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Can a “Tail” Really “Tell”?

While the metaphorical phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” could be true, it might not be the same for our pets and their emotions. Typically, the sounds and stances made by our cats and dogs tell us a lot about how they might be feeling at any given moment. This is especially true with tails. Let’s dive into the ins and outs (and ups and downs) of tails!

Cat

Purring, meowing, snuggling…all telltale signs of contentment from your cat. But when it comes to their tails, can you learn more about their feline language? As it turns out, tails most definitely tell stories! Here’s the breakdown of possible clues from the Humane Society of United States and National Geographic:

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Dog

Just as in cats, a dog’s tail can be complex. Dogs are mostly known for their wagging tails meaning happiness. While that’s typically true, PetMD states that the tail doesn’t speak in isolation from other components of body language in a dog. That being said, you can also tell a lot by a tail. Here are some possible clues:

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Keep in mind that all of these tail signs can have different meanings depending on the situation, and you should always look at the other signals that a dog or cat is giving.