Why does my cat raise its tail when I pet it?

Although it must be accepted that it is better to offer caresses to cats only when they ask for them (otherwise, we can get a scratch), surely your pet asks for it often. And, in those moments, you will have noticed that when you caress it, the cat raises its tail and back while purring. Why does my cat raise its tail when I pet it? Have you ever wondered? If you want to know the answer, keep reading!

Why does my cat raise its tail when I pet it

Feline communication

It is true that if our cats spoke, sometimes it would make things much easier for us when it comes to understanding them. However, cats communicate with us in various ways and it is enough to know them to be able to get closer to feline thinking.

Body language and the sounds that these animals make (such as meows) are key to understanding how cats communicate, either with us, with their peers or with other animals.

In this case, we are asking why my cat raises its tail when I pet it, so we are talking about a position or gesture that it makes with its body.

With their tail, cats express many things. The tail of the cats speaks to us! This, together with the position of its back, can transmit us from happiness and affection, to fear or anger. But, specifically, what does it mean to raise the tail when we stroke them?

It is not about sexual behavior

On many occasions, people tend to think that raising their tails when being caressed is a sexual response. However, this belief is a mistake, since it is evident that this behavior is carried out by cats of many types at different stages of their lives.

In other words, it cannot be a behavior related to sexuality because it occurs both in cats that are too young to have developed that reproductive instinct, as well as in neutered and sterilized cats and cats, and in all others.

Therefore, it can be concluded that the answer to «Why does my cat raise its tail when I pet it?» has nothing to do with hormones.

So why does my cat lift its tail when I pet it?

Basically, what a cat wants to express when it raises its tail when petted is “Welcome! I like what you are doing, you can continue”.

It is, therefore, a gesture that indicates that the cat is relaxed before our caresses and is close to us, allowing us to continue giving it caresses and pampering.

Surely, in addition to raising its tail and back, it will return the gesture with little affectionate headbutts and more purrs.

Relating this to the previous point, it is true that when cats expose their genitals they indicate that they are ready for the sexual act, in this case it has nothing to do with that. Simply, females and males, regardless of their stage of life, want to make it clear with this gesture that they are comfortable with you.

My cat raises its tail when I pet it, but it runs away. What happens?

As we have said, the usual thing is that when we caress a cat’s back, it raises its tail, the back itself and purrs, approaching us as a sign of receptivity.

However, it is important that we pay attention to other possible signs that may indicate that something is not right.

For example, if instead of purring, rubbing its head against us, or even giving us little affectionate nibbles, the animal complains, meows nervously, or leaves, it may mean that the area you touched is hurting.

Since we normally caress them delicately, it is most likely a skin problem. However, if you have exerted more pressure than normal in the caress or even if it is gentle, the cat complains, we may be facing a spinal or kidney problem, among other possibilities.

For this reason, it is important not to touch him so that he calms down and when we can get closer again, try to investigate closely the reason for the pain. For example, observing their skin and fur.

If you do not detect anything, if the animal’s complaints persist, the ideal is to go to a veterinary center to have it examined by a professional.

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