When you get a cat one of the first things you need to realize is that their faces won't show you any emotion. They are not like dogs that you can immediately see when they are happy, sad, angry or even annoyed.
Cats communicate in a whole different way and that is through their tail. Their tail can tell you a lot about their mood and can even tell you when something is wrong with them or in the environment that they are in.
They are pretty magnificent and I'm sure you have realized that most of the times when a cat sits down they wrap their tail around themselves and over their paws. Now, you might think this is just by coincidence, but there is a very good reason why they are doing it.
Scroll down to see some of the most common ones.
Just like you use a blanket to keep yourself warm, cats do the same with their tails so that they can conserve their body heat. Even though cats have so much fur they are the most comfortable when the temperatures are 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. But when it gets lower they are at a high risk of getting frostbite and hyperthermia. If they are really cold you can see from other body signals and not just their tail. For instance, they will crouch low, cover their noses, pull their ears against their head and curl up as small as they can.
When you determine your cat is not cold but they are still wrapping their tail around their paws it can most likely be avoidance behavior. It's not that they are in a bad mood but they prefer it if their human leaves them alone for a while as they are relaxed and comfortable as they are right then and there. Now, don't take this personal at all! Cats are independent animals and sometimes they just like being alone and other times they just want to sit and observe their surroundings without interruption. When they are ready for some love and attention they will let you know right away.
So when they aren't getting cold or being evasive they tend to wrap their tail around their paws and sit upright when they are nervous. It most likely means they are seeing something like a dog or their owner doing something that makes them uncomfortable. They use their tail as a barrier from the thing that is causing them concern or making them nervous.
Cats are a lot like humans in this sense as we tend to cross our arms over our chest when we feel threatened, scared or uncomfortable with someone or in the environment that we are in. Cats do the exact same thing but just with their tails. It basically just means that they are protecting themselves and don't feel very safe and happy at that moment.
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