Tapping Sounds Against A Table
Many cats find physical movement with humans relaxing so if you want a relaxed cat, then playing with yours might be a great way for both of you to relax together! Other cats enjoy physical activity so if yours does, then getting out and giving him enough exercise might help him feel better too.
As exciting as it can be to interact with your cat on a daily basis, it’s important to remember that your cat is not just any old cat. Like people, cats are social creatures who prefer to spend time with others of their species. Like other animals, cats also experience stress when they are in situations that are unfamiliar or scary. As a result, having a cat whose tail puffs up when it’s happy is definitely an indicator that something is off. Tail puffs up when your cat is stressed out usually means that you need to pay closer attention to your cat’s environment and surroundings so that it feels safe and happy again.