Why Do Cats Tails Puff Up? - A Thorough Explanation

You noticed that your cat's tail suddenly goes up. But why do cats tails pull up? Let's discover it right now!

There has been a lot of debate about why do cats tails pull up in certain situations. This blog will look at some of the reasons why that happens and whether it is associated with distressing situations or whether it is purely to show other cats that they are not a threat.

Why Do Cats Tails Puff Up? 

Cat Is Having A Good Time.

The most common reason why do cats tails puff up is that they are fascinating. They fluff up and double in size when cats are surprised, curious, or scared. This is due to a phenomenon called piloerection. The same thing happens with dogs, birds, rats, and other animals. It's involuntary and caused by the nervous system.

Adrenaline triggers the muscles to contract, and a hormone called piloerection makes the fur stand on end in a defense mechanism that makes cats look larger than they are. 

Like a human’s goosebumps, this is to make them appear bigger so that predators would leave them alone. Usually, during playtime, cats will have puffed tails and ears, which may indicate excitement or simply an overabundance of energy as if they were giggling.

Besides the tip of their tails, cats' ears can be another sign that they're happy. Erect ears indicate they’re interested in what is going on but are not threatened enough to put up a fight. Cats' whiskers and tails also move around when they're feeling happy.

Cat Is Furious.

Anger is another answer for the question why do cats tails puff up. They also screech and growl at their enemies to warn them to stay away. 

Some owners might notice their cat growing a ridge of fur along its backbone, standing straight up with the intent of looking larger and scaring off enemies.

Cat Kitten

Source: StockSnap.io

Cat Is Frightened.

Puffed-up tails, arched backs, and flattened ears are all signs of a startled cat, in case you wonder the last reason of “Why do cats tails puff up?” Less fearful cats attack right away, puffing their tails as a direct signal to potential predators. 

On the other hand, most cats will settle for an aggressive bluff rather than ripping your face off with their claws, so stay away from them!

Being chilly, staying warm, security, defensiveness, being aroused or startled, hostility, and encountering new animals or people are all reasons for piloerection in cats and other animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should You Do If Your Cat Puffs Its Tail?

Now you understand “Why do cats tails puff up?”, but how to deal with that? 

If your cat's tail is puffed because of fright, don't punish it by making a fuss over it. As long as your kitty is not injured or sick there's nothing to worry about. 

However, if your feline friend behaves aggressively towards other pets, consider keeping them in separate rooms until they can adapt to each other. 

This means that you're less likely to let something happen by accident once things start to settle down and any issues can be dealt with appropriately. 

A cat 419400 pixahive

Source: PixaHive.com

Encourage open-mindedness and communication between each animal -- never instigating a fight -- but it also needs its own space, so remember to supervise all interactions closely!
If your cat is easily stressed, try out a few different ways to help it feel comfortable and safe in your home. 

For example, a cat tree or cat perch can provide unobstructed views of its surroundings and otherwise inaccessible acrobatic opportunities to reduce the risk of an unexpected fright, making it freak out. 

Creating a covered den area with soft textures can also be very appealing to timid pets and often make them feel safer than the rest of the house.

What Does A Cat's Tail Flicking Mean?

When a cat's tail is wagging from side to side lightly, it may be a sign of playfulness or focus. But if their tail seems to be slamming back and forth more forcefully, they are uncomfortable around another animal or person.

Is It Okay If My Cat’s Tail Pulls Up When I Pet It?

If you pet your feline, she raises her tail to show that she likes what you're doing. It could also indicate that she is pleased to see you.

However, be cautious if the tail is straight up with a hook at the tip, because this could indicate that she is uncertain about how she thinks about your action.

The hooked tail can lead to unpredictable behavior from the feline. If someone's kitten displays the crooked telegraph, it can indicate agitation, anger, or aggression and maybe a precursor to an all-out battle with another cat or even a person.


Source: StockSnap.io

If A Cat Whips Its Tail, What Does It Mean?

We have learned the answer to “Why do cats tails puff up?”, but what about a whipping tail?
A whipping tale on an alert cat indicates discomfort and can be perceived as aggressive, but actually means that the animal is at least somewhat nervous and could act defensively should you make any sudden moves that it isn't yet ready for. 

On a cat with a calm demeanor, a straight-up tail with a hooked tip is simply its way of greeting you in a carefree manner. You can be certain that your pet is sending you friendly signals once it concludes you are no longer threatening. 

An aggressive cat may exhibit the same behavior; however, this wild kitty will have its entire tail upright with the hook bent, allowing the furry foe to express itself - literally.


Thank you for reading this interesting blog about “Why do cats tails puff up?”. We hope you enjoyed the facts and information we provided. Cats often use their tails to communicate happiness. They are also a tool to communicate with others. 

As a pet owner, it is important to learn the language of your pet. It is also a good idea to get your cat used to its tail being touched. This will help them be more comfortable with you touching their tail if they need to be groomed or have any physical checkups.

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