Since I study and photograph cats every day, I thought I’d begin sharing their unique ways of communicating via photos of their body language. These will be posted under the Cat Behavior 101 category for future reference. In the case of cats, a photograph can often tell more than a thousand words. I generally subscribe to most cat behaviorist’s opinions but not always. Cats are far more nuanced and expressive than we give them credit for. There is room for further research and dialogue. Please feel free to voice your opinion.
A calico (below) lives on a farm near me where I buy vegetables from. She very friendly and her straight up tail with a hook signals the classic friendly but alert position. The hook is more sideways like a question mark and in her case, I’d label it inquisitive or inquiring.
By contrast, another straight up and hooked tail shown here by Odin this week, has less curve in the hook showing a friendly tail but more uncertain.
Odin managed to climb onto the porch roof and couldn’t get down. I rushed inside to open the window and he meekly came inside. Guilty as charged. This is a familiar pose for Odin outdoors when he’s not full on-confident. He’s naturally confident and his normal friendly greeting is a straight up tail with no hook. However, you could have two cats showing the same tail position but depending on the what the ears, whiskers, eyes, mouth and back are doing, it will influence the interpretation. What is your cat’s friendly tail greeting?