If you’ve tried petting or touching your cat’s tail, you might be surprised to see them get upset. Why don’t cats like this? I’ll discuss this and more in the rest of this piece. Since cats can’t talk to us, it takes a little bit of digging to find the answer.
- Why Don’t Cats Like Their Tails Touched
- It Comes Down to Biology
- Their Tails are Used for Balance
- The Tails are Very Sensitive
- Tails are Used for Communication
- What About Petting a Tail?
- Why Are Some Cats Okay with Tail Pets?
- Petting a Stranger Cat’s Tail
- When Their Tail is in Danger
- It Stresses Them Out
- How to Groom a Cat?
- What Human Body Part is Comparable?
- They Just Don’t Like It
- How to Know If Your Cat Hates It
Why Don’t Cats Like Their Tails Touched
Cats don’t like it when you touch their tail because it’s a sensitive part of their body. It helps with their balance, and it has a ton of different nerves and muscles to help it move around.
If you ever accidentally step on a cat’s tail, you will notice that they will scream and be in serious pain. This is further proof of how sensitive and delicate their tails really are. But why are their tails so sensitive? Let’s learn more about cats and their tails.
It Comes Down to Biology
You might wonder why a cat cares so much about their tail. The truth is that it all comes down to biology. Understanding what their tail does will help you to understand why they protect it.
The simple answer is that a cat’s tail serves a ton of different purposes. In fact, tails might be one of the most important pieces of a cat.
This is why cats spend so much time protecting their tail. Even if they love their owner, a cat might forbid touching their tail.
Biologically, a cat needs a tail to perform daily functions.
Their Tails are Used for Balance
As you watch a cat walk, you’ll see that their tail moves from side to side. If a cat is dropped, you’ll notice their tail flail around. As a cat is running and making a turn, their tail will fling out in the opposite direction and move around.
A cat uses their tail every day to keep them balanced. It’s like when a human is going to fall over, and they throw their arms out for balance. The same principle of physics is at play with cats and their tails.
In fact, the tail is one of the major components of why big cats are such successful hunters. Since the tail is such an important part of a cat’s daily life, it makes sense that they would want you to stay away from it.
The Tails are Very Sensitive
Their tails are very delicate and sensitive. You’ll notice that cats will tuck their tail out of the way when they are afraid of getting attacked by another animal. It’s a sensitive part of their body, and they want to protect it.
The tail is made up of a lot of little nerves that are susceptible to pain. On top of that, the tail also has a lot of bones, ligaments, and muscles in it.
Tails are Used for Communication
Another reason that a cat might be upset when you touch their tail is that they use their tails for communication. Animal experts will use a cat’s tail’s position along with other body language clues to know how a cat is feeling.
Other cats will communicate with one another by using their tails. If a cat’s tail is missing or hurt, then they won’t be able to tell other cats how they’re feeling or what’s going on. This will really hurt cats in a social aspect.
What About Petting a Tail?
Your cat might like having its tail pet, but not grabbed. Not many cats like pets that are focalized on their tail area, but if you are petting along their body, they’ll accept if you pet their tail.
This is part of a cat’s socialization. They understand that they can trust their owner, so they are in the right mentality when you pet their tail.
With that being said, you might notice that after a few pets, your cat will get upset or try to bite you. This is their way of telling you that they don’t want you to touch their tail anymore.
Why Are Some Cats Okay with Tail Pets?
You might be a little confused as you read along. Perhaps you have encountered cats that like having their tails played with.
The truth is that cats vary widely. Some cats don’t mind someone petting their tails; others will not tolerate it.
Like anything else, it’s a matter of learning about your specific pet and understanding what they like.
Petting a Stranger Cat’s Tail
This might go without saying, but you should never pet a cat’s tail if you don’t personally know the cat. Some cats get incredibly protective over their tail, and they will attack you.
If not like you’re trying to hurt them, but they perceive it as a threat, and they go into self-defense mode.
For the cats that do let you pet them tails, it’s largely due to their comfort around you.
That means that it should go without saying that you can’t pet a cat’s tail, which isn’t comfortable around you. They may perceive your actions as an attack, and they’ll get scared.
When Their Tail is in Danger
When a cat has its tail pulled, stepped on, or touched in a way they don’t like, they perceive this as a threat. When they perceive a threat, the cat will go into fight or flight mode.
For most cats, they will want to attack and defend themselves. This is why you might see a cat become randomly aggressive while you pet them from head to tail. It’s the touching of their tail that they have a problem with.
It Stresses Them Out
Even if your cat doesn’t have an outward reaction to you touching their tails, for a majority of cats, they will get stressed out. This is an unnatural place for a cat to be pet or touched, so their body immediately reacts.
You will find that a majority of cats will have a stressed reaction when you grab their tail. Even if you aren’t trying to hurt them, they’ll still react in self-defense.
Cats are notorious for being bad when they’re stressed. They are picky about the environment that they live in, and they like things to be a certain way.
When a cat is stressed, they have a whole range of symptoms that they’ll show. The bottom line is that you want to avoid making your cat stressed.
How to Groom a Cat?
With all of this information in mind, you might wonder how you’re supposed to groom your cat.
As long as you do it slowly and carefully, you can groom a cat’s tail. You can also pick up a grooming kit that’s more gentle on your cat’s tail.
You want your cat to be comfortable during the experience. As long as they live in a comfortable and safe environment, your cat will thrive.
A quick way to make them uncomfortable is to be too quick or aggressive around their tail.
What Human Body Part is Comparable?
You might try to put this in terms of human parts to get a better comparison. Unfortunately, there is no comparison to be made here.
The truth is that a cat’s tail is so unique that we don’t have a body part that even comes close to it.
Their tail is a huge part of their daily life. It has a lot of usabilities, sensitivity, and biological impact on a cat’s daily life.
There isn’t any part of the human body that has the same features. For that reason, it’s important to remember to respect your cat’s tail.
They Just Don’t Like It
If you are skeptical about the other points in this article, that’s okay. The big takeaway here is that a lot of cats simply don’t like their tails being touched.
Whether it’s due to biological reasons, it’s a survival instinct, or it’s their sense of pride – we have to respect that cats don’t like their tail touched.
They have so many other parts of their body that they love getting a pet!
How to Know If Your Cat Hates It
If you pet your cat’s tail and its mood changes, that’s a clear indicator. It might hiss, look at you angrily, or try to bite you.
If you sense that your cat is acting weird immediately after you pet its tail, there’s a good chance that it doesn’t like it. With this information in mind, try to avoid petting their tail in the future unless it’s necessary for grooming.