Have you ever seen your cats puff their tails? I love when younger cats get playful and do what I call the “Scary Cat” move. You know what I’m talking about, it’s the Halloween looking move when they get all puffed up and kind of hop sideways towards you, another cat or a toy. A puffy cat tail is most often attributed to fear in cats, but there are many other reasons cats do this. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons.
Why Cats Puff Up Their Tails
When our feline friends are caught off guard and startled they will often puff up their tail. My Maggie Mae will do this if our dogs suddenly start to bark at another dog walking past the house. It’s amazing to me how big her tail can get.
Another reason cats will puff their tails is when they are angry or in attack mode. They do this to make themselves look bigger and more intimidating.
Interestingly enough, while most of the time we think of puffed up tails as our cats being scared or frightened, it can also happen when they are playing or get the zoomies. Like the “Scary Cat” move!
If your cat has a puffy tail, pay attention to his or her body language. If they are upset or scared and their tail is puffy, they have their head down and ears pinned, give them a few minutes to relax and calm down. Talk gently to assure him everything’s okay. Don’t try to pick him up or pet him because he’s in what’s called fight or flight mode. This could result in a scratch or a bite. On the other hand if your kitty has a puffed up tail and is pouncing or has the zoomies, grab a wand toy because he is ready to play!