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The theory is the cat is trying to appear larger to intimidate a potential enemy. In this case, something, maybe even you, spooked them. The key lesson is that piloerection is the result of fear, not outright aggression.

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Whenever I see a cat with hair-on-end, I calm myself even more, slow down my movements further and do everything in my power to relax the cat and reassure them I mean no harm. Of course, some cats are aggressive. You can spot offensive aggression by a tail arched upwards at the base near the body and then curled down toward the legs. You may or may not see piloerection. Unfortunately, many truly aggressive cats learn to conceal this display until the last second before attacking. If you spy this tail position, back off. There are a few variations of feline tail wagging. This first often accompanies a tail greeting.

This type of tail wag is identified as an easy back-and-forth wave of an upright tail. Much head rubbing follows. Another tail wag occurs whenever your kitty lovingly wraps their tail around your leg or arm. A gentle, slow, side-to-side swish is another tail wag that hints play. Some cats even wag their tails this way while lying down.

Cats will also wag and twitch their tail when deeply concentrating. Finally, remember that tail arched near the back and then carried down low by the legs? If you see that and a twitching tail, really back off. As a veterinarian, I often see cats with illnesses and injuries that cause discomfort.

Is your dog just chasing its tail – or is it obsessive? | Science | The Guardian

Learn more. For example, the widespread occurrence of striking longitudinal stripes and colourful tails in lizards begs for an explanation. Despite these experimental studies, the ecological factors associated with the evolution of such striking colorations remain unexplored.

We found both longitudinal stripes and colourful tails are associated with diurnal activity and with the ability to lose the tail. Colourful tails and stripes have evolved multiple times in a correlated fashion, suggesting that their functions may be linked. Overall, our results together with previous experimental studies support the notion that stripes and colourful tails in lizards may have protective functions based on deflective and motion dazzle effects. Please note: The publisher is not responsible for the content or functionality of any supporting information supplied by the authors.

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If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Journal of Evolutionary Biology Volume 31, Issue Gopal Murali Corresponding Author E-mail address: gopal13 iisertvm.

5 reasons why cats wag their tails

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