My Cat Wags Its Tail When I Pet Him – Explained

Cats are very affectionate animals, and they love to be pampered by humans’ friends.

They wag their tails when being petted because they enjoy the attention, especially if given a gentle stroke or pet on their head, neck, or back.

If you want your cat to be fond of you, you need to give them lots of attention.

Why Does My Cat Wag His Tail When I Pet Him

You might have noticed a time when you gently pet your cat, it reacts by wagging its tail. The tail’s wagging could be because it is overstimulated, happy, or even annoyed.

This article explains what causes a cat’s tail to wag when being stroked or petted.

Reasons Why A Cat Wagging Its Tail When Petted

1. Sign Of Love

When petted, a cat wags its tail because it wants to show off that it likes people. It does this so that other cats will notice how much it loves people and that they would like to get close to them.

Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, and they are one of the most popular pets in the world today. They are also brilliant enough to understand human language.

So, if you talk to your cat, he understands every word you say. He may not respond verbally, but he shows his understanding through body language.

2. A Sign For You To Back Off

He might start growling at you if you try to pet him too long. It means that he doesn’t like you touching him.

A cat’s tail held straight up and puffed out is the universal cat sign for a frightened or aggressive cat. It is easy to read this since it isis often accompanied by hissing, growling, or showing off her teeth.

To avoid getting scratched or bitten, you should stop petting him as soon as he starts showing signs of aggression.

A fluffed tail with an arched back means,” back off,” “leave me alone!” “I’m not too fond of that kind of petting.”

It is commonly seen in older cats.

3. Stressed, Nervous Or Submissive Cat

When a cat feels stressed, nervous or submissive, he will tuck his tail between its legs. It is a typical behavior seen in cats who feel threatened.

Cats do this mainly to protect themselves from any possible threat. He will also use its claws to scratch at his fur and skin.

Also, when a cat wags his tail while being petted, it is a sign that he feels submissive. The reason why he does this is that he knows that you are stronger than him.

So, to avoid any fights, he must submit to you and let you take control over him.

4. It Is A Sign Of Happiness

A cat’s high tail with a quick quivering motion can mean, “I’m so happy to see you!” Cats mostly wag their tails when they feel happy.

Their tails act as antennae that pick up signals from their environment. So, whenever they feel happy, they waggle their tails and send out positive vibes into the air around them.

Cats can wag their tails, too, when they’re happy. But they don’t always do it because they want to be friendly.

Some cats wag their tails when someone comes into their house, but others wag them when they see something interesting outside. For example, a cat might wag its tail if it sees a dog walking by.

A cat may also wag its tail when it sees an unfamiliar person coming near.

When playing, cats may wag their tails more energetically, swishing their tails from side to side. Your cat may do this when chasing the feather wand you’re holding and is more likely to do this if it feels threatened.

If your cat is playing, it is less likely to wag its tail.

My Cat Wags His Tail When I Pet Him

5. They Feel Threatened Or Startled By Your Petting

Some cats wag their tails in response to being petted. It happens when they are unexpectedly startled or threatened.

They will curl up their tail and arch it upwards in response to this.

A cat might also puff up fur to look more prominent and scarier. It is a warning signal to stay away

6. It Is A Way Of Saying Thank You

If you pet your cat, he will probably wag his tail. However, if he does not wag his tail, it could mean that he is angry with you.

He has no idea that you are trying to make him happy. So, if you want to express gratitude to someone, you should always pet your cat first before doing anything else.

7. It Is A Sign Of Affection

If your cat wags his tail, then it means that he likes you. He is telling you that he wants to be friends with you, and you should pay attention to what your cat is trying to say to you.

It could be a sign that he needs some love and care.

8. A Sign Of Irritation

Sometimes, cats might get irritated when we pat them on the head. They may even start to scratch us.

It happens because they think that we are hurting them. So, if your cat starts to scratch you when you pet him, you should stop immediately.

9. Feeling Good

When your cat wags his tail, it shows that he is feeling good. It is because he is happy about being petted.

A cat that feels confident and relaxed will hold her tail high in the air, proudly displaying the entire length of her tail.

10. Suspicious, Scared, Or Aggressive

A cat wags its tail when it feels suspicious, scared, or aggressive, feeling very worried. Your cat may be thinking about attacking you.

So, if your feline friend is wagging his tail while looking at you, it could signify that your cat is ready for a fight.

When A cat holds her tail straight and points toward the ground, it is defensive because she thinks you will attack her.

It can be hard sometimes to tell because many cats, especially Persian species, walk with their tails in this position, even when relaxing.

If you know your cat that well, you’ll be able to spot this behavior by its stiff tail and tense, guarded body.


The tail of a cat is an interesting part of its anatomy. There are so many different reasons why a cat might wag its tail.

Some cats wag their tails when they are excited, others when they are frightened, and still others when they are just curious.

Don’t worry if your cat wags their tail when you pet them. Just remember that there are many reasons why your cat might do this.