Cats' tails?

Is the waving of Cupcake the Destroyer’s tail voluntary or involuntary? I often wonder about this when she’s on my shoulder or chest and waving that thing in my face.

My cats are tail talkers. Have you seen the curled sideways question mark. It means they are asking a question.
The tail speaks.
ETA I have determined the tail waving is saying “Hello, friend”

I’m convinced it’s intentional.

Watching my two cats sleep together. One cat’s tail will be waving in the other cat’s face. Other cat will swat the tail a few times, then the offender will move it to the side out of annoyed cat’s face. After about 30 seconds or so, cat will start waving his tail in front of cat’s face again. This process repeats itself a few times until they eventually start to rumble.

So, I’m guessing this is cat’s way of initiating play.

Yep, tail flicking can be an irritated mood or a let’s play.

Here’s what I want to know, when my cat is stalking something (a bird, say) and his tail wiggles gives him away, how is that an evolutionary advantage?

Since you cat probably has a tummy full of the mushy food, I don’t think what you’re seeing is “hunting” mode. Your cat either wants to play with bird, or is trying to tell the bird to get off his lawn.

Cats wiggle their tails for balance. Think of a cat on a fence, waving its tail back and forth to keep from falling off. By inference, this means that cats wave their tails whenever they feel uncertain about their footing, whether physically or psychologically. It’s a nervous tic.

I love the straight up tail and prancing around , like they are on a fashion run way. They’re saying " I am so pretty, give me a treat, ain’t I beautiful?"

…Else how can he hold up his tail perpendicular, or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?

Whenever my bushy tailed guy does that I sing the line from Stray Cat Strut “I strut right by with my tail in air”

Not correct. The hunting behavior is instinctual, not dependent on hunger. Well-fed, pampered pet cats are notorious for hunting & catching small prey but not eating it – just bringing it back to show their owners.

What if it’s a Manx cat?

Watch them whiskers.

It’s an evolutionary advantage for the bird, not the cat. :wink:

IIRC , cats don’t actually hunt birds in nature. Their main prey is small rodents and fish.

Whatever my cat is stalking he wiggles his tail.

My BIL firmly believes that his cat’s tail is a separate intelligence.

Cupcake used to play chicken with me. Now she counts coup. Either way, she’ll get in an “get ready to pounce on my prey” pose first. The tail is slowly moving. I think. The surprise would be better if she hid behind or under something before the vicious bloodthirsty attack.

I’d like a cite for that. Judging by the victims actually seen* our cat’s prey seems to be 80% avian, 20% rodents. No fish at all but living in Arizona, they’re hard to come by.

*Generally a trophy brought into the house.

Sylvester and Tweety bird?